Welcome to the

President of Soka Gakkai International,

Daisaku Ikeda's

Peace Proposal 1987


The superior human spirit acts as a catalyst evoking good. Manifesting this spirit is the royal road of the hero for peace.

Following is the text of SGI President Daisaku Ikeda’s peace proposal made on the occasion of SGI Day, January 26, in Tokyo. in this speech, he discusses the role and significance of Soka University, Los Angeles and proposes three mottos for the campus.

On the occasion of this twelfth Soka Gakkai International (SGI) Day, I should like to take the opportunity to share with you some of my recent thoughts.

In 1960, twenty-seven years ago, I traveled to the United States on what was to be my first journey in the name of world peace. Fifteen years later, on January 26, 1975, the SGI initiated its pacifist movement by sponsoring the memorable World Peace Conference, held on Guam and attended by representative members from fifty-one nations. I declared 1981 the first year for world kosen-rufu, or the global spreading of faith in true Buddhism. And, working together with fellow SGI members, I have continued my travels toward the attainment of kosen-rufu throughout the world.

Thanks to the unstinting efforts of our members everywhere, we have made astonishing progress. One of my greatest sources of joy is to see how our members contribute to their respective societies as outstanding citizens. The vigorous growth observable in the younger members of many nations points to the bright future awaiting the SGI movement worldwide. It is my profound hope that, in the years to come, all of our members will work together to make further progress and to strive for the happiness and prosperity not only for their own people but for all people:

To open what we can call the second chapter of worldwide kosenrufu, we have designated 1987 the Year of Peace and Community. Our goal is to work as a force for peace in building a firm foundation in all nations for an age that is of the people, by the people and for the people. I intend to devote even more effort to achieving that goal and hope for the cooperation of fellow members all over the world.

Since my first trip to America twenty-seven years ago, I have visited thirty-nine nations including the United States, the Soviet Union and China. My journeys to these nations should not suggest, however, that I have a special affiliation with the super powers. I believe that we may take two approaches to an examination of the future of the world: the deductive approach which entails adopting a global viewpoint in seeking ways and systems of unification for a new world order, and the inductive approach which seeks revitalization of individual nations and the individuals within nations as essential to establish an order that can bring about world peace.

In connection with the deductive approach, for better or worse, the influences of the United States and the Soviet Union are unsurpassed. In the future, through meetings with representatives of various fields and discussions on such themes as peace, culture and education, I hope to do all that I can to exert an influence on these two world powers.

In the early part of next month (February), I intend to travel to the United States and hope to visit the Soviet Union in the middle part of the year. Continuing a series that last year included a discussion with former United States Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, I intend to participate in a dialogue with the noted American intellectual and journalist, Norman Cousins, lecturer at the University of California at Los Angeles. In addition, my dialogue with Rector A. A. Logunov of Moscow State University is scheduled for publication this year. It is tentatively entitled The Third Rainbow Bridge. I have undertaken these dialogues because of my wish to compile and leave as a part of the general intellectual heritage, opinions representing a wide spectrum of human wisdom for the sake of true peace and prosperity. Being unique experiences, the stimulating exchanges I have enjoyed in these discussions have been extremely fruitful for me.

 

Renaissance for the Dignity of Humanity

Now, as only thirteen years remain in this century, the global situation is cause for such great concern that some people speak of a "second fin de siecle." Decades ago, a sense of crisis began to spread regarding the severity of the problems facing the European-style modern scientific civilization. Today we remain in the dark with little hope of the light of dawn. To cite only one instance of the peril we confront, the nuclear arms situation, symbolic of the potential apocalypse modern technology has made possible, shows no sign of turning for the better. The anxiety expressed by Josei Toda, the second president of the Soka Gakkai, in his words, "... hoping always together for peace and constantly threatened by the danger of war," has intensified over the years.

Many commemorative ceremonies are planned to celebrate the bicentennial of the French Revolution in 1989. We hope to cooperate in any way that we can. Thinking of this great event in history recalls the famous passage in the opening of Le Contrat Social (The Social Contract) by Jean Jacques Rousseau: "Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains."

It is necessary to ask ourselves to what extent events like the French Revolution have resolved this contradiction.

Although I do not reject the ideas of progress in history, revolutionary movements in modern times have not fully achieved human liberation or fostered a rich blossoming of human culture. Talk of a "second fin de siecle" is proof of this.

In general, modem revolutions have lacked the momentum to materialize the human rights they claim to have won— at immense costs in blood. True prosperity in our age requires that human rights are not merely promised by a social system, but also that they guarantee the conditions required to live up to the best of human nature.

With this need in view and taking advantage of the good timing offered by my imminent visit to the United States, I should like to consider the sources of the American spirit. An experimental nation populated by peoples from all over the world, the United States represents global society in miniature and foreshadows, for better or worse, the humanity of tomorrow. As a multiracial nation, the United States must face grave problems. But I am less concerned about the negative aspects of this situation and much more interested in the vitality, energy and creativity generated by the assembly, cooperation and competition of different peoples. In spite of difficulties, the very continued existence of America as a land of youthful energy, freedom, democracy and equality offers great hope that a path to global peace can be found.

To understand why this is true, it is necessary to re-examine the sources of American democracy. Echoes of the American Revolution, ringing from the new continent across the sea, detonated revolution in France. But, especially since the loss of confidence experienced by the people of the United States during the Vietnam war, pessimistic opinions that American democracy is fading have gained ground, epitomized by such books as Friendly Fascism by Bertram Gross, honorary professor of the City University of New York.

In my opinion, American democracy is not as shallow as such views suggest. The drastic and dizzying changes that have taken place in American society since the 1950’s reveal great latent vitality. Though its old glory may be gone, American democracy has powers of recovery that must not be underestimated.

Long ago, I stated that "various powers in the world— authority, money, brutality— attempt to violate human dignity. The role of the Soka Gakkai in society is to employ the spirit that wells from the very depths of life to do battle with such powers." By spirit I mean the good that is in humanity and, above all, the power of self-control. Progressive and strong-willed, this spirit is free but cannot degenerate into license since it is always controlled, balanced and self-restrained.

