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January 26, 2008

Daisaku Ikeda Releases 2008 Peace Proposal—Humanizing Religion, Creating Peace

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In his 2008 peace proposal issued today (January 26, 2008) to commemorate the anniversary of the SGI's founding in 1975, SGI President Daisaku Ikeda calls for the humanization of religion as one path toward peace.

Commenting that the current trend towards fundamentalism is found not only in the religious sphere, but also in excessive attachment to national or ethnic identity and even to market principles, Mr. Ikeda stresses the need to put the human being at the center of all issues. He identifies dialogue as key in combating fanaticism, mistrust and dogmatism.

He also makes concrete proposals toward protecting the planet's ecology, upholding human dignity and creating the infrastructures of peace.

He suggests that the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) be upgraded to the status of a specialized agency and calls on the Japanese government to share technology with the goal of making East Asia a model region for energy conservation and efficiency.

Noting that 2008 marks the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Mr. Ikeda stresses the need for a global culture of human rights, urging that an international conference on human rights education centered on civil society groups be held as soon as possible.

Drawing attention to the potential of Africa, he proposes that the fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), to be held in May, focus on the empowerment of youth.

In the area of peace, he supports the call for an Arctic Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (NWFZ) as an important step toward establishing the illegality of nuclear weapons.

He suggests ways of strengthening infrastructures for peace in East Asia and welcomes the Japanese government's program to invite 6,000 young people from East Asian countries to Japan, concluding that working with youth is the best way to build grassroots solidarity for peace.

"Humanizing Religion: Creating Peace" is the 26th annual peace proposal issued by Mr. Ikeda, sharing Buddhist perspectives on current issues facing humanity and proposing concrete solutions. [Read full summary]

[Adapted from an SGI Office of Public Information press release dated January 25, 2008]

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