Emerging from the nuclear shadow

Topic: Emerging from the Nuclear Shadow: Treasuring the Dignity of Life
Time: Aug 9, 2020 01:00 PM Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney

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Flyer for Emerging from the Nuclear Shadow: Treasuring the Dignity of Life event


Emerging from the nuclear Shadow: Treasuring the dignity of life

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima (August 6) and Nagasaki (August 9) in 1945, which killed hundreds of thousands of people, devastated the lives of millions more, and utterly destroyed the cities and their natural surrounds. Closer to home, nuclear weapons testing has occurred in the Pacific Islands and in Maralinga, South Australia. These catastrophic tests have destroyed the natural environment, causing fatal consequences to the local Indigenous people that are still being felt generations on.
Responding to President Josei Toda’s call for the abolition of nuclear weapons, we must never allow these horrific acts of disrespect for the dignity of life to happen again. As one expression in direct response to our mentor’s call to action, we invite you to participate in this online Zoom event on Sunday 9th August 2020 at 1:00pm to 2:30pm AEST. The event will start with a short introduction on the topic followed by special guest speakers, CR Mark Greenhill OAM, Mayor of the Blue Mountains NSW and Gem Romuld, the Australian Director of ICAN. There will also be a discussion panel with SGI Youth Division members, Corey Ho and Ojasvi Gupta, together with Gem Romuld. While this event is catered for all SGI Australia members, members can feel free to extend this invitation to any friends or family who are interested to attend.
Zoom link details will be posted on the SGI Australia website closer to the date and we would encourage you to please log on 10mins early so that we may begin at 1:00pm.
Let us emerge from the nuclear shadow ever brighter, shining with humanity.
Having learnt the devastating effects of the nuclear arms race on all life, let’s together discuss and determine
How we can continue to build deep respect for the dignity of all life, continually strengthening, unbroken by any force.
It is tempting to think, that the detonation of a nuclear bomb will not happen again and it is something we read about only in history textbooks.
However, amidst the current political climate, perhaps we need to deeply examine our attitudes. How do we translate this from ‘nothing-to-do-with-me’ to something I can take action on in my daily life?



SGI has also collaborated with ICAN in collecting testimonies of the hibakusha (survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings), here are the women’s testimonies:
https://www.peoplesdecade.org/decade/testimonies/hiroshima_shiota_jp.html (Japanese audio with subtitles in English, Spanish, Français, Japanese, Chinese)
“Monster” – https://youtu.be/m8OJulGi1Rg
A video poem by Kathy Jetnil Kijiner, a young woman poet from the Marshall Islands. The Marshall Islands were a nuclear test site for the US between 1946 and 1962, and is still contaminated from the nuclear fallout.
“Monster” was performed in front of the Genbaku Dome in Hiroshima, read the full poem and about the filming process at this blog post: https://www.kathyjetnilkijiner.com/new-year-new-monsters-and-new-poems/
Footage of atomic bomb detonation in the pacific ocean

Footage of nuclear tests conducted by Great Britain in Maralinga, South Australia, in 1957

General resources/further reading:

People’s Decade for Nuclear Abolition
In his proposal for reform of the UN made in August 2006, SGI President Daisaku Ikeda put forward the idea of a “UN decade of action by the world’s people for nuclear abolition.”  He stressed the importance of people in civil society becoming catalysts in the efforts toward a world free from nuclear weapons by collectively raising their voices to overcome the general lack of political momentum and direction. In response to his call, SGI launched the People’s Decade for Nuclear Abolition as an international campaign on September 8, 2007 coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the 1957 antinuclear declaration made by 2nd president of the SGI Josei Toda.
The Second People’s Decade
In his 2018 proposal titled “Toward an Era of Human Rights: Building a People’s Movement”, Ikeda declared a “second People’s Decade for Nuclear Abolition” following the first Decade launched in 2007 in order to support the current efforts to realise the early entry into force, and universalisation of the TPNW.
President Ikeda’s 2020 peace proposal
Page 16 “Building support for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW)”
Page 20 “Multilateral negotiations for nuclear disarmament”
“Ban Treaty Offers Chance for a World Free of Nuclear Arms”
An article written by President Daisaku Ikeda in The Japan Times, June 6, 2017
The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)