The powers of brutality, authority and money tend to stimulate the evil in humanity. The superior human spirit, on the other hand, acts as a catalyst evoking good. Manifesting this spirit is the royal road of the champion of peace, shining with the dignity of humanity as expressed in these words of Mahatma Gandhi:

"Non-violence is not a cover for cowardice, but it is the supreme virtue of the brave. Exercise of non-violence requires far greater bravery than that of swordsmanship."

The power of the word is the primary weapon of the champion of the spirit. Long described as the single characteristic most clearly differentiating humans from other animals, language has often been the decisive factor in victory. History is filled with bloody battles among peoples enslaved by the powers of brutality, authority and money. But, even in the desolate and barren landscape of conflict and killing, a few instances in which the power of the word has led to victory stand out in isolation. The American Revolution, without which American democracy would have been impossible, is one of the most outstanding examples.

On the eve and in the early stages of all the major modern revolutions—the American, French and the Russian—the word was used to spread the cause. In Ten Days That Shook the World, his outstanding on-the-scene reportage of the Russian Revolution, the American journalist John Reed vividly describes this:

"All Russia was learning to read, and reading— politics, economics, history—because the people wanted to know.... In every city, in most towns, along the front, each political faction had its newspaper— sometimes several. Hundreds of thousands of pamphlets were distributed by thousands of organizations, and poured into the armies, the villages, the factories, the streets. The thirst for education, so long thwarted, burst with the Revolution into a frenzy of expression. From Smolny Institute alone, the first six months, went out every day, tons, car-loads, train-loads of literature, saturating the land. Russia absorbed reading matter like hot sand drinks water, insatiable. And it was not fables, falsified history, diluted religion, and the cheap fiction that corrupts—but social and economic theories, philosophy, the works of Tolstoy, Gogol, Gorky...

Then the Talk, beside which Carlyle’s "flood of French speech" was a mere trickle….."

 

This somewhat long quotation brilliantly describes a vast upsurge of energy among a people newly armed with the word. Something similar occurred in the early stages of the French Revolution. Unfortunately, however, in both instances, that energy was mercilessly suppressed by the violent train of later events. Tyranny and terror ousted and replaced freedom of speech. Silence was enforced on the people, and the spirit was defeated.

 

Fundamental Image of American Democracy

In the case of the American Revolution, the abilities of self-control, balance and self-regulation which I have already called indispensable for the manifestation of the spirit as a force for good resulted in tendencies different from those observable in the French and Russian revolutions.

Something comparable to the increased importance of the word described by Reed that took place in Russia was already seen in the townships and town meetings that characterized the democratic energies of early New England. As the classic analysis by the French historian Alexis de Tocqueville makes clear, populations in townships of from two to three thousand people made possible direct and total participation in politics in circumstances that came close to realizing Rousseau’s later vision of direct democracy. Since each citizen was an independent individual taking part in politics freely and equally, the New England township approximated de Tocqueville’s "school of liberty," Ralph Waldo Emerson’s "people’s school" and was a seed-bed for the cultivation of grassroots democracy. The prototype of the kind of democracy the Americans created on their new continent lives today, deeply rooted in the New England township.

It is important to note that the energy of the township at the time of the American Revolution was directed both toward the present in the form of striving for independence from England, and toward the future in the form of the search for the way to build an independent political order. Energy for the sake of liberation was at the same time constructive. In the tumult of revolutionary times, the energies released can, to one extent or another, become unmanagable and lead to excess. But a number of indications prove that, during the American Revolution, self-regulation and self-control were at work For instance, during the struggle to break from England, all thirteen of the original colonies were writing their own constitutions. The state of Virginia was at the same time drawing up the Virginia Bill of Rights that remains a model of its kind.

My views on the American Revolution are greatly indebted to the labors of Hannah Arendt, the German-born American political philosopher, who has said, "This revolution did not break out but was made by men in common deliberation and on the strength of mutual pledges. The principle which came to light during those fateful years when the foundations were laid— not by the strength of one architect but by the combined power of many— was the interconnected principle of mutual promise and common deliberation."

Many people today speak of legal controls permeating— whether for better or worse is another issue— all corners of American society. I suspect that resort to control of this kind is more than a mere expedient for uniting peoples of various racial backgrounds and cultural traditions. The roots of a tendency to legal control can be traced to the Pilgrim Fathers, who demonstrated an awareness of the need for law and order by signing the Mayflower Compact, something similar to a modern contract, before landing at Plymouth in 1620. I believe that the American devotion to law in the form of a constitution was generated by the Americans themselves, without external influence, during the period in which the basic blueprint of American democracy was being formed.

Nichiren Daishonin, founder of the Buddhism on which the SGI is based, said that one person serves as an example of ‘all; meaning that all sentient beings should be regarded as equal. In expanded form, however, the principle behind this statement means that each person, as an individual, is related to every other person. As is evident in the words of Thomas Paine, an influential ideologist of the American Revolution, "The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all mankind," this principle of equality describes a fully self- confident universalism.

Up to this point, I have been examining the bright aspects of the American Revolution and democracy. But there are dark aspects, too, which must not be overlooked. Colonization itself was the invasion of the lands of indigenous populations. Under no circumstances can the way in which it was carried out be called fair. Even de Tocqueville, who generally praised American democracy, sensed traces of totalitarian theocracy in the early phase of those same New England townships where freedom of speech flowered. And, of course, everyone has heard of the infamous New England witch hunts of the seventeenth century.

In later American history, too, the spirit of self-control and self-regulation creating order on the basis of consistent freedom of speech and debate, has not always prevailed. Slavery, lynching of black people, and the persecution of new immigrants from different cultures represent reliance, not on the spirit of self-control but on force, the seed of violence. When interpreted as being the "policemen of the world," even Paine’s universalist sense of mission looks self-righteous to other nations. In Aftermath, one of his recent works, Professor John D. Montgomery of Harvard University has sharply criticized "the hubris of universalism," which means "the belief that whatever worked in America was good for the rest of mankind." Even Hannah Arendt, who considered the American Revolution itself a success, felt its heritage had been carried on incorrectly.

