Soka Gakkai International
Buddhism in Action for Peace
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On August 3, some 50 Soka Gakkai youth representatives from Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Okinawa held their 22nd annual youth peace summit at the Soka Gakkai Hiroshima Ikeda Peace Hall. The participants, each from prefectures that have witnessed firsthand the horrors of war in the past century, gathered in the spirit of renewing their vows to building peace in their respective communities.
The summit included remarks from Soka Gakkai Youth Peace Conference Chair Nobuyuki Asai and activity reports on recent peace activities conducted in each prefecture. In Okinawa, for example, it was reported that the youth had conducted surveys on attitudes toward the Battle of Okinawa and created a map indicating public facilities where people can study about peace.
Participants also discussed how to actualize SGI President Ikeda's call, as introduced in his 2013 peace proposal, for an expanded G8 Summit to be held in Hiroshima or Nagasaki in 2015, the 70th anniversary of the bombings of the cities, to encourage renewed commitment among world leaders toward nuclear abolition.
In a message to the peace summit, Mr. Ikeda expressed his gratitude to the youth division for their efforts to raise awareness of the importance of nuclear abolition among their peers and shared his expectations for them to firmly establish the spirit of peace and nuclear disarmament in the 21st century.
Also on August 3, Soka Gakkai Nagasaki organized a peace walk for student members and their families in which they toured sites related to the atomic bombing of Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. They also launched an exhibition titled "Nagasaki and the Atomic Bomb," which was on display at the Soka Gakkai Nagasaki Peace Center in Nagasaki City from August 1-11.
On August 4, some 1,600 youth gathered for the Hiroshima Youth Peace Conference at the Soka Gakkai Hiroshima Ikeda Peace Hall. At the meeting, the Soka Gakkai Chugoku Student Peace Committee released the results of its 18th annual survey on attitudes to peace and nuclear weapons among young people in the Hiroshima region. A concert was also held where Ai Miyaoka, a senior at Hiroshima University, performed on a piano that survived the Hiroshima bombing. The piano was found 1.8 km from the hypocenter.
On August 6 and 9, Soka Gakkai also hosted memorial prayer services marking the 68th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki respectively. At the Ikeda Peace Hall on August 6, Hiroshima representatives joined with atomic bomb survivors, bereaved families and descendants of the victims to offer prayers for the repose of all victims of atomic bombings, nuclear tests and nuclear-related accidents worldwide. On August 9, a memorial service was held at the Nagasaki Peace Center.
On the 15th, the anniversary of the end of World War II, memorial services were held in Soka Gakkai centers across Japan in remembrance of all victims of war around the world and to reaffirm the participants' commitment to building peace in society.
[Adapted from a report from the October 2013 issue of Daisanbunmei and articles in the August 2, 4, 5, 10 and 16, 2013, issues of Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photos courtesy of Seikyo Shimbun]
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