Peace and Disarmament
Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Okinawa Youth Hold Annual Peace Summit
On August 4, 2007, Soka Gakkai Youth Peace Conference (YPC) representatives from Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Okinawa held their annual joint peace summit at the Soka Gakkai Nagasaki Peace Hall.
The event opened with prayers for all victims of the atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and of the Pacific War, with participants reaffirming their pledge to create a world without war and lasting global peace. After welcoming remarks by Kyushu Youth Division Leader Takashi Hirose, YPC representatives reported on recent activities in their areas. Young Women's Peace and Culture Conference Chair Erika Aoki spoke, followed by YPC Chair Hironobu Horii, who called on participants to rededicate themselves to transforming their society into one that upholds the sanctity of life.
On the same day, Soka Gakkai Nagasaki sponsored a lecture by Professor Shunichi Yamashita of the Atomic Bomb Disease Institute, Nagasaki University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Himself a second generation victim of atomic bombing fallout, Dr. Yamashita treats hibakusha patients -- atomic bomb victims -- and conducts research on radiation-associated diseases. In his lecture, Dr. Yamashita spoke about treating victims of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster and the research he has conducted on the health of nuclear accident victims. He underscored the importance of young people sharing with others the experiences they have heard from atomic bomb victims and taking personal responsibility for establishing a peaceful world.
[Adapted from an article in the August 5, 2007 issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]