This is not, however, to disregard the bright aspect of American democracy, which contains much that is valuable for the building of peace in the twenty-first century. What happens in America, an experimental country of tremendously volcanic energies, is of the greatest importance to the peace of humanity. At this time, when the United States is about to celebrate the bicentennial of its Constitution, I would like to call for a revitalization of the fundamental nature of American democracy.

Support for the United Nations

Because the kind of universalismor messianic liberalism— vividly espoused by Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt was given form as the epochal idea of universal security through creation of an international federation or union, and having commented on the light and dark, the triumphs and frustrations, of American democracy, I should now like to explain my basic attitude toward the United Nations and the reasons for our multifaceted support for that organization.

In the inaugural edition of Soka University Peace Research, I contributed an article entitled, "Peace Guidelines toward the Twenty-First Century," in which I listed six indicators that are important in building lasting peace:

     1. Strict observance of the Japanese Peace Constitution

     2. Earnest consideration of the problems of distribution of wealth as symbolized by discrepancies between conditions in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres    

     3. Stressing the importance of the United Nations and the creation of a system for unification leading to a new world orde

     4. Revitalization of local regions

     5. Education for peace

     6. Respect for the individual.

It is my opinion that, in connection with the search for a new world order, the functions of the United Nations must be amplified and reinforced in its work for security.

Although nothing could be better than the immediate achievement of a truly world-uniting federation or a universal legal system, the hardships and frustrations the world-league movement has faced during its short history clearly show how difficult the goal is to attain. This is why the United Nations is a vital step toward the realization of a longed-for ideal order.

 I fully realize that the idea of the importance of the United Nations is deep-rooted in the international political arena and that some nations are quitting the organization. The refusal of the United States and the United Kingdom to participate further in UNESCO is an indication of this trend. Still, no one has come forth with a plan for anything to take the U.N.’s place. And, if the current trend to abandon it continues, the world will be in danger of relapse into its former state of complete lawlessness.

In a positive light, it is important to applaud the U.N. for having managed to survive, with a membership including most of the world’s nations, for more than forty years. This achievement is all the more praiseworthy when we remember the fate of the short-lived League of Nations. As the prominence of its peace-keeping role indicates, many things have not gone as well as expected. Nonetheless, the U.N.’s continued existence as a forum of discussion, even when opinions are sharply divided, is a source of unimaginably great comfort to the peoples of the world.

Even in terms of peace-keeping the U.N. has made some memorable achievements by taking the initiative for the solutions to such problems as the Soviet blockade of Berlin; the Suez upheaval; the Cuban crisis; and difficulties in Cyprus and the Middle East. I am not the only person who shudders at the thought of what might have happened had there been no United Nations.

Moreover, consideration of the extensive activities of the Economic and Social Council, one of the U.N.’s six major organs in nonpolitical fields, makes it apparent that international society today would be vastly different without the United Nations.

The United Nations Charter itself is of the greatest significance as the foundation on which the organization rests. The roots of this document, which began in 1941 with the Charter of the Atlantic Ocean and became the United Nations Charter in 1945, are diverse. It includes the pacifist thought of Erasmus, Rousseau and Saint-Pierre and, of course, Immanuel Kant’s Perpetual Peace, all of which were fundamental parts of the philosophy of Woodrow Wilson Though during the course of its history the United Nations has often diverged from them, the idealism, humanism and universalism of this Charter represent a crystallization of the peace-loving aspirations and wisdom of a world that has already suffered two global wars and therefore, they are qualities to which we must all return. They should be our guiding stars along the way to the creation of a viable system of global harmony.

 

Shift Toward Humanistic Sovereignty

Blocs and affiliations in the name of the sovereign rights of states are a major hindrance to the United Nations in carrying out its peacekeeping role. The absence of an effective supranational authority makes it difficult to prevent wars from occurring when these sovereign rights, are regarded as absolute. As is frequently said, the veto power granted to the permanent members of the Security Council often, tragically, converts what should be a forum of humanity into an aid of the great powers.

In the past, sovereign states used arms to protect their own interests and therefore considered military establishments vital Once the accepted logic of international law, the scale of warfare in the twentieth century has rendered this attitude completely senseless. In modern warfare, victors and defeated alike must see their resources plundered and their lands ravaged. For this reason, restrictions must be placed on what was formerly the unconditional exercise of sovereign national rights. The idea of an international league or federation to ensure universal security arose from this need.

The appearance of nuclear weapons has brought this need to the present point of urgency. I shall have more to say about the nuclear situation later. At this point, however, I should like to comment that these diabolic weapons’ horrendous powers to kill, maim and destroy have created a set of circumstances in which humanity does not dare use them; thereby making all-out warfare impossible. The nuclear situation establishes a connection between the exercise of sovereign national rights and total annihilation; therefore, we are compelled to transcend national interests in the interests of the whole human race— in other words, to shift from a nationalistic to a humanistic philosophy of sovereignty. Failure to make this change will make the tragedy of global destruction inevitable.

While drastically altering our way of thinking, we must limit the exercise of sovereign national rights and shift to the aegis of a supranational organization. Although I do not insist on the validity of any and all proposals that may be advanced to reach this goal, I do insist that limitations and transfers of sovereign national-state rights must be voluntary, not forced. Attempts at enforcement on a powerful state can lead to war. Similar attempts against a smaller nation can easily invite oppression. In any event compulsion sows the seeds of future calamity.

The fourth of my six guidelines is the re-vitalization of local areas. What is termed local within a nation corresponds with entire ethnic bodies from the inter-national viewpoint In keeping with my guidelines, during the evolution of a new world order, though they may be called upon to resign many of their powers to the supranational organization, these ethnic bodies must undergo a re-vitalization process. In this instance, too, regulations and transfers of sovereign rights must be voluntary. Doing otherwise is tantamount to killing the cow to straighten the horn. Though the task is difficult, the United Nations, which is dedicated to the use of dialogue and persuasion instead of armed force, must abide by this point.

In considering the work of the United Nations, it is important to remember that the sovereign national state, in spite of its current negative image, has both good and bad aspects. The current reputation for belligerence began, at the vanguard of modernization, when Western colonialism and imperialism swept vast parts of the world. During its formative period, the national state was a defensive and self-reliant entity. Consequently, in the search for a systematic structure in the cause of peace, even the enthusiastic Rousseau and Kant were cautious toward infringement on the sovereign rights of national states. Rousseau himself questioned "how far the right of our confederation can be extended without jeopardizing that of sovereignty." After having weighed their merits and demerits, he made a delicate choice intermediate between the league, having little power to effect peace, and the confederate states, running the danger of infringing on national rights.

