"He that is without sin among you, let
him first cast a stone..."
From the New Testament, St. John's
|Tokyo, September 25th, 2001
The indiscriminate terrorist attack on September
11 that took so many innocent lives must
categorically be condemned.
I express my heartfelt condolences to the
Americans, my fellow countrymen and those
from other countries who were victims of
this horrible crime.
There is a rising cry ringing from America
and throughout the world to stamp out such
unforgivable acts of inhumanity. The United
States of America is preparing to use its
military power to attack the terrorists and
their bases as well as countries that aid
or harbor them. The government of Japan has
expressed its full backing and cooperation
to provide logistic support.
There is no question that terrorism must
But can it be truly eradicated by such means?
Even if we are able to remove the masterminds
of the terror and destroy their bases of
operation that would not mean that we have
eradicated the future possibility of similar
This is because while the roots of terrorism
can be traced to the interaction of historical,
religious, cultural, political, economic,
social and other factors, it is conceived
each time anew in the minds of its perpetrators.
Motives determine the goals and their consequences.
Without addressing the inner motives that
move men to commit these acts it will never
be possible to build a terror-free society.
The use of arms in the name of retaliation
will not only increase the toll of innocent
victims beyond the number already felled.
Rather, it will create a situation far more
tragic even than which we have today, creating
an endless cycle of massacre upon massacre.
In fact, this has been the long story of
the folly that mankind has wrought upon itself.
Each of us is called upon today to play our
part in putting an end to this deep-rooted
evil because no one should ever violate the
dignity of human life.
It is all too human to want to retaliate
against those who have taken the lives of
our family and friends whom we love.
That is why I believe each of us must stop
and draw on our wisdom to think hard how
we should act now.
In the search for radical solutions to the
present predicament I propose two essential
The first, to stop further bloodshed, is
the life-giving principle of motherhood.
The dignity of life is a value that all human
beings are inherently endowed with and supersedes the
man-made relation of friend against foe.
As givers of life we women will lay down
our own lives to protect those to whom we
have given birth.
Motherhood knows no foe or friend. It mourns
the violation of the dignity of life wherever
The other proposal is inspired by the ancient
spirit of Japan.
In other words, I propose a paradigm shift
from the dichotomous principles of contemporary
society to the uniting principles of the
The theory of discrimination by its nature
does not free us from a frame of mind that
promotes confrontation and conflict. The
Eastern principle of seeking unity in human
relationships gives us the only chance of
uniting the two parties through integration.
This proposal is based on the following philosophical
The law of cause and effect without exception
rules all events that take place in the phenomenal
world. There is no effect without a cause
and each effect becomes a new cause.
Without a keen and deep search for the causes
that led to the dreadful tragedy we have
witnessed, an impetuous retaliatory attack
can only become the cause of further acts
of terror. This will result in an endless
cycle of destruction.
It will be difficult to discover the motives
for the acts of which the Islamic fundamentalists
are accused without observing their profound
causes over a long period.
From prehistoric times to the present humankind
has repeatedly plundered and killed and been
plundered and killed in turn. We may say
that our history is a progression of consequences
born of our greed, anger, hatred and jealousy
that are offshoots of our biological nature
of aggression and egoism.
It is in recognition of this that the preamble
to the UNESCO Constitution states that "wars
begin in the minds of men."
The accumulated acts of plunder and murder
are passed on genetically so that each of
us inherits and retains it in our subconscious.
This is to say that under certain conditions
any one of us is capable of exhibiting the
hidden urge to kill and plunder. It is time
for us to put an end to this cycle of violence.
As long as each side in any matter of contention
holds the other responsible for the original
cause, they will not be able to arrest the
chain of effects.
It is up to each of us to overcome the curse
of our history of war and murder by seeking
out and eradicating its cause within us.
If you find your friends engaged in a brawl
will you stop them by joining in the fight?
Would it not be wiser and more courageous
to try to stop them fighting?
Only when human beings are awakened and liberated
from ignorance, greed and arrogance and experience
a true restoration of the humanity within
us will we be able to create a new civilization
free from terror and war. This is the task
of creating our future together to which
each of us is called.
I believe that only when all peoples are
united under this universal value will we
at last be enabled to eradicate the terror
that threatens us and pay true tribute to
the innocent victims of the terrible crime
we have seen.
Nomura Center for Lifelong Integrated Education