Peace and Disarmament
Survey of Youth Awareness of Peace and Nuclear Weapons
With the issues of nuclear disarmament and nuclear power under scrutiny around the world, the Soka Gakkai Women's Peace and Culture Conference conducted a survey on youth awareness of peace and nuclear weapons in January and February. In total, 1,309 people from age 10 to 30 participated.
Survey results showed that 82% of people responded that they thought hearing personal accounts of war or of the effects of an atomic bomb detonation might change people's attitudes toward nuclear weapons; 80% of the people who have not heard personal accounts of war said they were willing to listen to such accounts if they were given the opportunity.
Asked whether nuclear weapons are necessary, 14% of teenagers responded that they are, and compared to people from other generations, more teenagers tended to respond that abolishing nuclear weapons is impossible or that nuclear weapons should not be abolished.
To the question “As a citizen of Japan, the only country that experienced the atomic bomb, would you like leaders of both nuclear and non-nuclear states to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki?” 86% answered “Yes.”
Another question asked was “Who do you think is the most influential in shaping the world's public opinion on nuclear weapons?” Many selected “state leaders” and/or “international organizations,” but, 44% answered “citizens.” Of those asked in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 51% said “citizens.”
Compared to survey results from 2005, 6% more people (68% people in total) responded saying that they do not accept the use of nuclear weapons, and 18% more (49%) said they believed nuclear weapons should be abolished.
Soka Gakkai youth have also been working toward raising awareness among youth of the need to abolish nuclear weapons toward the target date of 2015--the 70th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II.
[Adapted from a report from SGI Office of Public Information (SGI-OPI), photo courtesy of Seikyo Shimbun]