In order to protect the rights of sovereign states, Kant limited the goal of international unions to peace-keeping. He wrote that "a federate association of states whose sole intention is to eliminate war is the only lawful arrangement which can be reconciled with their freedom."

Clearly, both Rousseau and Kant, who incidentally felt that the sovereign state was not necessarily oppressive and that the interests of the people overlap with those of the state to a considerable extent, regarded it as a defensive, self-reliant body deserving protection.

This image of the national state persists today and has life-and-death importance for the small and medium nations created in Asia and Africa by the falling away of colonial bonds after World War II. For the people of the Third World, the following principles, in the spirit of the first Afro-Asian Conference held in 1954 in Bandung, are much more than relics of the past:

1. Mutual respect of territorial rights

2. Mutual nonaggression

3. Nonintervention in domestic politics

4. Equality and reciprocity

5. Peaceful coexistence.

It is to the credit of the United Nations that, in the period after World War II, the principle of self-determination by the people (the reverse side of the issue of sovereign national state rights) has been advanced in connection with the work of the U.N. Trusteeship Council. In setting limits on state rights, it is essential to make use of such past achievements. This delicate issue, as well as the insistence on voluntary limitation and transfer of sovereign rights, demands a careful, gradual approach

Peace Constitution as a Universal Spirit

In this connection, Japanese diplomacy, conducted on the basis of the nation’s pacifist constitution and consistent support for the United Nations, assumes extraordinary significance.

The preamble of the Japanese constitution demonstrates non-belligerence and goodwill toward all nations in such statements as, "we have determined to preserve our security and existence, trusting in the justice and faith of the peace-loving peoples of the world." That nations should renounce war as a sovereign right, one that has long been considered absolutely essential, is extremely significant. That a nation like Japan that has become an economic giant should limit and transfer this sovereign right legally and in precise terms is of immeasurable importance. The future of the Japanese constitution will determine whether guiding lights shine on the path of growth and development, not only of Japan, but of all human society. In this sense, the Japanese renunciation of war in the Peace Constitution is an experiment of tremendous significance to human history.

When Japan was admitted into the United Nations in 1956, Mamoru Shigemitsu, who was minister of foreign affairs at the time, explained the Japanese determination to contribute to world peace:

  • These sentiments express the firm conviction of the people of Japan—a conviction expressed in the preamble of our Constitution and one which is in complete accord with the purposes and principles set forth in the Charter of the United Nations.
  • Given the times after two global wars which had incited an ardent longing for peace, it is only natural that the supreme law of one nation should be completely and naturally in line with international law as stated in the United Nations Charter. This should, however, only increase the significance of Japan’s determination to respect and protect this open-system constitution in international society. As this significance grows, Japan will represent a breakthrough in strengthening and amplifying the United Nations’ peace-keeping role and serve as a model for the creation of a new world order.

    I am aware that many people debate the extent to which Japan acted with true independence to limit its sovereign rights in the constitution. Nonetheless, two points must be borne firmly in mind. First, no matter what course it followed, the majority of the people of Japan happily accepted the Peace Constitution and, according to various opinion polls, consistently continue to support peace at the present. Second, if the work had been done without relation to the Occupation forces, Japan could never have produced this kind of outstanding, model constitution which supports peace, democracy and human rights. Consequently, the government and people of Japan must spontaneously advance toward actualizing the principles of the constitution and never regress toward the kind of an anachronistic, closed system that spawns ultranationalism.

    Undeniably, at present, the Japan Self-Defense Forces—on whose constitutionality the Japanese Supreme Court evades making a statement—does exist. But, more than specific instances, I am concerned with trends in the great flow of history seen in the broad view. The road that Japan must choose is the way of the bridge-builder, refusing to remain enclosed within a single nation or military bloc and always seeking to make connections with a global order. Instead of always seeking the opinions of the United States on all matters, Japan should take bold, convincing initiatives in multifaceted diplomacy as in the earlier days of our relations with America in the times of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the San Francisco Conference of 1951. The Peace Constitution demands this. The task is not easy. But as Norman Cousins has said, "A consensus in favor of a governed world is not going to take place overnight. But everything begins with advocacy and debate."

    Decade of U.N. Education for World Citizens

    Voluntary concessions in sovereign state rights may be compared with the preparation of the highways in a traffic system without which smooth automotive transportation is impossible. And this in turn is essential to generating popular global support for a peace oriented United Nations.

    Establishing this system will greatly expand mutual, transnational contacts among peoples which are essential for pioneering a new world order. The age of mutual global reliance will be characterized by such international relationships between people, not states.

    The existence of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), among which the SGI is numbered, is symbolic of the upsurge of worldwide "people power." At present about 10,000 NGOs worldwide are said to be working on such issues as the environment human rights and arms reduction. All of them are powerfully inspired by the ideal of furthering the peace, well-being and security of humanity. Approximately 800 of these NGOs participate officially, though in a limited way, in the work of the United Nations. These groups have introduced the voices of the ordinary people into that body’s proceedings. Increased civic influences as a consequence of more extensive participation from such NGOs should renew and revitalize the United Nations. Furthermore, intensifying mutual exchanges among private groups can be expected to cultivate a solidarity transcending national boundaries.

    At present, the authority of such NGOs in the United Nations is minute. Furthermore, there is no well-ordered controlling organization to establish solidarity among them. These factors, plus the tendency that NGOs are developing mostly in advanced nations, create numerous difficulties. But there is no reason to think that international popular opinion can be easily united. Such an undertaking demands the perseverance and patience that "faith can move mountains."

    The problem becomes one of devising ways to cultivate true citizens of the world. In this connection, as a supporter of the Organization, I propose that the United Nations establish a program called a "U.N. Education Decade for World Citizens" and that the decade extend from 1991 until 2001.

