Part 3: Kosen-rufu and World Peace
Chapter 31: The Great Path to World Peace [31.25]

31.25 The Power to Overcome the Threat of Nuclear Weapons

On the initiative of President Ikeda, in response to his mentor’s declaration against nuclear weapons, the SGI has sponsored exhibitions around the world promoting nuclear abolition. During his first visit to Costa Rica in 1996, President Ikeda attended the opening of the “Nuclear Arms: Threat to Our World” exhibition. Inspired by the happy voices of children ringing through the venue from the Children’s Museum next door, he began his speech on that occasion with impromptu remarks about them.

Girls and boys, emissaries from the future! How wonderful to be joined by these young messengers from the future who will shoulder responsibility for the 21st century!

We can hear the vibrant voices of children playing in the center’s Children’s Museum next door even here in this hall. The sight and sound of these youngsters, boisterous and full of vitality, are the very image of peace. In them lies the power to overcome the threat of nuclear weapons. In them lies hope.

Children are symbols of thriving life, while nuclear weapons are symbols of death and destruction. How significant that we are able to celebrate the opening of the “Nuclear Arms: Threat to Our World” exhibition here, together with these children.

The Soka Gakkai rejects all forms of violence. This is our eternal creed. During World War II, the first and second presidents of our organization, Tsunesaburo Makiguchi and Josei Toda, spoke out resolutely against Japanese militarism and were imprisoned as a result. President Makiguchi died in prison at the age of 73.

In 1957, only seven months before his own death, President Toda, Mr. Makiguchi’s successor, issued the Declaration Calling for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons. At a time when the nuclear arms race was intensifying, my mentor confronted the threat directly, strongly denouncing nuclear weapons and the prospect of mass death they embody, and declaring that all people of the world have an inviolable right to live.

To make the philosophy of respect for the dignity of life the leading spiritual current of the age was the foremost task that President Toda entrusted to us youth. For this reason, I have dedicated myself to the best of my ability to conducting dialogue and forging bonds of friendship with people around the world in the pursuit of peace.

Our focus must be to develop the inner potential of life that is greater than the power of nuclear weapons, to create a growing solidarity of the people that is more powerful than the impulse for nuclear proliferation. This is an important challenge for education and other awareness-raising activities to empower people. For my part, to the end of my days, I am determined to join with you in the unceasing spiritual struggle to create a world free from violence.

From a speech at the opening of the “Nuclear Arms: Threat to Our World” exhibition at the Costa Rican Center for Science and Culture, Costa Rica, June 28, 1996.

The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace brings together selections from President Ikeda’s works on key themes.