“I have no choice. I am a Buddhist. The social mission of a Buddhist practitioner is to work for world peace and the happiness of all people. Whatever happens, I must act with firm resolve! History will prove whether I am right.”The New Human Revolution, vol. 13, p. 33. —SGI President Ikeda
Second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda often shared his belief that China would one day play a major role in the world and that harmonious ties between Japan and China would be important for global peace. Inspired by his mentor’s conviction, SGI President Ikeda first proposed the normalization of relations between China and Japan on September 8, 1968.
Despite harsh opposition in Japan, he traveled to China in May 1974 to build inroads through cultural and educational exchange. He has since worked tirelessly, across decades, to foster friendship between the two countries.
History has borne out President Ikeda’s role as a citizen diplomat in restoring ties between China and Japan. In the following excerpt from volume 13 of The New Human Revolution, President Ikeda speaks to student division members about the fundamental spirit of the Soka Gakkai as well as the reason for his proposal.
True Diplomatic Relations Begin With Connections Between Human Beings
“The practice and struggle of we who uphold Nichiren Daishonin’s important philosophy constitute the sure path to break down the strongholds of authoritarianism and bring an end to the continuous nightmare that has been the history of the human race for millennia . . .
“I hope that, when you become leaders of society, the youth of Japan and China will be able to work together in harmony and friendship to build a bright new world. I wish to declare that the day when all the peoples of Asia, centered around the Japanese and Chinese, come to aid and protect one another, will be the day when the presently looming dark clouds of poverty and the brutality of war will lift, and the sun of hope and happiness will at last shine its rays upon all of Asia . . .
“I am not by any means a supporter of communism. I simply wish to stress that in the current global situation, it is crucial for us to get along with every other nation, for the sake of peace in Asia and the rest of the world. In today’s nuclear age, it is no exaggeration to say that whether humanity will be saved from total annihilation rests entirely on whether ties of friendship that transcend national boundaries can be forged. I want it to be known that this single point is my reason for discussing Japan’s relations with China. Until this issue is resolved, the aftermath of World War II cannot really be said to be finished for Japan.”Ibid., pp. 49; 51.
Notes [ + ]
|1.||↑||The New Human Revolution, vol. 13, p. 33.|
|2.||↑||Ibid., pp. 49; 51.|