China, Japan need dialogue for peace

Updated: 2013-02-05 15:31


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Daisaku Ikeda, honorary president of Japan's Soka Gakkai (Value-Creation Society), published his peace proposal on Japanese media. The following are excepts:

Last year, China and Japan marked the 40th anniversary of establishing diplomatic ties, but the two countries are experiencing unprecedented conflicts and tensions. The celebrations of the anniversary were called off, and bilateral ties became the worst since WWII.

But I am not pessimistic about the future of the Sino-Japan relationship.

When I proposed building Sino-Japan diplomatic ties in September 1968, the situation was much worse - people were even afraid of showing kindness to China and Chinese people. But I believed Japan would have no future without a sound friendship with our neighbors.

When I visited Beijing in December 1974, I met Chinese former Premier Zhou Enlai and Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping. They both said that not only Chinese people, but also Japanese people, were victims of Japanese militarism. I shared their views, and I made up my mind to build an unbroken friendship bridge between the two countries.

Since then, I have been contributing to Sino-Japan youth exchanges. I invited the first six Chinese students on government funds to study at Soka University in 1975. Now every year, there are about 100,000 Chinese students studying in Japan and 15,000 Japanese studying in China.

In addition, local governments have established 349 sister cities. In the wake of the Wenchuan earthquake in 2008 and Japan’s March 11 earthquake, we saw how the two peoples helped each other through the most difficult times.

I gave an address at Peking University in 1990, during which I said nothing could harm our friendly bond. I think now is the time to implement those words.

It is normal to see conflicts in the political and economical fields. Hence I hold, no matter what happens, the most important thing is to stick to a policy of "no weapons or weaponry threats" and "no seeking hegemony" in the Sino-Japanese Treaty of Peace and Friendship. It may take time, but sooner or later, we will find a way to resolve the problems. Compared with favorable circumstances, perhaps adversity can strengthen Sino-Japan bonds.

I hope China and Japan can quickly establish a high-level dialogue platform, in which both sides agree to "a stop to activities escalating tensions," and try to lay out rules to curb crises.

The grimmer the situation, the more urgent need for dialogue. I therefore suggest setting up a regular high-level summit for "peaceful co-existence".

Also, I hope we can establish a new partnership focused on "peaceful co-existence" and "cooperation for human interests" by 2015. For example, China and Japan can lead the way in setting up an "East Asia Environmental Cooperation Institute", to provide cooperation opportunities for the two countries’ young people, boost peace and stability in East Asia, and create a sustainable world.

In September 1968, I also asked the young people of both countries to build a bright world hand in hand. After 45 years, various kinds of exchanges have laid a solid foundation to achieve that goal. The two countries should further strengthen youth exchanges. In the long run, we should further develop and improve the fields of cooperation. I believe, by making efforts mentioned above, the cause of Japan-China relationship will be passed down from generation to generation.


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