Buddhist Youth Meet in Hiroshima, Call for World Youth Summit for Abolition of Nuclear Weapons



Hiroshima, Sep 8, 2014: On September 7, Buddhist association Soka Gakkai International (SGI) held a Youth Conference for Peace at the International Conference Center Hiroshima. Over 100 young people from 16 countries, including the US, the UK and India, listened to survivors of the atomic bombing and pooled ideas on ways forward in the challenge to abolish nuclear weapons.

A peace declaration was unanimously adopted by those present. It includes the following pledges: not to tolerate the development, testing, production, stockpiling, transfer, use or threat of use of nuclear weapons; to work towards the convening of a World Youth Summit for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons in Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the earliest opportunity; to confront the mindset that justifies nuclear weapons and the sense of powerlessness that hinders progress towards their abolition, and to actively engage in dialogue for peace. Read the declaration here.

Results of a survey by the student division of Soka Gakkai in four regions of Japan in July and August of 2014, interviewing 6,000 students from 380 universities, were also announced.

related article International Survey by SGI Youth Shows 91% Consider Nuclear Weapons Inhumane On April 23, the results of an international survey on attitudes towards nuclear weapons carried out by youth members of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI) Buddhist group were released at the UN Office at Geneva (UNOG) during the Second Session of the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) for the 2015 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference. Asked to specify the exact dates of the atomic bombings in 1945, only 57.6% of respondents gave the correct date for Hiroshima (August 6), and 55.5% for Nagasaki (August 9). 73.3% of respondents categorically oppose the existence of nuclear weapons, while 84.3% think there is some possibility that they will be used. Asked if they are involved in promoting peace, 21% said that they were, and a further 69.3% said they would like to become engaged. Read full results here.

Soka Gakkai Student Division Leader Daisuke Tomoe commented, “With the advancing age of atomic bomb survivors, there is an urgent need to pass on knowledge and the spirit of activism for peace to younger generations.”

Soka Gakkai youth members are also currently gathering signatures throughout Japan on a “Nuclear Zero” petition calling on the nuclear armed nations to work in good faith toward disarmament.

Soka Gakkai’s history of activism toward the abolition of nuclear weapons dates back to September 8, 1957, when second president Josei Toda made a declaration calling them an “absolute evil” and urged youth to work for their abolition.

Source: Soka Gakkai International (SGI)

SGI Contact: Joan Anderson

Office of Public Information
Soka Gakkai International
Tel: +81-80-5957-4711
Fax: +81-3-5360-9885
Email: janderson[at]sgi.gr.jp

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