We, the former staff of SGI, started this blog with the purpose to let people, especially SGI members to know and think about its core problems and challenges Soka Gakkai Japan has faced. This story is based on the experiences which we have had over 18 years.
These days, it is broadcasted and caught public attention that Soka Gakkai Japan, whose goal is to pursue peace, took the stance to support New Komeito, which decided to advocate the Security Bill currently.
(New Komeito is formerly called Komeito and a political party in Japan founded by members of the Nichiren Buddhist-based new religious movement Soka Gakkai*. The Security Bills are Japan’s defense policy that would make it easier for its troops to fight in overseas conflicts*1.)
It was controversial matter, and the the stance of New Komeito toward the Security Bills was discussed among Soka Gakkai staff and members. In the last autumn, Taketoyo town lawmaker of New Komeito Party, a Soka Gakkai member, left Komei Party with the view that the acceptance of the application of Collective Defense Force is unconstitutional. Also, in August this year, about 100 Soka Gakkai members gathered and held study meetings, inviting scholars of the Constitution who think that the Security Bills are unconstitutional. Additionally, some professors of Soka University started a campaign to collect signatures and rallied against the stance of New Komeito toward the Security Bills. Such movement gained strength. However, the desperate entreaty of the Soka Gakkai members was not taken seriously by the Soka Gakkai. Then, the Security Bills were enacted without sufficient discussion and the agreement of people, and the Soka headquarters approved of Abe administration and the Security Policy. We think that the executives of Soka Gakkai had turned blind eye on the spirits of the three presidents of SGI, “Against War”,which they had championed over the decades. Knowing the fact that New Komeito had approved of the bill, Mr. Clements, who has had close relationship with Ikeda sensei over years, made a statement that the advocation of the Security Bills is disloyal to Mr. Makiguchi and Mr. Toda, who had fought for peace and with the faith of anti-nuclear weapons. Also, he pointed out that it is totally unacceptable to support the reinterpretation of the Article 9 with silence.
Basically, on the interview by Sankei Newspaper on September 1991, Ikeda sensei expressed his opinion about the Article 9 that he was concerned about the direction of Japan toward Nationalism over the constitution and Collective Defense Force. Also, on another interview by Sankei Newspaper, Ikeda sensei made a strong statement that we should never change the Article 9 of Japanese Constitution. From this, it is obvious that Soka Gakkai has to take the stance of resisting on the tide of nationalism such as the amendment or reinterpretation of Japanese Constitution and acceptance of enforcement of Collective Defense Force. However, the headquarters of Soka Gakkai have kept silent and have not made any statement or clear explanation to Soka Gakkai members and the society about this mattar. In the current Soka Gakkai Japan, where its members are suppressed from saying right is rights, if an ordinary member point out a problem of Soka Gakkai, it is likely that such an action will be considered as rebellion against Soka Gakkai, and the headquarters will turn a blind eye on the problem. Actually, when firing us, the main reason of the punishment, they cited, was our attempts to report to Ikeda sensei about the expulsion problem of innocent members, which triggered by the offensive languages.
We were fired from Soka Gakkai, because we tried to report a problem which a senior Soka Gakkai staff had caused. However, at the meeting where all Soka Gakkai staff took part in, in case that Soka Gakkai staff caused a trouble, Ikeda sensei appointed an management executive of the headquarters, Mr. Hasegawa, who has been the secretory of Ikeda sensei for ages, as the contact person to Ikeda sensei. As Ikeda sensei told us, we visited Mr.Hasegawa. However, what we did was used for the justification to fire us. It is certain that the executives of Soka Gakkai headquarters ignored even the strict order from Ikeda sensei. Still, the problem that we reported has been hidden and gone unreported. We can not help feeling that a Soka Gakkai’s principle, “human’s happiness” is disregarded.
We are determined that we will raise our voice as the persons who have experienced and known about the core problem of Soka Gakkai, in order to correct and realize the principles of SGI, “the happiness of one single person”, “peace”. Even though we were in the positions where we were fired and excommunicated from Soka Gakkai, we can not give up raising our voice and saying that wrong is wrong. It is not right to make scapegoats the innocent SGI members who raised their voice.” Also, we have a conviction that if Ikeda sensei know this mattar, he will not let it past.
We would be gratified if this blog is read by the SGI members who are willing to make SGI better, and safeguard the sprits of “mentor and disciple.” Thank you for reading this to the end.
Reference Justin McCurry (2014), Japan PM to overturn pacifist defense policy, The Guardian, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/30/japan-pm-overturn-pacifist-defence-policy-shinzo-abe
Author:The Three Former Soka Gakkai Staff
Shuichi Kodaira; graduated from Soka high school in March 1995 graduated from Soka University in March 1999 started working for Soka Gakkai in April 1999 dismissed by Soka Gakkai in October 2012 excommunicated from Soka Gakkai in June 2014
Kiyoshi Takigawa; graduated from Soka University in March 2000 started working for Soka Gakkai in April 2000 dismissed by Soka Gakkai in October 2012 excommunicated from Soka Gakkai in June 2014
Yusuke Noguch; graduated from Tokai University in March 2002 started working for Soka Gakkai in April 2002 dismissed by Soka Gakkai in October 2012 excommunicated from Soka Gakkai in June 2014