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Seikyo Shimbun Highlights for October 30, 2020

October 30, 2020
Seikyo Shimbun is a Soka Gakkai daily newspaper

Seikyo Shimbun – Highlights 

First Community Center Opens in Quito, Ecuador

On October 4, the opening ceremony of the first SGI-Ecuador center was broadcast live to members across the country. Since 1983, when the first district was formed, the organization has grown and now has seven districts. 

SGI Cohosts Online Disarmament Forum 

From October 19 to 21, the SGI and the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots cohosted an online Humanitarian Disarmament Forum. Some 100 experts and activists discussed disarmament from the perspective of race and intersectionality. Hayley Ramsay-Jones and Anna Ikeda of the SGI Office for UN Affairs helped organize the event.  

SGI Signs Joint Statements on Disarmament, Human Rights, Gender Equality and Sustainable Development 

In advance of the 75th Anniversary of the UN on October 24, SGI participated in 11 joint statements, including the 2020 Joint Civil Society Statement on Youth Engagement and Peace, Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Education, the CSW65 Statement: Women as Leaders, Decision Makers and Participants in Public Life and the 2020 Faith Call to Action for the UN Biodiversity Summit

Former UN Under-Secretary-General Anwarul Chowdhury Commends Contributions to the Culture of Peace 

On October 24, marking the 75th anniversary of the UN, former UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury gave an interview to the Seikyo Shimbun on the history of the UN, SGI President Ikeda’s contributions to the UN and SGI’s peace activities. Ambassador Chowdhury commended SGI President Ikeda for his annual peace proposals and recognized that grassroots movements like the SGI are the main driving force to spread the culture of peace. He urged members to realize SGI President Ikeda’s ideals in their daily lives and to promote the culture of peace, women’s equality and involvement of young people. 

SGI Issues Statement on the Ratification of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons by 50 States 

On October 25, SGI issued a statement to commemorate the 50th ratification of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) on October 24, 2020, UN Day, by Honduras, in the name of Director General for Peace and Global Issues Hirotsugu Terasaki. The statement asserts: “The entry into force of the TPNW establishes the fundamental norm that nuclear weapons are subject to comprehensive prohibition. This has a profound historical significance.” 

Soka Gakkai Mexico and the COVID-19 Pandemic 

On October 26, General Director of Soka Gakkai Mexico Nereo Ordaz Anzurez gave an interview in the Seikyo Shimbun about the organization’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The organization has held more than 2,000 online meetings, including weekly cultural events where members can sing, play musical instruments and read poems. The organization also creates videos on various topics for future division members and their friends four times a week. Individual members are supporting their local communities through their work, including one who runs a company that produces masks and disinfectants contributing products to hospitals and a lawyer giving free consultations to those facing difficulties.  

“Awakening a Great Revival of Our Humanity” Published in Bulgarian 

On October 27, the Seikyo Shimbun reported that the second dialogue between SGI President Ikeda and Professor Axinia Djourova, former director of the Center for Slavo-Byzantine Studies at Sofia University, has been published in Bulgarian. The publication was reported in a major newspaper and on Bulgarian National Television. Excerpts were previously carried in the English edition of the Journal of Oriental Studies Vols. 27 and 28

Media – News watch 

Gov Base (Japan): Courtesy call on Foreign Minister Motegi by the Komeito Nuclear Abolition Promotion Committee (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, October 21, 2020) 

Komeito Chief Representative Natsuo Yamaguchi submitted a request to the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs proposing that Japan attend the first conference of the parties to the TPNW as an observer.  

“On October 21, Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi received a courtesy call from the Komeito Nuclear Abolition Promotion Committee, and the outline is as follows. 1. At the beginning, the representative of the Komeito Party, Yamaguchi, handed a request form while explaining the purpose of the ‘urgent request for the abolition of nuclear weapons’ regarding nuclear disarmament, including efforts related to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. 2. Minister Motegi thanked the Komeito for its efforts toward the progress of nuclear disarmament and stated that it would firmly accept the request. 3. After that, both sides exchanged opinions on efforts toward the abolition of nuclear weapons.” Read story

Read coverage on the Komeito website here

The Star (Malaysia): Against nuclear weapons (Dinesh Chandren, October 26, 2020)  

