Our History

Securing Lasting Peace

September marks the anniversary of second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda's landmark speech on nuclear abolition.


Great mission—On Sept. 8, 1957, second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda called for the abolition of nuclear weapons, entrusting the Soka Gakkai youth with the mission to rid the world of misery. Photo: Seikyo Press.
Great mission—On Sept. 8, 1957, second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda called for the abolition of nuclear weapons, entrusting the Soka Gakkai youth with the mission to rid the world of misery. Photo: Seikyo Press.

On Sept. 8, 1957, less than a year before his death, second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda delivered a landmark speech condemning nuclear weapons as an absolute evil and calling for their total elimination.

Addressing 50,000 youth at Mitsuzawa Stadium in Yokohama, Japan, he declared that day: “Although a movement calling for a ban on the testing of atomic or nuclear weapons has arisen around the world, it is my wish to go further, to attack the problem at its root. I want to expose and rip out the claws that lie hidden in the very depths of such weapons” (Sept. 7, 2007, World Tribune, p. 6). President Toda wanted to communicate to the youth that a religious sense of purpose could not be fulfilled in isolation but must be part of a larger social and human mission. As such, he entrusted them with the responsibility to lead the nuclear abolition movement, while establishing a society where people value the supreme dignity of life.

In a message marking the 50th anniversary of President Toda’s declaration, SGI President Ikeda wrote: “Today, many people have given up on the possibility of nuclear abolition. But peace is always a competition between resignation and hope” (Sept. 28, 2007, World Tribune, p. 2).

See September 2016 Living Buddhism for more information on the history and spirit behind SGI’s stance on nuclear disarmament.

 

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