The World Religious Leaders Summit for Peace was held at Sapporo Convention Center in Sapporo, Japan, on July 2 and 3. The meeting, designed to promote global peace and to end poverty, was hosted jointly by the World Conference of Religions for Peace (WCRP) and Religions for Peace-Japan.
The World Conference of Religions for Peace is an international coalition of representatives from the world’s faiths and religious traditions which actively promotes interreligious dialogue. WCRP held its first world assembly in Kyoto, Japan, in 1970. Since then, it has organized the world assembly at various venues around the world. The WCRP’s 8th world assembly was held in Kyoto in 2006, to which Tenrikyo sent representatives including Director-in-Chief of Administrative Affairs Masahiko Iburi.
This year’s World Religious Leaders Summit for Peace, which was held just prior to the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit, followed the format used for the previous meetings held prior to the G8 summits in Germany last year and in Russia two years ago, allowing the religious leaders’ proposals concerning world peace and environmental issues to be presented to the leaders of the eight highly industrialized nations.
For this year’s conference, over 300 delegates, including 100 religious leaders, from 23 countries assembled from many religious traditions including Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Jinja Honcho, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Zoroastrianism. Tenrikyo sent three representatives to the summit: Administrative Affairs Department Head Yoshiaki Uno attended as a delegate and Public Relations Section Chief Hiroshi Suzuki and Tenrikyo Hokkaido Diocese Superintendent Fumio Fujita attended as observers.
At the two-day conference, the participants attended plenary sessions under the overarching theme of “Shared Security,” which was adopted at the world assembly in Kyoto two years ago. The topics of plenary sessions covered a wide range of topics from global warming and environmental issues to nonviolent conflict resolution.
On the afternoon of the second day, world religious leaders adopted the statement “Call from Sapporo” comprising four areas where the leaders asked the G8 to take action. The adopted statement was later presented to a representative of the Japanese government, which hosted the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit between July 7 and 9, so that it could be shared with the world leaders during the G8 summit.