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S. Moriyama: Address to Interreligious Leadership Conference 2017

Address to Interreligious Leadership Conference 2017
Seoul, Korea, November 10 to 14, 2017


Good evening, distinguished religious leaders from all over the world, Ambassadors for Peace, ladies and gentlemen. It’s a great honor for me to be here for this precious conference and to be given this opportunity to give a brief talk.

I am an engineering researcher, currently working at a university in Korea. My specialization is nuclear plant engineering

I know you feel this is strange, and maybe a little astonishing. Yes, I am a Japanese Zen Buddhist monk, as you can see by my appearance. Actually, I am both. A specific historical and social environment of Japanese Buddhism has brought and allowed me such a “composite” position.

I have been involved in the activity of UPF in both capacities, for some years, and deeply appreciate the contribution of UPF and the American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC) for interfaith and interdisciplinary dialogue toward world peace, and the precious work by the founders, Rev. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon.

I can personally thank UPF-Japan for something related to my “composite position.”

In the year 2011, I was working at a research institute in Japan. On March 11, a huge earthquake and tsunami hit the eastern part of Japan, and my workplace was in that area.

Eventually we learned that the nuclear power plant in Fukushima was in a big trouble. Because my major research field pertained to such kind of severe accidents, I was very concerned.

The first priority in such an accident is getting water into the plant to cool the reactor core. And, that was the problem.

As time went by, I got a strange feeling and suspected that it was not only the technical problem but also something spiritual, e.g., something that brings hesitation, fear, useless discussions, etc., that was delaying necessary actions. I thought, maybe I am the only one who conceives such an idea.

Then, I was pushed to do something.

I wrote a letter saying that I am a specialist in nuclear accidents; how serious is the situation of the accident; also, I am a religious man and religious peoples’ prayers are urgently requested to spiritually support the fight to overcome the nuclear accident.

Then I distributed the letter to nearby temples, Shinto shrines and Christian churches, and also emailed it to Mr. Maeda, the former chief secretary of the Inter-religion Forum of UPF-Japan.

Surprisingly, he promptly accepted my message, and connected me to the members of the Forum.

Later, I heard that many religious people in Japan joined in the prayer effort.

Eventually, I saw on TV news that helicopters and huge tanker trucks had arrived and began pumping water into the plant.

It is unknown if the prayer campaign actually impacted the accident management. Nonetheless, the accident site was gradually stabilized.

I would like to sincerely thank UPF and all of the people for their support.

In this community, people often talk about unification, or harmonization of religion and science. I think a keyword is “the truth.” Simple logic says that truth is one and consistent, and it naturally brings unification.

Regarding religion, however, traditional religions have worked more as “time capsules” to preserve the correct original teachings, rather than seeking for truth. And, in view of modern intelligence, they seem to have inconsistencies, or missing pieces, frankly speaking.

In the present age, a tremendous amount of new information is coming in. And, among those complications, I see this movement especially providing the missing pieces of traditional religions and encourages us to seek for and find the truth once more, in a deeper dimension.

Accepting the “truth,” however, is another story; it requires opening our hearts, accepting insight from others, and changing oneself if needed. I believe such an open-hearted cooperation is facilitated by the great love and mercy of our common background, and will surely bring happy harmonization among religions, and between religion and science.

This time, especially, may our gathering and prayers have a big impact on the current serious East Asian affairs.

Thank you.


To go to the Interreligious Leadership Conference Schedule 2017, click here.