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Japanese Buddhist Peacebuilder Urges G7 Leaders to Move toward "No First Use" of Nuclear Weapons at Hiroshima Summit

Japanese Buddhist Peacebuilder Urges G7 Leaders to Move toward "No First Use" of Nuclear Weapons at Hiroshima Summit

TOKYO, April 27, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- On April 27, 2023, Buddhist philosopher and peacebuilder Daisaku Ikeda, president of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI), issued a statement calling on the leaders of the G7 countries meeting in Hiroshima from May 19-21 to take bold steps toward resolving the conflict in Ukraine and guarantee the security of all humanity by taking the lead in discussions on pledges of No First Use of nuclear weapons.

Ikeda, an ardent proponent of nuclear weapons abolition since the 1960s, sees the G7 Summit in Hiroshima as a chance to build on the unwavering activism of the hibakusha -- survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombings -- and their determination that the tragic impacts of nuclear weapons never be experienced again.

He states: "As the G7 leaders revisit the actual consequences of a nuclear weapon detonation and the bitter lessons of the nuclear era, I urge that they initiate earnest deliberations on making pledges of No First Use so that their shared recognition of the inadmissible nature of nuclear weapons can find expression in changed policies."

He warns that with the taboo against the use of nuclear weapons being eroded among the nuclear-weapon states, and frameworks for managing and reducing nuclear arsenals verging on collapse, there has never been a greater need to establish policies of No First Use.

Regarding Ukraine, Ikeda urges that the Hiroshima Summit should provide a "prescription for hope" by working for an immediate cessation of attacks on civilian infrastructure and developing concrete plans for negotiations that will lead to a cessation of hostilities.

He stresses that representatives of civil society, such as physicians and educators who protect people's lives and futures, should join such negotiations as observers.

Ikeda references the work of the physicians from both sides of the Cold War who founded IPPNW (International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War) in the early 1980s and met in Hiroshima under the slogan: "Let us Live Together, Not Die Together." In the same spirit, he concludes with the vital need to shift to a "common security" paradigm for all humankind.

This is the third time in the past year that Ikeda, a veteran advocate for nuclear weapons abolition, has called for No First Use policies. He first pushed for declarations of No First Use in 1975, following visits to prominent leaders and thinkers in all five declared nuclear-weapon states.

Full statement:

The Soka Gakkai is a global community-based Buddhist organization that promotes peace, culture and education. Daisaku Ikeda (1928- ) is president of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI), an international association of the Soka Gakkai and an NGO in consultative status with UN ECOSOC. For over 40 years, Ikeda has authored proposals and statements offering concrete approaches to resolving the complex issues facing humanity.

Ikeda's proposals:

Yuki Kawanaka
International Office of Public Information
Soka Gakkai

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