Soka Gakkai supports U.S. war against Iraq

Calls for a peaceful solution to the Iraq problem are increasing in the Japanese religious community.

The Japan Buddhist Federation, which more than 90 percent of Buddhist organizations in Japan belong to, in February issued a statement expressing opposition to war and calling for peace.

The National Council of Churches and its member churches, the Anglican Episcopal Church in Japan, and the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Japan have also all published anti-war statements and letters of concern addressed to U.S. President George Bush.

Japanese religious people share opposition to war, criticism of U.S. unilateralism, and a request Japan's diplomatic efforts be aimed to prevent a war.

The religious circles are encouraging people not only to pray but to take action. As well as holding rallies and meetings, religious organizations are taking part in meetings organized by citizens' groups and playing an active role in demonstrations.

Different from the major trend of the religious circles calling for a peaceful solution, Soka Gakkai, which calls itself a Nichiren Buddhist organization, supports a U.S. war.

Ikeda Daisaku, Soka Gakkai honorary president, in his proposal carried Seikyo Shimbun on January 26 and 27 said, "In order to fight against it (terrorism), emergency measures using armed force will be necessary sometimes."

Fuyushiba Tetsuzo, secretary general of the Komei Party, Soka Gakkai's political organization, made a hostile comment on the international opinion calling for a peaceful solution, saying that opposition to war will benefit the enemy. (end)

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