    Decade-long programs have precedence in the United Nations: the United Nations Development Decade, which supported growth in developing nations and the United Nations Decade for Women, which supported efforts for the elevation of women’s rights. From the global point of view, it is clear that a program to develop citizens of the world is important now and will become increasingly more important in the twenty-first century.

    When asked his nationality, Socrates is said to have replied that he was not only an Athenian but also a citizen of the world. His remark shows us the kind of philanthropic spirit that, transcending narrow bounds of nation, race and region, regards the whole world as home. This attitude should be at the heart of world citizen education.

    In more concrete terms, this course of education must include such currently vital problems as environment, development peace and human rights.

    Education for peace should reveal the cruelty of war, emphasize the threat of nuclear weapons, and insist on the importance of arms reduction. Education for development must deal with the eradication of hunger and poverty and should devote attention to establishing a system of economic welfare for the approximately 500 million people who suffer from malnutrition today and to the two-thirds of the nations in the world that are impoverished. Harmony between humanity and nature should be the theme of education in relation to the environment. It is important to bring the most serious consideration to the extent to which nuclear explosions harm the ecosystem. Learning to respect the dignity of the individual must be the cornerstone of education in relation to human rights. In all four of these essential categories, education must go beyond national boundaries and seek values applicable to all humanity.

    Furthermore, to make possible the attainment of the paramount goal of peace for humankind, all four must be interrelated. World citizen education must be inclusive and comprehensive.

    Since these four themes are its central concern, the United Nations must be aware of its pivotal role in a system of education for citizens of the world. Education is always a time-consuming process that demands perseverance. Since it is completely novel, the educational system I envision requires the pooling of a great cross section of human wisdom. To this end, I suggest that research into the concrete details of the decade-long program be entrusted to the United Nations University. Such a theme of study is in accord with the purpose of that institution, which was founded as a university for peace-loving humanity. Studies by experts in peace research centers could be gathered together as part of the world citizen educational curriculum. This too would enable us to benefit greatly from the wisdom of the world. In this connection, I would expect the Soka University Institute of Peace Studies to exert its finest effort.

    Of course it will be necessary to deal with the issue of textbooks for world citizen education. With the cooperation of individuals and groups in several nations, SGI has held the International Textbook Exhibition, which has stimulated demand for books adopting a global viewpoint. An educational system backed up by a complement of textbooks representing the fruits of the world’s best intellectual efforts will stimulate enthusiasm for the world citizen educational program.

    Preparations for the U.N. Education Decade for World Citizens should be made during the four years remaining before 1991. During those years, definite viewpoints and methods must be worked out. Both the United Nations and grassroots level activities on the part of bodies like NGOs should be directed toward publicizing the project’s significance and uniting public opinion behind it. Maximum participation from NGOs is desirable in the forms of research, exhibitions and publications. In the past the Soka Gakkai has already contributed to stimulating awareness of the importance of world peace by means of its anti-war exhibitions and publications (eighty volumes from the youth division and sixteen volumes from the women’s division), several of which have been translated into a number of foreign languages. Such consciousness-raising efforts at the grassroots level can have great significance if linked with the U.N. Education Decade for World Citizens.

    When this system has been completed, the vehicle of voluntary limitation and abrogation of sovereign state rights can proceed smoothly in a way that leads, I am convinced, to a renewed United Nations and, even further, to the structuring of a new world order.

    Pan-Pacific Culture and California

    The latter half of the nineteenth century when Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman were active, witnessed an American renaissance of democratic attitudes and humanism. Now, as we rapidly approach the end of the twentieth century, I call for an American spiritual revival that can make the United States once more the world model for peace and democracy. I believe we should recognize the significance of the Buddhist movement of NSA (Nichiren Shoshu Soka Gakkai of America) in this historical context.

    From my several trips to the United States, I have always felt especially refreshed by my visits to California. I have heard that many people believe a wind of rejuvenation is blowing across the United States from the West. Surely California is the place from where fresh renovation can originate.

    Of course, California is intimately connected with the Pacific. I have frequently discussed the possibility of a Pan-Pacific culture extending beyond politics and economics, encompassing all aspects of human endeavor, and have pointed out that the importance of such a culture will certainly grow with the passing of time. The West Coast of the United States, and especially California, will be vital to that culture.

    In his great classic Moby Dick, Herman Melville includes the following dynamic description of the Pacific by a sailor on a whaling ship that had set out from a fishing harbor on the East Coast of the United States and sailed eastward, passing through the Bashi Channel between Taiwan and the Philippine Islands:

  • To any mediative Magian rover, this serene Pacific, once beheld, must ever after be the sea of his adoption. It rolls the midmost waters of the world, the Indian Ocean and Atlantic being but its arms. The same waves wash the moles of the new-built California towns, but yesterday planted by the recentest race of men and lave the faded but still gorgeous skirts of Asiatic lands, older than Abraham; while all between float milky-ways of coral isles, and low lying endless, unknown Archipelagoes, and impenetrable Japans. Thus this mysterious, divine Pacific zones the world’s whole bulk about makes all coasts one bay to it; seems the tide-beating heart of earth.
  • Establishing a firm blue print for the Pan-Pacific culture is an undertaking as tremendous as the ocean Melville dramatically describes and may take generations to complete. I foresee a future role in that process of unimaginable importance for California, especially since it, like the United States in general, has a multiracial social structure that reflects what world society will probably be like in the coming century.

    Soka University at Los Angeles

    I have visited twenty-eight institutions of higher learning all over the world and have come to the conclusion that the expansive California setting is well-suited to the cultivation of people whose vision is set on the twenty-first century. With the approval and cooperation of many, I have decided to open a branch of Soka University at Los Angeles (SULA). Although much of American intellectual life is undeniably concentrated on the East Coast as many people point out similar development shows every sign of intensifying on the West Coast a region that symbolizes future progress for the entire United States.

    At its founding, I proposed that Soka University in Japan be operated on the basis of three spiritual goals:

            1. Be the highest seat of learning for humanistic education.

            2. Be the cradle for a new culture.

            3 Be the fortress for the peace of mankind.

    Of course, I expect SULA to strive for these same three goals. In addition, however, I hope it will adopt a broader view and contribute to the development of all human society. To that aim, I propose the following three goals for SULA, including in them my own personal hopes for the institution:

  • 1. Be a treasure house of capable people who will shoulder the establishment of world peace.

