Statement of opposition to the Russian Invasion of Ukraine

Bishop Wataru Kigoshi

Chief Administrator, Shinshū Ōtani-ha

March 1, 2022

We, the Shinshū Ōtani-ha, hereby express our opposition to any use of armed force, such as what we have seen in the military invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation. At the same time, we sincerely wish this conflict ends and that peace returns, especially for the innocent victims who have been plunged into the depths of fear and sorrow.

Our organization has a negative history of blindly following the policy of the Japanese government during World War II, voluntarily cooperating with the war by pushing many people to the battlefields. We, as Buddhists who have sincerely repented the mistakes we made in wartime, officially adopted in 1995 a “No-more-war Resolution.” Through this resolution, we made a pledge “to disavow all acts of military aggression” and “to work together with all peoples toward realizing a happy and peaceful international community that no longer permits war, transcending all ethnic, linguistic, cultural, and religious differences.”

In our world today, many people in different countries and regions also have suffered from military conflicts and oppression, such as the people in Myanmar. Now, we once again strongly state our opposition to all acts of military aggression and express our dearest hope we can achieve world peace as soon as possible.