“It is not just political leaders but religious leaders of all faiths who have called for a ban on nuclear weapons. Pope Francis has called the use and possession of nuclear weapons ‘immoral’ and called for the Catholic Church’s opposition to nuclear weapons to be included into its catechism (religious instruction). Japanese Buddhist leader Daisaku Ikeda said: ‘I would like to strongly stress the importance of ensuring that it (the TPNW) enters into force within this year, which marks the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This would make 2020 the year that humankind finally begins to leave the nuclear age behind us.’” Read more 

InDepth News (Japan): Toward Banning the Bomb (Ramesh Jaura, October 26, 2020) 

InDepth News published the statement made on the 50th ratification of the TPNW by Hirotsugu Terasaki, Director General of Peace and Global Issues, on behalf of SGI. 

“We wish to wholeheartedly welcome the ratification, on October 24, 2020, UN Day, of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) by Honduras, meeting the 50-state minimum necessary for the entry into force. … It is up to civil society to decide if we will continue to tolerate humanity being held hostage by nuclear weapons, or whether we will raise our voices as an irresistible force for their banning and abolition. The Soka Gakkai and the SGI are fully committed to continuing our efforts to expand global people’s solidarity toward the realization of a world free from nuclear weapons.” Read more 

Arab News (Japan): Buddhist group welcomes UN nuclear ban treaty (October 27, 2020) 

“The Japan-based Buddhist group Soka Gakkai welcomed the UN’s nuclear ban treaty, which this week was ratified by enough countries to go into effect at the beginning of next year. The UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was ratified by Honduras on October 24, coinciding with the anniversary of the establishment of the UN itself. Now that the treaty has been ratified by 50 countries, it is set to enter into effect on January 22. ‘The entry into force of the TPNW establishes the fundamental norm that nuclear weapons are subject to comprehensive prohibition,’ said Hirotsugu Terasaki, Soka Gakkai’s international director general for peace and global issues. ‘This has a profound historical significance.’ It is not only religious groups like Soka Gakkai that have voiced support for the treaty – many in Japan are calling on the country to ratify it and demonstrations have been held. However, while Japan supports the eventual eradication of nuclear weapons and is the only country to have been attacked with them in war, its reliance on the American nuclear umbrella for defense has kept it from signing on. ‘It is up to civil society to decide if we will continue to tolerate humanity being held hostage by nuclear weapons, or whether we will raise our voices as an irresistible force for their banning and abolition,’ said Terasaki, whose organization has supported nuclear disarmament since the 1950s.” Read more 

Buddhistdoor Global (Hong Kong): Buddhist Leaders Welcome 50th Ratification of Nuclear Ban Treaty (Craig Lewis, October 29, 2020) 

“Buddhist leaders have hailed the recent world peace milestone reached over the weekend when Honduras became the all-important 50th nation to ratify an international treaty to ban nuclear weapons, paving the way for the establishment of a comprehensive ban on nuclearn [sic] arms…In a written public statement on Monday, His Holiness the Dalai Lama lauded the news as a welcome development for the future of humanity, bringing the world one step closer to ‘more enlightened and civilized arrangements for resolving conflicts:’ ‘I have no doubt that this treaty’s coming into force will contribute to even more concerted efforts to do away with these dreadful weapons and secure genuine and lasting peace in our world…’ The Tokyo-based Nichiren Buddhist organization Soka Gakkai International also welcomed the ratification of the UN nuclear treaty with a public statement on Monday. Soka Gakkai International’s director general for Peace and Global Issues, Hirotsugu Terasaki, stated: ‘The entry into force of the TPNW establishes the fundamental norm that nuclear weapons are subject to comprehensive prohibition. This has a profound historical significance. It is to be hoped that more countries will ratify the treaty by the time of its entry into force, thus further strengthening it as a prohibitory norm.’ (Soka Gakkai international) Soka Gakkai called on countries with nuclear arms and those dependent on nuclear arms—including Japan, the only nation to have experienced the devastation caused by a nuclear attack when the United States dropped atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki—to participate in the first meeting of those countries party to the treaty, to be held within a year of its entering into force.”  Read more