Statement on the 70th Anniversary of the End of World War II and the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

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International Youth Summit for Nuclear Abolition Children in Hiroshima, Japan, release paper lanterns to remember the victims of the atomic bombing. [© The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images]

Regardless of nationality, the greatest victims of war are always the common people. Their happiness requires, first and foremost, the abolition of war.

By invading China, Korea and other Asian countries during the war that ended 70 years ago today, Japan inflicted unbearable suffering upon their people. The Japanese people also suffered greatly as a result of the war.

As a result of this experience, searing remorse for the suffering endured by people throughout Asia and a firm resolve never to allow the tragedy of war to be repeated were engraved in the hearts of the people of Japan.

Through our efforts to cultivate grassroots dialogue and encourage cultural and educational exchange across national borders, the Soka Gakkai has sought to honor these feelings and to build a lasting culture of peace rooted in these heartfelt sentiments.

Such efforts express our belief that a solid foundation for peace will only be built through face-to-face dialogue and exchange, deepening mutual understanding and expanding friendship.

related article Toward a World Free from Misery Toward a World Free from Misery by Olivier Urbain Olivier Urbain, director of the Toda Institute for Global Peace and Policy Research, describes the founding ideals of the institute and how these are being built upon. We take this opportunity, on the solemn occasion of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to reaffirm our commitment and pledge to the following actions:

Our first pledge is to transmit the experiences of war and the atomic bombings to future generations and to work for a world free from nuclear weapons.

Recalling the appalling misery of Okinawa, where one out of every four civilian inhabitants was killed, and the indescribable horrors the atomic bombings wrought on the citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it is clear that Japan must work for a world in which such tragedies never befall anyone, anywhere.

We will work with ever deeper commitment to convey the unspeakable realities of World War II to the younger generations in order to protect and uphold the commitment to peace that has been built since the end of the war. And we will make ever greater efforts to achieve the prohibition and abolition of those most inhumane of all weapons, nuclear arms.

Our second pledge is to foster enduring friendship with our Asian neighbors.

Only the steady expansion of friendship through continuous exchanges can prevent tendencies toward xenophobia, discrimination and hatred from taking root. Such efforts further serve to strengthen the bulwarks of peace.

We will continue to work to foster bonds of trust and understanding with the people of other Asian countries through friendship exchanges, particularly among young people; cultural programs involving those studying in Japan; and cooperation with other groups to introduce the diverse arts and cultures of other Asian nations to the Japanese people.

Our third pledge is to work together for the sake of our common future.

It is increasingly vital that the people of the world work together in solidarity to meet the threats to human survival and dignity posed by armed conflict, terrorism, poverty, disease, climate change and natural disasters. The crucial challenge facing us is to develop a vision of our common future and to muster the creativity and inspire the hope required to make it a reality. This will require the contributions not only of governments, but of people everywhere, irrespective of differences of outlook, age or field of endeavor.

Rooted in the Buddhist commitment to upholding the sanctity of life, we will maintain a resolutely human focus as we strive to meet these challenges and contribute to their resolution, while promoting the strengthening of global civil society.

August 15, 2015

Soka Gakkai Peace Committee

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