Peace is founded on free dialogues ―in other words, respect of human rights.
The calligraphy of “Soka University” that is raised high above the main gate of our university is that of Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, “The Father of Soka Education” who passed away in prison under military suppression for his unflinching belief in dialogue and the victory of education and human rights. To never succumb under suppression and to speak up on behalf of the people, we firmly believe that these are the very soul of Soka Education.
At present, the Abe government is pushing to enact the security bills, which are regarded as unconstitutional by 90% of constitutional law scholars. We have continued to study with a goal to realize the humanitarian ideals of the University Founder, Dr. Daisaku Ikeda, who himself has succeeded to the human rights struggles of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin L. King Jr.. For those who imbibed these human rights ideals, now is the time to speak up.
As we ground our lives on the ideals of the Founder, Dr. Daisaku Ikeda, we, his students in the Soka academic community, express our opposition to the security bills.
“For what purpose should one cultivate wisdom? May you always ask yourselves this question!” (Founder, Dr. Daisaku Ikeda)
With these words engraved deep in our minds, we vow to uphold the University’s founding ideal, “Be a fortress for the peace of mankind” for our entire lives.
I have been watching recent events in Japan with deep disquiet and dismay.
As someone who has strongly supported the pacifist and anti-nuclear stands of President Ikeda and his mentors, Tsunesaburo Makiguchi and Josei Toda, I am very discomfited by the ways in which SGI, SU and SWU have been willing to collude passively in the reinterpretation of Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution and the remilitarisation of Japan that this has facilitated.
This silent agreement with the LDP does not do justice to the suffering that Makiguchi and Toda endured for their pacifist and anti-nuclear beliefs and quietly subverts many of the very positive peace proposals that SGI has promoted over the years.
The lukewarm apology made by Prime Minister Abe on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the ending of the Second World War and his desire that future Japanese do not have to acknowledge their engagement in past painful history has generated additional tension with Korea and China (two states that President Ikeda has worked closely with in the past in order to promote peaceful co-existence in Northeast Asia).
This is a moment when all those interested in the maintenance of Japan’s postwar pacifist positions and who desire Japan to take a more active role on nuclear disarmament have to draw the line. It is not possible to quietly support the reinterpretation of the Japanese Pacifist Constitution. It simply is not possible to promote a deepening of “extended deterrence” with the United States, and still claim to be pacifist, anti-militarist and anti-nuclear at the same time. The proposed security bills subvert Japan’s, and the SGI’s, pacifist commitments.
As someone who has endorsed SGI and SU stands on these questions in the past I urge all current leaders and members to remind themselves of the courage of past leaders as they dared put their lives on the line in defence of principle instead of succumbing to short term pragmatic political advantage.
I support all of you who wish to remind the leadership of these principled positions in the past so that you might be able to hold your peaceful heads up high in the future.
If there is anything that I can do to help you advance the peace cause please don’t hesitate to let me know how I can be useful.
With warmest best wishes,
Professor Kevin P Clements
Chair and Director, The National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies,
University of Otago, New Zealand Secretary-General, Toda Institute for Global Peace and Policy Research Past President and Past Secretary-General, International Peace Research
Association Past Secretary-General , The Asia Pacific Peace Research Association.
Remembering the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
that ended World War II on August 14, 1945
Jose V. Abueva
On August 9 the Japanese commemorated the atomic/nuclear bombing by the U.S. Air Force of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945: Hiroshima on August 6 and Nagasaki on August 9. Some 200,000 would die from the bombing and the two cities were pulverized. This forced Japan to surrender to the United States on August 14, 1945 and end World War II. This of course ended the Japanese occupation of the Philippines.
As Nagasaki marked 70 years since its atomic bombing, representatives from 75 countries were present. Speeches by a bombing survivor and Nagasaki's mayor both criticized Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for his plans to loosen the restrictions on what Japan's military can do if the Japanese “Peace Constitution” were amended.
Nagasaki mayor Tomihisa Taue then delivered a peace declaration to the ceremony. He said there was "widespread unease" about Prime Minister Abe’s legislation that will alter the constitutional requirement limiting Japan's military to self defense. Sixty percent of the Japanese are against changing the pacifist Japanese Constitution.
Countless people in Korea, Taiwan, China, and Southeast Asia who were victimized by Japanese aggression and occupation remember how they suffered so much under brutal Japanese rule.
A note on a family tragedy and reconciliation. During World War II and the Japanese occupation, our parents in Bohol refused to surrender and collaborate with the Japanese. Instead they both served in the underground government of Bohol. When General MacArthur’s liberation forces were to land in Leyte in 1944, Japanese soldiers arrested my parents in a guerrilla mountain hideout. Papa and Mama were imprisoned, tortured, and then executed on October 22, 1944. Seven of us children were orphans when the war ended.
