Buddhists hold memorial service for war dead

About 2,600 people on September 18 attended an annual memorial service for war dead held by a major Japanese Buddhist sect at the Chidorigafuchi Cemetery for War Dead in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo.

At the 22nd memorial service held by the Nishi Honganji Branch of the Jodo Shinshu Sect, participants prayed for all victims of WWII and pledged peace, remembering the Liutiaohu Incident (September 18, 1931) that marked the start of Japan's full-scale aggression against China.

Takeno Itoku, president of the Nishi Honganji branch, stated, "The noblest mission of world leaders is to change history from one of repeated wars to one of lasting peace."

A priest said that in order to prevent Yasukuni Shrine from being used as the center of worshiping the war dead, it is meaningful that Buddhist sects hold such a ceremony.

Ichida Tadayoshi, Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head, and Inoue Miyo, JCP member of the House of Councilors, attended the service. (end)