Message by the Governor General on the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Ⅱ in hope for peace

2015年08月10日

        With this year marking the 70th anniversary of the end of the Asia-Pacific War, I would like to extend my deepest sympathy to all across the world who perished during the war. The sorrow of those who lost their loved ones in the war can never be alleviated, and thus, deep agony from the war will continue to be felt by generations to come.
        Approximately 2,500 years ago, Sakyamuni Buddha expounded, “Putting yourself in others’ place, do not kill and do not make them kill others.” However, being the innately ego-centered beings that we are, we have a tendency to feel affectionate to those who are convenient to us, while feeling hatred to those who are not. Even though we know in theory that every life is equally precious, we cannot accept others as they are and cannot help but fight with one another. Many lives are lost in any war. There is no act that is more foolish and reckless than humans killing one another.
        Peace and renunciation of war is the path that human beings must take.
        Monshu Emeritus Ohtani Koshin presented a message following the Service for Promoting the Core Program and Pursuing a Society of Fellow Nembutsu Practicers conducted at the Hongwanji in Kyoto, on March 20, 1997. In his message Monshu Emeritus stated, “Today, protection of the dignity of life, or preservation of fundamental human rights, is not an issue only within Japanese society but should be a concern shared by all humankind. Besides, it is the path to follow to actualize world peace.” Now is the time for us to be aware that “dignity of life” is a keyword to bring peace and harmony to the world.
        His successor, Monshu Ohtani Kojun, during the Memorial Service Wishing for Peace conducted at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park on July 3, 2015 also stated, “Although seventy years may have elapsed following the experiences of brutal warfare at an unprecedented global scale, have we really been alleviated from the deep sorrow and pain? As a result, has our aspiration for world peace and awareness really been deepened?”
        Currently in Japan, debates are taking place concerning the peace and security of our nation, not only within the national Parliament, but nationwide in general. It is my hope that adequate discussion will result in detailed explanation that will satisfy everyone. As a Buddhist organization, we have been trying to figure out in what way we can contribute to eternal world peace while facing up to the regrettable, historical fact that our religious institute once supported the war campaign promoted by the then militarized regime. As a result of this effort, an interim report, “Summary of the Discussion on Peace” will be publicized shortly. Through the report, if we could deepen our understanding of the issue with various parties and individuals both within and outside of the Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha organization, it would be more than wonderful.
         On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the conclusion of World War Ⅱ, let us be guided by the Buddha’s wisdom and strive for realizing a society in which all life is respected and everyone is able to live a life of spiritual fulfillment.

 

August 10, 2015

 

Iwagami Chiko
Governor General
Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha

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