Soka Gakkai International
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The exhibition “Everything You Treasure—A World Free From Nuclear Weapons,” jointly created by SGI and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), was shown in Hastings, New Zealand, from February 18 to March 11 and in Okinawa, Japan, from March 13–23.
Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule spoke at the February 18 opening ceremony held in front of the Hastings War Memorial Library in the city’s Civic Square and attended by some 80 people. Other speakers included local Māori community leader Reverend Numia Tomoana of the Anglican Church who spoke on the meaning of peace across different religions, and SGI member Penny Ehrhardt who stressed the role of the individual in the struggle to rid the world of nuclear weapons.
In the tradition of a Māori welcoming ceremony, people were invited into the library to view the exhibition with a karanga call that was answered by Rev. Tomoana. The opening also included traditional Vanuatuan dance and drumming performances by 25 men from the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu.
In Okinawa, the exhibition was shown at the Soka Gakkai Okinawa Training Center in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the opening of the Okinawa World Peace Monument. The monument was built out of the remains of a missile launch pad and stands in the grounds of the training center, previously a U.S. MACE B missile base. Hirokazu Nakaima, Governor of Okinawa Prefecture, and Hirotsugu Terasaki, SGI Executive Director for Peace Affairs, spoke at the opening ceremony, which was attended by some 80 people including Naha City Mayor Takeshi Onaga.
The “Everything You Treasure” exhibition depicts nuclear weapons as a direct threat to all the things we value and treasure as individuals. Its 40 panels also approach nuclear weapons issues from 12 different angles including humanitarian, environmental, economic, human rights, energy and security perspectives.
[Adapted from an article on the SGI-NZ website and the March 14, 2014, issue of Seikyo Shimbun; photos courtesy of SGI-NZ]
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