    2. Be a dynamic force in developing a Pan-Pacific culture.

    3. Be a center of intellect linking East and West.

  • It is my hope that, with the foundation of the spirit of Soka University and these three goals, SULA will eventually grow into a center of wisdom capable of satisfying the needs of the peoples of the world.

    This year marks the 150th anniversary of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s famous Harvard address, "The American Scholar," which, as a virtual declaration of American intellectual independence, praised spiritual self-reliance and provided the initial impetus toward the creation of distinctively American thought and learning. I consider it very significant that this auspicious occasion should coincide with the year of the opening of SULA.

    Solving the present aggregate of global issues demands that we go beyond all regional barriers, pool our wisdom and efforts, and think and act creatively. This demands the establishment of a worldwide intellectual network, of which I hope SULA will be a part.

    Toward that end, I am entertaining the possibility of setting up a research facility on the SULA campus to adopt a scientific and coordinated approach to the solutions of global problems. I have in mind an ‘Institute for Global Solutions," which is not a mere research facility attached to the university but a center where the Soka Gakkai can carry out its social and human mission on a global scale. In addition, the center should be part of a network of research centers, universities and United Nations study facilities from which a strategy for world stability and peace for the twenty-first century can emerge.

    I have already made a number of proposals on different occasions: various concrete plans for the elimination of nuclear weapons, the idea of establishing a "Nuclear War Prevention Center"; a "Universal Declaration Renouncing War"; the idea of setting up a "United Nations of Education"; a "United Nations of Environment"; the founding of an "Association of World Citizens Safeguarding the United Nations"; and, last year, with an eye to the coming age of Asia and the Pacific, the idea of an "Asia-Pacific Organization for Peace and Culture." It is my hope that the research center I have in mind for SULA will work toward the realization of some of these plans and proposals.

    The information, proposals and vision for global peace and stability forthcoming from the center should not be directed to governments alone. Instead, it must work to inspire the citizens of the world to act and to share their wisdom. Consequently, it must be open to the opinions of members from grassroots movements and must always walk together with the people. Today, when the world faces an enormous crisis, cooperation between intellectuals and ordinary people for the creation of a strategy toward global peace is paramount. In order to work out a concrete plan for a research center founded on fresh, new ideas, I propose the formation of an "SGI Vision Committee."

     

     

    Mr. Toda’s Proclamation Against Nuclear Weapons

     

    Nearly thirty years ago, on September 8, 1957, Josei Toda, second president of the Soka Gakkai, made his proclamation against the use of nuclear weapons. Firmly believing that any threat to humanity’s night of survival is diabolic, satanic and monstrous, he declared the use of nuclear weapons to be absolutely evil and entrusted the young men’s and young women’s divisions with the task of carrying out an antinuclear campaign. Mr. Toda considered the use of nuclear weapons diabolic in that they take life and criticized attempts to justify the possession of nuclear weapons from a fundamental Buddhist standpoint.

    In January 1956, the year before Mr. Toda’s anti-nuclear proclamation was made, John Foster Dulles, then United States secretary of state, announced a "brink of war policy permitting the limited use of armament. In May the same year, England conducted nuclear explosion tests. At Bikini, the United States dropped its first hydrogen bomb. Disagreement between the United States and the Soviet Union became increasingly apparent when, in October 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower responded to Soviet Premier Nikolai A. Bulganin’s call for a halt to nuclear testing by declaring it an attempt to interfere in the internal affairs of the United States. In May 1957, the Soviet Union conducted a nuclear test England tested its first hydrogen bomb at Christmas Island. During this period, the United States conducted a series of such tests in Nevada .At the same time, however, the anti-nuclear movement was gaining impetus. The American chemist and pacifist Linus Pauling collected the signatures of 2,000 other American scientists on an appeal for the cessation of nuclear tests. The World Conference of Peace issued the Colombo Appeal calling for the immediate and unconditional halt of nuclear tests. In August, the Soviet Union announced successful testing of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). In December, the United States successfully launched the ICBM Titan. With these developments, the arms race between the two nations gained momentum.

    Against this background of increasing tensions between the East and West camps, Josei Toda perceived that nuclear weapons diabolically threaten the human right to continued existence and insisted on the importance of carrying this message to the whole world. I sense profound reflection and great wisdom in his decision to make his proclamation forbidding nuclear arms his most important final instruction and behest to youth Nuclear weapons are absolutely evil; they are of apocalyptic destructiveness and therefore demand different reactions and ways of thinking from conventional weaponry, with which they cannot—must not—be classed.

    Surprisingly, however, the lethal and destructive powers of nuclear weapons were at the time thought of as qualitatively similar if quantitatively greater than those of conventional weapons and few people heeded this call Even in Japan, the only nation ever to have suffered an atomic bombing, comments about the hydrogen bomb being a "clean" bomb and the importance of nuclear experiments for peace were current. People like Albert Einstein who said, "The release of atomic power has changed everything except our way of thinking," were in the minority. Inherent in the philosophy of Josei Toda was the power to overturn all other ways of thought. This is why, although the peace theories of the ideological left and right have failed to withstand the natural test of time, his proclamation against nuclear arms still freshly and brilliantly shines.

    The American journalist Jonathan Schell said the following about the nature of the threat of extinction posed by nuclear arms.

  • Extinction is more terrible—is the more radical nothingness— because extinction ends death just as surely as it ends birth and life. Death is only death; extinction is the death of death.
  • The deadly and apocalyptic nature of nuclear weapons produces the awesome concept of the "death of death." The wasteland resulting from a full-scale nuclear conflict would be a place where neither death nor nothingness exists, where there is no meaning of any kind. To prevent such a thing from coming to pass, we must repeatedly insist on the vital importance of Josei Toda’s declaration against nuclear arms. On the occasion of this thirtieth year since he made that proclamation, I take the opportunity of reaffirming my belief that we must continue in our effort until his philosophy becomes the prevailing spirit of our epoch

    Since the death of Josei Toda, the Soka Gakkai has carried out his behest at home and overseas by developing an extensive anti-war and anti-nuclear campaign. For example, in September 1974, we sponsored a petition with ten million signatories calling for the abolition of war and nuclear weapons. In January of the following year at the United Nations headquarters in New York I personally delivered the petition to Kurt Waldheim, secretary-general at the time.

