Having championed China- Japan friendship for over 45 years, Ikeda laments the recent deterioration in relations, but rejects pessimism on this issue, noting that deep friendship has been cultivated through countless exchanges over the years. He calls on both countries to reconfirm their commitment to the two key pledges in the 1978 Treaty of Peace and Friendship: to refrain from the use or threat of force and not to seek regional hegemony.
He proposes a high-level forum for dialogue between China and Japan together with a freeze on any provocative actions. Efforts to frankly analyze the roots of the current confrontation may produce heated debate, but they are needed to identify the underlying concerns and aspirations of the parties. Trust can only be rebuilt through joint efforts to resolve common problems and Ikeda therefore proposes that China and Japan launch an organization for environmental cooperation in East Asia. Such an organization would "create opportunities for young people from China and Japan to work together toward a common goal."
Daisaku Ikeda (1928- ) is a Buddhist philosopher, peacebuilder and author. He is president of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI) lay Buddhist network with 12 million members around the world, and founder of the Toda Institute for Global Peace and Policy Research and Soka University. Since 1983, Ikeda has issued peace proposals every year on January 26, the anniversary of the founding of the SGI in 1975.
Contact: Joan AndersonOffice of Public InformationSoka Gakkai InternationalTel: +81-80-5957-4711Fax: +81-3-5360-9885E-mail: janderson[at]sgi.gr.jpSOURCE Soka Gakkai International