Shinshuren Holds Memorial Service for War Dead
Shinshuren (Federation of New Religious Organizations of Japan) and its Youth League held their 46th annual Memorial Service for the War Dead of All Nations and Prayers for Peace on August 14 at Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery in Tokyo. Some 2,500 people from Shinshuren member organizations, including Rissho Kosei-kai, took part. Several politicians also took part as invited guests. Rissho Kosei-kai was represented by President Nichiko Niwano, a special advisor to Shinshuren, and Rev. Yasutaka Watanabe, chair of the board of trustees and a member of Shinshuren's executive board of directors.
The service opened with a speech by Rev. Seiho Okano, Dharma successor of Gedatsu-kai and Shinshuren's chairman. He referred to Shinshuren's project to support the reconstruction of the areas of northeastern Japan devastated in March by the earthquake and tsunami and emphasized the importance of collaboration and mutual help in rebuilding efforts.
Forty-eight young women members of Shinshuren offered lighted candles at the altar set up in front of the hexagonal building where the ashes of Japan's war dead are enshrined. After that, 11 representatives of Shinshuren's Youth League offered paper cranes, symbols of peace in Japan, at the altar.
Rev. Yukihiro Hozumi, president-designate of Taiwa Kyodan and chairman of Shinshuren's Youth League, then delivered a message of peace. He prayed that Japan would never again be involved in war, and for world peace. He also prayed that the lives of all the surviving victims of the March earthquake and tsunami would return to normal as soon as possible and that the problems caused by radioactive contamination following the failure of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station would soon be resolved.
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