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Back to listApr 28, 2010

Youth Reject Nuclear Weapons, SGI Survey Shows

TOKYO, Apr. 28: From January to March 2010, youth members of Soka Gakkai International (SGI) in six countries conducted surveys of their peers' attitudes toward nuclear weapons and their abolition in advance of the upcoming NPT Review Conference.

A total of 4,362 interview surveys were conducted of people from their teens through 30s in Japan, Korea, the Philippines, New Zealand, the USA and the UK.

Asked whether the presence of nuclear weapons contributes to global peace and stability, 59.6% of respondents, including those from the nuclear states, said no.

Further, 67.3% said the use of nuclear weapons was not acceptable under any circumstances, with only 17.5% seeing it as acceptable as a last resort if a country's survival was threatened and 6.1% to prevent international terrorism or genocide.

A total of 59.1% said they would feel safer if nuclear weapons were abolished.

Asked which countries possess nuclear weapons, 66.9% of the respondents identified the USA, 48.7% said Russia, 30% China, 19.8% the UK and 19.8% France. Fewer respondents were aware of the nuclear weapons possessed by India, Pakistan and Israel, while 40.7% thought North Korea had them.

Within the nuclear states, just 59.2% of US respondents were aware that their country possessed nuclear weapons, and only 43.2% of UK respondents were aware of their country's possession.

Soka Gakkai student group leader Takahisa Miyao, the survey organizer, comments:

"Almost 70% 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."

Between January and March 2010, Soka Gakkai youth members in Japan collected 2,276,167 signatures on a petition calling for the adoption of a Nuclear Weapons Convention which would prohibit the development, testing, production, stockpiling, transfer, use and threat of nuclear weapons.

Soka Gakkai International is a Buddhist association with 12 million members in 192 countries and territories. It has a 50 year-record of activities to promote peace and disarmament. In 2007, SGI launched the People's Decade for Nuclear Abolition, offering a range of educational tools. See www.peoplesdecade.org

 

Source: Soka Gakkai International

Contact: Joan Anderson
Office of Public Information
Soka Gakkai International
Tel: +81-3-5360-9482
Fax: +81-3-5360-9885
URL: www.sgi.org
E-mail: janderson[at]sgi.gr.jp