STATEMENT CALLING FOR PEACEFUL SETTLEMENT AND PROTESTING THE USE OF MILITARY FORCE CONCERNING THE DISARMAMENT OF THE NATION OF IRAQ
The United States, Britain, and other supporting nations are moving toward settling by the use of military force the current urgent global issue, the disarmament of the nation of Iraq. Further, the government of Japan is also in support of this measure. As we are standing on the verge of yet another war, we, the Federation of Shinshu Buddhism, strongly request that this problem be resolved peacefully and oppose the use of any military force.
In view of the history of humanity, wars have erupted time and time again up to the present, claiming countless victims from throughout the world. In learning from these historical facts, wars have been fought and the lives and human rights of many people have been trampled on under the cause of protecting the peace and prosperity of one's own country. Further, war has tragic aspects where one party is an assailant and the other party is a victim.
Sakyamuni Buddha expounded a world that is free of soldiers and the use of armaments. In addition, our founder, Shinran Shonin, taught us, "May there be peace in the world and the Buddha's teaching spread," which tells us to revere all life and together, build towards a world that is free of conflict. In view of this teaching, because we are human beings who, if conditions permit, will kill other persons, we cannot help but revere each other's life and keenly feel the importance of eliminating the conditions for war.
Thus, we absolutely disapprove of the use of military force to settle this issue for it violates the Buddhist principles of awakening to and valuing the dignity of each other's life. Numerous statements have been submitted from throughout the world calling for peaceful settlement of this problem and protesting the use of military force. These are the voices of those who wish for a peaceful world that is free of war. We, the undersigned, to all nations that compose the international society, urge you to use every effort to resolve this situation peacefully so that a peaceful world without war be realized, and strongly oppose the use of any military force.
March 18, 2003
Bishop Itoku Takeno
FEDERATION OF SHINSHU BUDDHISM
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