the 2nd INEB East Asia Forum
We—members of the East Asian Network of Engaged Buddhists (under the International Network of Engaged Buddhists – INEB) from the three nations of Taiwan, Japan, and Korea—have developed the following joint declaration from our three day 2nd INEB East Asia Forum held in Seoul from June 27-29, 2013.
We fully realize that:
1. many of the individual and communal problems in contemporary East Asian society—such as alienation, suicide, and lack of concern for others—have developed from numerous common structural problems, especially the hyper competitive social system that prioritizes economic growth.
2. the continuing proliferation of nuclear energy in the region—and its real as well as potential use for developing nuclear armaments—poses a critical threat to all life forms on our planet and the overall ecological system.
3. ethnic, religious, and ideological differences between East Asian peoples—much of which are based on unhealed wounds from the past century of conflict—continue to be used as a basis for hatred, division, and violent conflict.
Based on these realizations, we strive for the respective ideals:
1. To respect and care for life: Based on the Buddhist teaching of interconnectedness, we value a caring society where physical, social, psychological, and spiritual support are fully provided to all who face suffering. In addition, we value the equality of all people despite differences of gender, race, religion, social background, and personal disposition.
2. To respect and uphold “the non-duality of life and environment” (身土不二): Based on the Buddhist teaching of sufficiency and contentment (小欲知足), we value lifestyles that do not emphasize consumerism nor an economic system based on infinite growth that leads to armed conflict over natural resources and the proliferation of nuclear energy and armaments.
3. To embody peaceful coexistence (共生) in East Asia: On the basis of the Buddhist teaching of universal compassion, we value an awareness of interconnection and deep fraternity amongst the peoples of East Asian who share so much common culture. This bond extends to all sentient life in this region and the past generations—many of whom died in warfare against each other—and future generations—who depend on our present stewardship of the region.
By realizing these values of the Lord Buddha, we will take the following actions:
1. To strive for the development of Buddhist chaplain training systems, so that Buddhists may be better equipped to meet the most critical suffering of the common people through hospice facilities, suicide prevention and grief support groups, and the protection of animal rights.
2. To bring about the immediate phase-out of nuclear energy and nuclear armaments programs as well as their promotion by our respective governments in other parts of the world. In turn, to promote sustainable ecological lifestyles by developing Buddhist temples and other Buddhist facilities as centers of alternative energy and low consumption.
3. To continue promote dialogues and exchanges among the three nations—especially among Buddhists and like minded religious persons— to learn from each other and to develop national cultures and a larger East Asian civilization that embodies universal ethics and mutual caring based on our spiritual traditions.
The Participants of the The 2nd INEB East Asia Forum, Seoul
as represented by
The Korean Network of Engaged Buddhists (KNEB)
The Japan Network of Engaged Buddhists (JNEB)
Taiwan Engaged Buddhists