Seminar Discusses Building East Asian Peace Community
The International Peace Corps of Religions (IPCR) held an international seminar on the theme "Building an East Asian Peace Community and the Role of Religion" September 15-17 at a hotel in Seoul, South Korea. Some 40 people took part, from religious organizations, academic circles, and citizens' groups in Japan, South Korea, and China. The eight representatives of the Japanese Committee of the World Conference of Religions for Peace included Dr. Yoshiaki Sanada, director of its Peace Research Institute, and Rev. Tomokazu Hatakeyama, its under-secretary-general. Rissho Kosei-kai was represented by Rev. Masahiro Nemoto, director of its External Affairs Department.
IPCR is a South Korean corporation established by the Korean Conference on Religion and Peace. It holds seminars to discuss plans and concrete measures for building an East Asian community for peace. Its first international seminar took place in Seoul last year.
At the plenary meeting, Dr. Sanada gave a keynote address. He pointed out that East Asia lacks a religion that provides a set of norms for the community's identity, since many religions and spiritual cultures coexist in East Asia. To build a community for peace in East Asia, he said, dialogue and cooperation among people of faith is indispensable and of the utmost importance.
He then made a threefold proposal for a future undertaking by people of faith: (1) creation of a set of universal moral values to serve as the community's identity, (2) pilgrimages to places associated with war victims, and (3) organizing regular events of exchange for young members of religious organizations.
The participants then separated for three different sessions on the theme "Building an East Asian Peace Community" from the standpoints of Japan, South Korea, and China. Rev. Nemoto was a panelist at the session on China. He described the significance of the buddha-nature, the One Vehicle, and nonself as Buddhist concepts that can promote respect for diversity and coexistence.
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