    Our anti-nuclear campaign is part of the overall Soka Gakkai drive for a world completely free of all warfare. As I have already mentioned, the youth division and the women’s division have already compiled more than ninety volumes of anti-war publications, parts of which have been issued in English, German, French and Romanian versions.

    On the occasion of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Second Special Session on Disarmament (SSD II), representatives of our organization held an exhibition entitled "Nuclear Arms: Threat to Our World" at the U.N. headquarters. In addition, we have sponsored symposia and discussion meetings among victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Furthermore, I have had my own "Proposal for Disarmament and the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons" hand-carried to Javier Perez de Cuellar, the current secretary-general.

    In coordination with the World Disarmament Campaign decided upon at the SSD II, our youth division, working together with the United Nations and the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, organized a worldwide showing of the exhibit "Nuclear Arms: Threat to Our World," which has had great impact in the many nations where it was shown. Our young people have worked with inspiring enthusiasm in undertaking this task and thus putting into practice Josei Toda’s proclamation against nuclear arms.

    After having been shown at the U.N. headquarters, the exhibition traveled to Geneva, Vienna, Paris, Stockholm, Helsinki Oslo, Bergen, West Berlin, Athens, Belgrade, Zagreb, New Delhi, Montreal and Toronto, giving added impetus to the U.N. International Year of Peace. Last fall, it was shown in Beijing and, in June of this year, it is scheduled for Moscow, the seventeenth city in fourteen nations to have it. Furthermore, we hope to take the exhibition to Southeast Asia at the end of the year.

    The most important goal of such an exhibition is to unite all people in their desire for peace and determination to abolish nuclear weapons. The issue of nuclear arms will determine the fate of all humanity. We cannot afford to idly stand by and leave to the United States and the Soviet Union. The time has come to develop a global network of public opinion directed toward the two superpowers. I hope that the upsurge of public opinion that I envision can be brought some way to bear on the Third Special Session of the General Assembly on Disarmament (SSD III).

     

    Abolition of Nuclear Arms Testing

    As is well known, at the summit meeting at Reykjavik, Iceland, last year, U.S. President Reagan proposed eliminating all strategic nuclear missiles within ten years. Soviet General Secretary Gorbachev proposed the elimination of all nuclear weapons including strategic bombers and so-called cruise missiles. The two leaders approached agreement but failed finally to realize it because of the issue of limitations on the United States Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI).

    Although this turn of events showed the deep-rooted conflicts of opinion over SDI, it also showed the world that the United States and the Soviet Union can come very close to agreeing on the abolition of nuclear weapons. Never since the end of World War II have the top leaders of the two nations come so close to successful disarmament negotiations. Undeniably many obstacles still block the way toward ultimate agreement. Nonetheless, rather than its negative aspects, I am more deeply impressed by the positive perspectives of the Reykjavik meeting.

    I have consistently advocated and still urge an early summit meeting of top leaders for bold discussion to break the current deadlock prevailing between the United States and the Soviet Union. Not only these two nations, but people everywhere hope for such a meeting. I am in agreement with the frequently expressed sentiment to the effect that such a summit would provide an impetus toward peace. If the United States and the Soviet Union were to reach a meaningful arms reduction agreement, the next step would be the convening of a peace summit among all nations possessing nuclear weapons: the United States, the Soviet Union, France, Great Britain, China and India. Such a meeting has long been the desire of all people in the world.

    The current state of affairs permits no easy optimism. After the unsatisfactory conclusion of the Reykjavik meeting, a number of developments have clouded relations between the two nations. The Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty II (SALT II) has been, in effect, abandoned. The Soviet Union has expressed its intention to resume nuclear tests, which it had unilaterally halted. Most gravely, the two nations still entertain a mutual distrust that they find difficult to dispel. But this distrust must be overcome. As John F. Kennedy said in an address delivered at the American University in Washington, D.C., "History teaches us that enmities between nations, as between individuals, do not last forever. However fixed our likes and dislikes may seem, the tide of time and events will often bring surprising changes in the relations between nations and neighbors."

    I agree. We should remember that, not very long ago, a dramatic change suddenly took place in relations between the United States and China, which were formerly believed to be irreconcilable. As ordinary people, we must consistently exert our utmost to remove animosities and in this way work similar changes in international relations. In this sense, not even the immediate elimination of nuclear weapons would solve all problems. The important thing is to strengthen efforts to ease tensions and promote global disarmament in order to turn back the tide of militarization that threatens our world. This would in turn release energies toward the solution of other world pressing problems such as environmental pollution, population explosion, hunger and refugees.

    World arms expenditures continue to increase year by year and currently stand at 900 billion U.S. dollars. It is now widely recognized that the vast sums spent on military establishments have a stifling effect on economic growth. This problem affects not only the United States and the Soviet Union; it shackles the countries of the Third World as well.

    Economic Development through Disarmament

    The strategy of increased military expenditures was used to reduce unemployment and stimulate the economy during the tragic Great Depression of the 1930’s. Military spending in World War II is thought to have been one of the factors that enabled the United States to overcome those hard times. But increased militarization on the part of one nation always sets up a chain reaction which other nations follow. As we know only too well, this in turn can lead to territorial conflicts and even global war.

    The myth that growing military expenditures have a positive effect on the economy still persists. The Vietnam War greatly escalated at a time when the United States’ domestic economy was in recession. But according to many experts, the resulting military spending only depressed the American economy further and caused fiscal deficits.

    Authoritative research organizations have shown that increased military expenditures obstruct wholesome growth of the world economy. The Soka University Institute of Applied Economics headed by Professor Akira Ohnishi has developed a world-economy model. Analyses based on this model have shown the effects of the arms race on the economies of the United States and the Soviet Union and indeed of the world. If we assume that tensions continue to grow when the two superpowers fail to reach agreement on nuclear arms reduction, and that the United States military budget continues at an annual rate of two percent from 1986, the nation’s real gross national product (GNP) will have grown by no more that 0.5 percent by the year 2000. Long-term interest rates will have risen by 3 percent the fiscal deficit will have grown by 7.4 percent and the trade deficit will have risen by 2.4 percent. These are serious negative effects.

