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Statement on the Ukraine Crisis and No First Use of Nuclear Weapons

Photo by Bob Krist / Getty Images.

TOKYO—On Jan. 11, 2023, peace builder and Buddhist leader Daisaku Ikeda, president of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI), issued a statement decrying the cruelty and misery of war, calling for action aimed at restoring peace in Ukraine and steps to lessen the risk of the use of nuclear weapons.

Mr. Ikeda, 95, calls for the urgent holding of a meeting under U.N. auspices among the foreign ministers of Russia, Ukraine and other key countries to reach agreement on a cessation of hostilities. With the risk of nuclear weapons use at its highest since the Cold War, he also urges states to pledge No First Use of nuclear weapons to avoid catastrophe, defuse the climate of mutual fear and promote nuclear disarmament.

Mr. Ikeda made a similar call to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference in August 2022, where the SGI co-hosted an event promoting the adoption of No First Use policies. Commitment to No First Use in South Asia was also explored at a recent workshop held by the Toda Peace Institute founded by Mr. Ikeda.

Mr. Ikeda observes, “Having experienced first-hand the terror of teetering on the brink of nuclear war [during the Cold War], the people of that time brought forth historic powers of imagination and creativity,” resulting in groundbreaking initiatives such as the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. He urges that all countries and peoples must come together to once again unleash such creative powers. 

He calls for action that harnesses the synergistic effects of the NPT and the TPNW (Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons) toward the realization of a world free from nuclear weapons.

—Adapted from a report by the SGI’s Office of Public Information 

Jan.20, 2023, World Tribune, p. 4

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