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On July 31, H.E. Tom D. Kijiner, Ambassador of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) to Japan, gave a talk at a Soka Gakkai student division symposium held at the Josei Toda International Center in Shinjuku, Tokyo. The symposium was organized under the SOKA Global Action peace campaign launched nationwide in January 2014.
Ambassador Kijiner described the history of nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands and answered questions about RMI’s decision in April 2014 to file cases in the International Court of Justice and other courts challenging all nine nuclear-armed nations to keep their legal and moral obligations to disarm.
Between 1946 and 1958, the US tested a total of 67 nuclear bombs in the Marshall Islands, producing detonations equivalent to 1.5 Hiroshima explosions every day for 12 years. “Given this tragic history, everybody should understand why we feel a moral responsibility to show global leadership on the issue of nuclear disarmament,” explained the Ambassador.
At the symposium, student division representatives also announced the start of a Soka Gakkai youth campaign to gather signatures throughout Japan on the “Nuclear Zero” petition, a global initiative supporting the Marshall Islands’ lawsuits (also known as the Nuclear Zero lawsuits) and calling on the nuclear armed nations to work in good faith toward disarmament.
This year marks 60 years since Castle Bravo, the largest-ever nuclear bomb test by the US Government at Bikini Atoll, with a yield of 15 megatons, 750 times greater than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. 2015 will mark the 70th anniversary since nuclear weapons were used for the first time. “We are determined to make full use of this opportune moment to raise unprecedented momentum toward nuclear abolition, starting with the youth,” said Daisuke Tomoe, national Soka Gakkai student division leader.
related article Faith Communities Unite Against Nuclear Weapons at ICAN Civil Society Forum; Issue Joint Statement Prior to the holding of the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons from December 8-9 at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) held a Civil Society Forum (CSF) from December 6-7 at the Aula der Wissenchaften. The CSF was attended by more than 600 people from 70 countries representing 100 organizations. The youth campaign started from July 24 and will run until September 8, a day that marks the starting point of the SGI’s peace movement, when, in 1958, second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda made his landmark “Declaration Calling for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons” and entrusted the challenge of abolishing nuclear weapons to the youth of Soka Gakkai.
To learn more about Nuclear Zero, visit www.nuclearzero.org.
[Adapted from a report from the SGI Office of Public Information (SGI-OPI) and an article in the August 1, 2014, issue of Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photos courtesy of SGI-OPI and the National Nuclear Security Administration]
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