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Daisaku Ikeda, Veteran Advocate, Urges G7 Leaders to Move Toward No First Use of Nuclear Weapons

View Of Cherry Blossom Tree With Atomic Bomb Dome Building. Photo by Lorna Nakashima / EyeEm / Getty Images.

The following was adapted from 

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

Mr. 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.

“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 writes.

In the statement, Mr. Ikeda warns that with the taboo against the use of nuclear weapons eroding 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, Mr. 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 an end 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.

Mr. Ikeda references the work of physicians from both sides of the Cold War who founded International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) in the early 1980s and met in Hiroshima under the slogan: “Let’s 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 Mr. 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.

Click here for the full statement.

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

May 3, 2023, World Tribune, p. 4

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