Peace and Disarmament
SGI Youth in Eight Countries Conduct Survey on Nuclear Abolition
From January to March 2010, youth members of SGI in eight countries conducted surveys of their peers’ attitudes toward nuclear weapons and their abolition in advance of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference (from May 3-28) in New York.
A total of 4,475 interview surveys were conducted of people from their teens through 30s in Brazil, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, the Philippines, South Africa, the UK and the USA.
Asked whether the presence of nuclear weapons contributes to global peace and stability, 59.1 percent of respondents, including those from the nuclear states, said no.
Further, 67.3 percent said the use of nuclear weapons was not acceptable under any circumstances, with only 17.6 percent seeing it as acceptable as a last resort if a country’s survival was threatened and 6.0 percent to prevent international terrorism or genocide.
A total of 59.0 percent said they would feel safer if nuclear weapons were abolished.
Soka Gakkai student group leader Takahisa Miyao, the survey organizer, comments:
“Almost 70 percent of respondents said the use of nuclear weapons was not acceptable under any circumstances. This is encouraging for us. Building on the widespread rejection of nuclear weapons by youth is key to efforts toward their abolition.”
On May 11, the survey results were presented to Ambassador Leslie Gatan, adviser to the president of the NPT Review Conference, and UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Sergio Duarte at the SGI-USA Culture Center in New York City, together with a petition of 2,276,167 signatures from youth calling for the adoption of a Nuclear Weapons Convention.
NB: Initially, results from six countries—Japan, Korea, New Zealand, the Philippines, the UK and the USA —were announced, with results from smaller surveys carried out in Brazil and South Africa added later to create an eight-country survey.
To see the full survey results, click here.
[Adapted from a report from the SGI Office of Public Information; photo courtesy of the SGI Office of Public Information]