Ironically, 30 years later, from 1977 to 1987, I worked for the United Nations University (UNU) in Tokyo and was reconciled with the Japanese as a peaceful nation. Coincidentally, Pope John Paul II was a guest lecturer of the UNU in Hiroshima where my wife and I met the Pope. He raised me as I knelt and kissed his hand and blessed me: “God love your family.”
No more nuclear weapons, nuclear wars. In his address to the ceremony in Nagasaki, Prime Minister Abe said Japan remained "determined to pursue a world without nuclear weapons." In his statement read out for him, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said: "Nagasaki must be the last-- we cannot allow any future use of nuclear weapons. The humanitarian consequences are too great. No more Nagasakis. No more Hiroshimas!"
I’d like to share my views on peace and “nonkilling” in the Philippines and globally.
The Indivisible Peace We Seek
In unity with our people and all humankind
we seek a just and enduring peace
law and order and mutual tolerance
at home and around the world.
We want an end to killing and maiming
because of greed or creed, class or tribe; where
the poor are weak and the strong aren’t just,
or for whatever reason or senselessness.
But the peace we seek is much more than
the absence of lethal force and physical violence.
It is “a nonkilling world” devoid of threats to kill
torture, destroy, impoverish, and humiliate.
It is the tranquil fruit of freedom,
social justice and human development
"under the rule of law, truth and love" for
one another, says our Constitution.
It is a state of society
marked by respect and reverence for
the life and rights of every human being,
and learning from various religions and cultures.
It is the positive feeling people have
about the people’s safety and security
as individuals and as members
of their communities, “local to global.”
It is the gratifying feeling of being
in harmony with one's self, with
fellow men, women and children,
with nature, and with God.
And the empowering feeling of
solidarity and cooperation with family,
neighbor and nation, region
With God's grace, this is the peace we seek
in our time and in the future as the caring,
sharing and democratic nation and world
we hope and want to become.
Globally, violent conflicts may have worsened and the menace of nuclear war remains. In my studies I came upon the results of theGlobal Index of Peace in 2010 by the Institute for Economics and Peace in Australia. The Index ranked 149 countries from the most peaceful to the least peaceful.
Remarkably, Japan was ranked the third most peaceful country in the whole world.
The Global Index of Peace reported that the six most peaceful countries were: (1) New Zealand, (2) Iceland, (3) Japan, (4) Austria, (5) Norway, and (6) Ireland.
The Global Peace Index for 2010 ranked the Philippines very low in peacefulness (130), or close to the bottom among the 149 countries surveyed. In other words, the Philippines was the 130th least peaceful country, or the 19th most violent in the world.
2015 Global Index of Peace. As observed, the South China Sea remains a potential area for conflict, with countries involved in the dispute (China, the Philippines, Vietnam, etc.) all showing a worsening of their scores in the 2015 Index. Although the likelihood of further military skirmishes in the West Philippine Sea is high, a large-scale military engagement remains unlikely. Because of our conflicts in Mindanao the Philippines ranked 141 in peacefulness in the world. North Korea ranked 153rd.
OPEN LETTER TO THE SOKA ACADEMY--SACAUSB
I fully support your action and general position. The bills are unconstitutional, not only violating Article 9 both paras but destroying the whole base on which they are founded, setting Japan back 70 years.
I am deeply disappointed that the Komei party--presumably a party of peace--supports a bill for a coalition with the most belligerent state in the present world under the false heading of "collective self-defense".
This will lead to a dangerous arms race, easily leading to war and involve Japan in wars not of their own choice together with the most belligerent country in the world. Instead Japan in general, and Komei, and Soka Gakkai, academics and all, should help solving the underlying conflicts, create real positive peace with it neighbors in Northeast Asia, maybe a Northeast Asia Community.
I appeal to my old friend Daisaku Ikeda with whom I co-authored a book on peace.translated into many languages to help guide Soka Gakkai and the Komei party currently in a coalition with the belligerent LDP, to navigate these difficult waters, with a clear course away from devastating wars solving nothing toward conflict solution, reconciliation and an A9 inspired Peace Umbrella for Northeast Asia.
Johan Galtung, Founder, Transcend International, a peace, development,environment network
ー David Krieger ー
（President of Nuclear Age Peace Foundation）
I understand that your concern and that of a large majority of Japanese citizens lies with legislation being pursued by Prime Minister Abe that seeks to reinterpret or change Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, making it possible for Japan to participate in warfare.
I join you in sharing the desire to maintain Japan's Peace Constitution, which does not allow for Japan to engage in warfare. Japan's commitment to its Peace Constitution since World War II makes it a great nation and a global leader for Peace in the 21st century.
The way forward, as Daisaku Ikeda has shown, is through dialogue and diplomacy. Such is the way of Peace. I stand with Daisaku Ikeda and all of you who stand for Peace and oppose changing or diluting Japan's commitment to Peace, now and forever. Peace is an ideal worthy of our commitment.