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Y. Ohno: Address to World Summit 2022, Plenary Session 4

Address to World Summit
February 11-13, 2022


Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen assembled at this session of the World Summit 2022.  Good afternoon. I am Yoshinori Ohno, former member of the Japanese Diet and former minister of defense of Japan.

First, I would like to express my gratitude to UPF co-founder Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon. I would also like to thank the co-chairs of this Summit, H.E. Prime Minister Hun Sen of the Kingdom of Cambodia and H.E. Ban Ki-moon, former secretary-general of the United Nations.

This World Summit is focused on a very important topic, peace on the Korean Peninsula. Both South Korea and North Korea are neighboring countries of Japan, but we have different relationships with them. South Korea is an important neighbor of Japan, with which it shares fundamental values and interests. However, we have no diplomatic relations with North Korea, and past abductions of Japanese citizens by the country are a major concern for us. We are also very much concerned by North Korea’s nuclear weapons development and missile launchings.

The focus of this Summit is to promote peace and security on the Korean Peninsula through “Interdependence, Mutual Prosperity and Universal Values,” which are core teachings of Rev. Sun Myung Moon.

In order to keep and maintain peace and security, we should try our best through various measures. The first measure is defense power; it is essential as a deterrent in order not to be attacked. But I have to say that defense power sparks war in some cases. Second, I’d like to stress that problems be solved through diplomatic power.

However, a much stronger power than defense and diplomatic power is needed in order to maintain peace. It is human relationships. We could call this sort of human relations “peace power.” Let’s push forward this peace power.

What is instructive when considering “peace power” is that about 30 years ago, in December 1991, Rev. and Mrs. Moon visited North Korea to meet with President Kim Il-sung. They established a relationship of mutual trust that helped avoid a nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula. In order to bring North Korea into the international community and achieve peace on the peninsula, Rev. Moon set an example of human relations as “peace power.”

As you know, Japan is the only country that experienced the misery of the atomic bomb. Do you know what the Japanese said against the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki?  The monument to the victims says, “Rest in peace, we’ll never repeat this mistake,” instead of, “Remember the American atomic bomb.”

We avoided antagonism between assailants and victims. We are simply stressing “no atomic bomb in the future.” The important things are, first, “Do not hate people, but hate wrongdoing,” and second, “Peace can be made through good human relations, which is love.” I believe that this is a universal value shared by everyone.

On the point of nuclear weapons, we are paying special attention to the activities of North Korea.  If North Korea abandons its nuclear weapons, not only could Northeast Asia but also the world go one step forward to peace. In order to achieve this goal, I believe that the roles of the U.S., Japan and South Korea are essential.

In the Asia-Pacific region, the U.S. attaches great importance to the hub-and-spoke framework which consists of bilateral alliances, and its alliances with Japan and South Korea are vital for security in the region. Therefore, in developing a policy toward the Korean Peninsula, it is essential for Japan and South Korea to work in close coordination and cooperation with the U.S.

Unfortunately, Japan-South Korea relations remain politically strained. But I believe that this could be overcome by “peace power,” which is human relationships between citizens of both countries.

Therefore, let’s push forward with love and peace through this meeting of UPF. Let me call this peace power. Peace power may be stronger than defense power, stronger than diplomatic power.  Thank you very much!



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