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Applying the Philosophy

Why It’s Important to Care About Nuclear Abolition Right Now

Messages, testimonials and more on the Soka Gakkai’s enduring efforts for nuclear abolition.

Illustration by SAHAS2015 / Shutterstock.

The G7 Summit—a forum bringing together leaders of seven of the world’s most powerful industrial nations—takes place every year. Ahead of this year’s May 19–21 assembly in Hiroshima, Japan, Daisaku Ikeda, Buddhist philosopher, peacebuilder and veteran advocate for abolishing nuclear weapons, issued a statement on April 27 calling on the leaders to focus their conversation on pledging No First Use of nuclear weapons.

The World Tribune has curated statements, essays and testimonials from the SGI’s decades-long efforts for nuclear abolition, underscoring why it is important to care right now.


No First Use of Nuclear Weapons

Daisaku Ikeda, as president of the Soka Gakkai International, has issued three emergency declarations in the past year calling for nuclear weapon states to pledge No First Use of these weapons to avoid catastrophe, defuse the climate of mutual fear and promote nuclear disarmament.

July 26, 2022
‘No One Anywhere Should Suffer What They Endured’

In his July 26, 2022, statement to the 2022 NPT Review Conference, Mr. Ikeda calls for No First Use of nuclear weapons.

Jan. 11, 2023
‘Nothing Is More Cruel or Miserable Than War’

In his Jan. 11, 2023, statement on the crisis in Ukraine and No First Use of nuclear weapons, Mr. Ikeda calls for action aimed at restoring peace in Ukraine and steps to lessen the risk of nuclear weapons use.

April 27, 2023
‘Let’s Live Together, Not Die Together’

In his statement to the leaders of the G7 countries in advance of their summit in Hiroshima this month, Mr. Ikeda calls on them to reexamine the actual consequences of nuclear weapon detonation and the bitter lessons of the nuclear era and, thus, initiate “earnest deliberations on making pledges of No First Use.”

Photos by Jolie Tea-Taniguchi.

Photo essay

The Cries of People Everywhere for Peace 

A singed tricycle. A woman’s kimono pattern burned onto her skin. A school uniform charred by intense thermal rays. The November 2014 Living Buddhism carried a photo essay of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, which displays belongings left by the victims of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings in August 1945, with photos and other artifacts that convey the horror of a nuclear attack.

Voices of Hibakusha, Survivors of the Atomic Bomb

‘My Life Has Just Begun’

Susan Urabe shares her experience as a young girl being a mile and a half from ground zero when the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. See April 3, 2015, World Tribune, p. 7, for the full interivew.

‘Praying Each Day to Abolish the Hatred in People’s Hearts’

Kiyoko Neumiller, of Whidbey Island, Washington, was 15 and working at a combat boots factory a mile from ground zero when the bomb fell on Hiroshima. In this interview, she shares how Buddhist practice and our SGI community are the keys to a better future. See March 5, 2021, World Tribune, p. 10, for the full interview.


‘We, the Citizens of the World, Have an Inviolable Right to Live’

As Josei Toda neared the end of his life, he deeply considered what to impart to the Soka Gakkai youth, who embodied the mission and responsibility to carry out the kosen-rufu movement far into the future. Those ponderings gave birth to the Declaration for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons, which he delivered on Sept. 8, 1957. See September 2017 Living Buddhism, p. 15, for the full address.


Transmitting Buddhist Humanism in Society

Living Buddhism sat down with Asle Toje, deputy leader of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, to discuss the Soka Gakkai’s enduring role in contributing to peace and why, as one of the largest intact peace movements in the world, now is the time for us to rise up for peace. See April 2023 Living Buddhism, pp. 14–18, for the full interview.

Avoiding Nuclear War: the Case for No First Use

In October 2022, the World Tribune carried a message from Alexander Harang, co-president of International Peace and Understanding and distinguished adjunct professor at Soka University of America, in which he shares how Mr. Ikeda’s call for No First Use of nuclear weapons contributed to redirecting focus toward what can actually be done to avoid nuclear war. See Oct. 14, 2022, World Tribune, p. 11, for the full interview.

So That Our Children Might Live

In September 2017, Living Buddhism interviewed Ira Helfand, co-president of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, a nonpartisan federation of national medical groups in over 60 countries dedicated to mobilizing influence of medical professionals against nuclear weapons. For its work, IPPNW received the 1985 Nobel Prize. In the interview, Dr. Helfand shared his thoughts on nuclear abolition and the necessity of opening a path forward. See September 2017 Living Buddhism, pp. 16–19, for the full interview.

Key Essays by Ikeda Sensei

‘Our Shared Vow to Create a World Free of Nuclear Weapons’

To mark the 60th anniversary of second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda’s Declaration for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons, Mr. Ikeda writes in an essay why it’s important to instill in every nation awareness that nuclear weapons are an absolute evil, and he offers four points toward making nuclear abolition a reality. See Oct. 20, 2017, World Tribune, pp. 2–3, for the full essay.

Nothing Is More Precious Than Life

On the 50th anniversary of second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda’s Declaration for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons, SGI members co-sponsored the Civil Society Peace Forum at The Cooper Union in New York on Sept. 8, 2007. In his message to the event, Mr. Ikeda emphasizes key points in the campaign to abolish nuclear weapons and create a peaceful world. See September 2022 Living Buddhism, pp. 15–17, for a reprint of the full essay.

To learn more about the Soka Gakkai’s decades-long efforts for nuclear disarmament, visit

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