Peace and Disarmament
Soka Gakkai Members in Nagasaki Mark Anniversary of Atomic Bombings, Hold Youth Peace Forum
On August 8, Soka Gakkai youth members in Nagasaki held a peace forum at the Soka Gakkai Nagasaki Peace Center. Guest speaker Kathleen Sullivan emphasized that the movement toward abolishing nuclear weapons will advance when each individual considers the threat of nuclear weapons relevant to their own lives and takes action to this end. Dr. Sullivan is program director of “Hibakusha Stories,” an arts-based initiative that brings hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors) into New York City High Schools to share their testimonies, and creator of a documentary about hibakusha from Nagasaki titled The Last Atomic Bomb. After her speech, Dr. Sullivan held a discussion session with the youth on the horrors of nuclear weapons.
On August 9, in commemoration of the 67th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a service in tribute to war victims was conducted at the Soka Gakkai Nagasaki Peace Center. The service brought together those affected by the bombings including hibakusha, bereaved families and descendants of the victims. Prayers were offered for the repose of all victims of atomic bombings, nuclear tests and nuclear-related accidents.
In his speech at the service, Soka Gakkai member Kuniyoshi Miura described his experience of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. At the time, Miura, then six years old, was at his home four kilometers from the epicenter. The scenes he witnessed were, in his words, a "living hell." He expressed his determination to continue to talk about the horrors and reality of nuclear weapon use and, informed by his experience as a hibakusha and his Buddhist practice, to uphold the dignity of human life.
Soka Gakkai Nagasaki Leader Hiroshi Nakamura and Kyushu Leader Koji Niina encouraged participants to take the initiative and to dedicate their lives to abolishing nuclear weapons toward 2015, the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
From August 10-11, in conjunction with the “Global Forum on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Education,” held at the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum and sponsored by the United Nations University, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and Nagasaki City, the Soka Gakkai Youth Peace Committee displayed an exhibition calling for a nuclear-free world and highlighting SGI President Daisaku Ikeda's proposal for a 2015 Nuclear Abolition Summit to be held in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
[Adapted from articles in the August 10-11, 2012, issues of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photos courtesy of Seikyo Shimbun]