    If, on the other hand, progress is made in nuclear arms reduction talks and the United States defense budget is frozen at 1986 levels, a growth in real GNP of 12.9 percent may be expected in the year 2000. These figures, which assume that half of the money that would have been spent for military purposes is directed toward stimulation of the economy and the other half is used for aid to developing nations, show how greatly the U.S. economy would benefit by doing no more than freezing military spending at present levels. Similar calculations show that if the Soviet military budget were frozen at the current level, the nation could expect a growth in real GNP of 9.9 percent in the year 2000. Furthermore, arms reduction would generate funds to enable developing nations to increase their real GNP as well.

    This world model demonstrates that because of the arms race, each year the United States increases its military budget in response to increases in Soviet spending, only to have the Soviet Union meet this with its own build-up. If tensions between the two nations were to be reduced, we could, however, expect a big turn for the better.

    This Soka University model, a highly sophisticated computer simulation of the world economy, was employed by UN Secretary-General Perez de Cuellar in his 1985 report "Outlook for the World Economy in 2000."

    International Year of Disarmament Proposed

    The data from this study clearly reveal that we have reached the point where we must either choose the destructive path of expanding military expenditures or the road to disarmament and an improved way of life for all peoples. Choosing to expand the military establishment with horrendous, lethal nuclear weapons can only lead to economic exhaustion. The people of the United States are already beginning to take a wholesome stand against increased defense budgets. A similar sentiment must exist in the Soviet Union, which suffers from chronic economic malaise. Today, a sense of interdependence is growing stronger among the peoples of the whole world. If all of us join together to advance down the path toward disarmament and a relaxation of international tensions, the outlook for the twenty-first century will be bright

    Four years ago on the occasion of the eighth SGI Day, in a commemorative proposal I called for an international consensus to impose a ceiling on military expenditures, including conventional weapons. I suggested an international conference directed at engineering a freeze on such expenditures. Many industrially advanced nations are exporting large shipments of arms to developing countries on the verge of bankruptcy. To ease further accumulation of debts some sort of regulation must be imposed on weapons exports to these countries. I proposed that this conference be expected to produce an international agreement regarding a freeze on military expenditures as well as a careful study on how best to use funds freed as disarmament progresses. This money should be invested in human welfare to assure a better livelihood for the people, especially in the developing countries. Other meaningful ways to use these funds would be in the promotion of peace and education throughout the world.

    Disarmament and the stability and prosperity of the world economy are themes of the utmost interest to us, as indicated by our using "Disarmament and Development" as one of the three central elements in the exhibition, "Nuclear Arms: Threat to Our World."

    Firmly believing in the inseparability of peace and human rights, we support the work of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and are carrying out our own refugee-relief programs with the Soka Gakkai Youth Peace Conference taking the initiative. We are determined to continue this endeavor in the future. But, at the present time, when it seems likely that the refugee problem might grow even more serious, coordinated development and relief strategies are essential, in addition to a global information and early warning system on refugees where such difficulties seem imminent. Converting funds spent on armaments to this task is the very best way to overcome hunger and poverty in these areas.

    International Youth Exchange Center

    The SSD III is scheduled to be held next year. Looking toward the twenty-first century, we put great hope for a breakthrough in this session. I suggest that to stimulate world support for its efforts, next year be designated an International Year of Disarmament (IYD). And I should like for Japan, with its peace oriented constitution, to take the lead in this.

    SGI members in 115 nations are all working as responsible citizens in their respective lands for the happiness of humanity and the peace and prosperity of the world. I have traveled to many countries and have conversed with people from all social echelons in hope of building a solidarity that transcends national states and ideologies, and creating solid bonds of trust among people. This is the foundation for attaining our goal of a peaceful society free of all conflict. In the years to come, I hope to enjoy many lively exchanges with the young people of the world who are its future. Among the many activities that SGI has conducted to stimulate exchanges among peoples, the annual World Peace Youth Culture Festival represents a reaffirmation of our vow for a world free of war and is symbolic of SGI activities in general.

    The sight of large numbers of exuberant young people taking part in this festival has suggested to me the idea of forming what might be called an "International Youth Exchange Center." Japan should take the lead in this undertaking. The center would be a place where young people could gather, share the same roof for a while, and study each other’s history and culture. At present the China-Japan Youth Exchange Center is being built in China. But I see a need to expand and amplify this idea further to create a home base for grassroots exchanges of young people everywhere, since this would make an immeasurable contribution to lasting peace.

    At the end of last year, I had an opportunity to meet and talk with Dr. John Galtung, the world authority on peace studies, who talks often of "structural violence." We found that we agreed on many points, and he expressed the greatest hopes for Buddhism, especially our movement, in connection with the building of lasting peace. One of his recent dissertations contains the following passage:

  • Buddhism has a tremendous potential as a source for active peace politics, to a large extent untapped. But Buddhism has to be revived and kept alive in order to escape the corruptive influences of a world replete with direct and structural violence.    

    All over the world there are efforts to build more peace-like structures—but they are often missing in ethos. Buddhism is such an ethos perhaps in search of a concrete structure.

  • Undeniably, Buddhism, and especially the Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin—the essence of Mahayana— in which we put our faith, has historically remained largely untapped and thus represents an enormous potential Because it has remained unsullied by the corruptive influences of history, we who believe in it must constantly concern ourselves with ways of contributing to lasting peace. The United States is not the only place facing the need to revive its spirit. The world is indeed replete with what Dr. Galtung calls "corruptive influences" and "structural violence." The only way to deal with these forces is to call on the spirit welling up from the depths of the universal life-force and to create bonds of spiritual affinity extending to all the peoples for the world.

    January 26th 1987

    Copyright 1987 by Soka Gakkai

    All rights reserved


    Each year since 1983, Soka Gakkai International (SGI) President Daisaku Ikeda presents peace proposals on behalf of the international lay Buddhist organization, to which Soka Gakkai belongs. In them, he articulates Buddhist ideals and philosophy as a framework for addressing the manifold problems our global society faces in its efforts to realize human security and world peace.


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