Komeito founder issues “no first use” of nuclear weapons

April 27 , 2023

Soka Gakkai International (SGI) president Daisaku Ikeda, the Buddhist philosopher and pacifist who founded Komeito in 1964, issued a statement today calling for the taking of bold steps to resolve the conflict in Ukraine and reinforcing pledges of No First Use of nuclear weapons. The statement was released for the leaders of the G7 summit who will be gathering in Hiroshima next month.

Regarding Ukraine, the SGI president urged the G7 leaders to provide a “prescription of hope” to immediately end attacks on civilian infrastructure and to devise a viable means with which to negotiate a cessation of hostilities. He also called for the allowing of civil service representatives, including physicians and educators, to join as observers in such negotiations.

As for nuclear weapons, Mr. Ikeda stated that it was now more urgent than ever to adopt policies of No First Use, given the increasing possibility that these weapons could be used by nation-states that possess them, even as negotiations to manage and reduce nuclear arsenals are stalling.

In January 2022, he wrote, leaders of the US, UK, Russia, France and China issued a joint statement in which they agreed that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” While such self-restraint is a welcome first step, the next step will be to transition away from the insane national security dogma of mutually assured destruction to one facilitating the collective security of all humanity.

“This,” he asserts, “can enable the world to change course—away from nuclear buildup premised on deterrence and toward nuclear disarmament to avert catastrophe.”

Statement on the G7 Hiroshima Summit, the Ukraine Crisis and No First Use of Nuclear Weapons (Seikyo Shimbun, April 27, 2023)