Building an East Asian Community: Roles of Religions
Building a Common East Asian Identity by Masahiro Nemoto
Early in the twentieth century, Japan invaded, plundered, and colonized its neighbors. If we Japanese are to play an active role in the creation of an East Asian community, we must sincerely reflect on and atone for the acts of aggression that Japan committed.
Masahiro Nemoto is a member of Rissho Kosei-kai’s Board of Trustees and the director of Rissho Kosei-kai’s External Affairs Department in Tokyo.
The Roles of Politics and Religions in Building an East Asian Community by Kim Sunggon
Europe . . . established the European Union in 1993 through reconciliation and cooperation, keys to their plan for common prosperity. This compares starkly with the situation in East Asia. . . . Why has Europe succeeded in building a common bloc while East Asia has not?
Kim Sunggon, PhD, is a South Korean political and religious leader. He is secretary-general of the Asian Conference of Religions for Peace (ACRP) and a member of South Korea’s National Assembly. He also serves as the head of the ACRP Seoul Peace Education Center. In the National Assembly, Dr. Kim has served as chairman of the National Defense Committee. He is a member of Won Buddhism and has served as a professor at Wonkwang University, Iksan, established by Won Buddhism.
Trilateral Future-Oriented Cooperation among Japan, China, and South Korea by Ma Junwei
There is massive scope for cooperation among [Japan, China, and South Korea] in several areas, including East Asian security, economic cooperation within the framework of free trade agreements (FTAs) and economic partnership agreements (EPAs), and action on environmental issues and infectious diseases.
Ma Junwei is a research professor and deputy director of the Institute of Japanese Studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, Beijing. He specializes in Japanese politics, Sino-Japanese relations, and security in Northeast Asia and has coauthored several books on those topics. He has served as a visiting researcher at the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia of the University of Tokyo and the Institute of Developing Economics of the Japan External Trade Organization.
China, South Korea, and Japan: Common Features and Issues by Yoshiaki Sanada
The relationship of Japan with both China and South Korea within the context of the post-nineteenth-century history of East Asia has been one of colonial rule and war, and this has given rise to deep-rooted and complicated national sentiments that are characterized by hostility and distrust.
Yoshiaki Sanada is director of the Peace Research Institute of Religions for Peace Japan. Until March 2007 he was a law professor at Chuo University in Tokyo, where he is now a professor emeritus. Dr. Sanada is a former president of the Society for the Study of Legal Culture. He has also been a visiting professor at the Institute of Comparative Law of the China University of Politics and Law in Beijing.
A Shortcut to Establishing an East Asian Peace Community: Welcoming the Other through Sharing Universal Values by Byun Jin-heung
Religion must take the lead in laying the foundation for an East Asian peace community. . . . It is religion that can make a paradigm shift from East Asian countries’ contention for regional supremacy to their defining national interest as cooperative competition, peaceful coexistence, and coprosperity.
Byun Jin-heung is secretary-general of the Korean Conference of Religions for Peace and executive director of the International Peace Corps of Religions. He teaches the religious policy of North Korea and the reunification of the Koreas at the Catholic University of Seoul. Dr. Byun is in charge of religious-dialogue affairs among the seven major religions in South Korea and has also been devoted to religious exchanges between North and South Korea.
Healing the Wounds of the Past, Building Peace for a Brighter Future by Kathy R. Matsui
Peace education is crucial in establishing a peaceful community in East Asia, and . . . peace building cannot be achieved exclusively by governments and international organizations.
Kathy R. Matsui, PhD, is Professor of Global Citizenship Studies at Seisen University, Tokyo. She has worked with peace researchers and educators internationally at the International Institute on Peace Education; the Global Partnership for Prevention of Armed Conflict; and the Global Campaign for Peace Education of Hague Appeal for Peace. She is also active in interreligious dialogue as the president of the International Association for Liberal Religious Women and as a member of the Women’s Executive Committee and Peace Education Commission of Religions for Peace Japan.
On the Sanctity of Life and the Right to Peace: Toward Collaboration among Religious Leaders by Toshimasa Yamamoto
Humans . . . seem to spend all of their time in futile competition – if there is something that they want, they will scramble to get it by whatever means. And it is when they fail to get what they want that wars claiming the lives of others break out.
Toshimasa Yamamoto is a professor and chaplain at Kwansei Gakuin University in Kobe and an assistant to the chancellor of the Kwansei Gakuin Educational Foundation. He is an ordained United Methodist clergyman who has served churches in Hawaii, California, and Tokyo and is the former general secretary of the National Christian Council in Japan. His recent books include Ajia ekyumenikaru undo-shi (A history of the ecumenical movement in Asia).
The Experience of Growing Older by Nichiko Niwano
Nichiko Niwano is president of Rissho Kosei-kai and an honorary president of Religions for Peace. He also serves as special advisor to Shinshuren (Federation of New Religious Organizations of Japan).
The Second Vatican Council by Nikkyo Niwano
Nikkyo Niwano, the founder of Rissho Kosei-kai, was an honorary president of the World Conference of Religions for Peace and was honorary chairman of Shinshuren (Federation of New Religious Organizations of Japan) at the time of his death in October 1999. He was awarded the 1979 Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion.
A Votary of the Lotus Sutra Will Meet Ordeals:
The Role of Suffering in Nichiren’s Thought (2) by Jacqueline I. Stone
In addressing the question of why he and his followers had to endure harsh trials, Nichiren did not fix on a single explanation but adopted multiple perspectives. On the one hand, his sufferings were necessary to prove the truth of the Lotus Sutra and to verify his own status as its votary. On the other hand, they were an act of expiation for past slanders of the Dharma.
Jacqueline I. Stone received her PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles, in East Asian Languages and Cultures, with a focus in Buddhist Studies. She is now Professor of Japanese Religions in the Religion Department of Princeton University. Her major research field is Japanese Buddhism. Her research interests include death in Buddhism; Buddhist eschatology; Buddhism and Japanese identity formation in the medieval and modern periods; and traditions related to the Lotus Sutra, especially Tendai and Nichiren Buddhism.
Prism of the Lotus Sutra
Prism of the Lotus Sutra (4)
The Ox / Monkeys / Sand by Atsushi Kanazawa
Atsushi Kanazawa is a professor in the Faculty of Buddhism at Komazawa University, Tokyo. He specializes in the Indian philosophy of language and the history of Indian philosophy and culture.
The Threefold Lotus Sutra: A Modern Commentary (116)
The Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Law Chapter 22: The Final Commission by Nikkyo Niwano
This is the 116th installment of a detailed commentary on the Threefold Lotus Sutra by the founder of Rissho Kosei-kai, Rev. Nikkyo Niwano.