Call for promoting religious brotherhood to establish peace in Pakistan like Japan

Speakers at an international seminar have said that the two major religions of Japan Shinto and Buddhism have been merged so as to establish religious tolerance, peace and harmony among the masses in the country.

They said religious brotherhood was the need of the hour to be further promoted in Pakistan so that absolute peace could prevail and the lives of people could be ameliorated in every nook and corner of Pakistan.

This they said while addressing the international seminar titled “Yasukuni Shrine: History and Its Impact on Northeast Asia” held in ASEAN Seminar Hall of the Area Study Center, University of Sindh, Jamshoro here on Wednesday. The seminar was chaired by the Chairman, Department of Sociology Prof. Dr. Hamadullah Kakepoto representing SU Vice-Chancellor Professor (Meritorious) Dr. Muhammad Siddique Kalhoro. Chairman Pakistan-Japan Intellect Forum Iqbal Burma, Dr. Ronak Ali Behan, Ghulam Murtaza Khoso, Imran Noonari and others were also present on the occasion.

Addressing the seminar, Japanese Consul General (CG) in Karachi Toshikazu Isomura said that a religion had been formed in Japan by combining Shinto and Buddhism, in which people of both religions worshipped together under the same roof of a chapel or a sanctuary.

He said that human spirits were highly valued in Japan; therefore, Yasukuni shrine was associated with spirits, especially those killed in battle.

He said Yasukuni's spirits related to the Japan-China war and Vietnam, while those spirits were important to Japan that they were esteemed at the national level, which other nations might not understand.

“These spirits are as significant and sacred to Japanese people as Tipu Sultan and Subhash Chandra who are considered heroes for the people of the subcontinent”, he said and added that Japanese citizens celebrated many festivals, including the Christmas Eve and the local Japanese festival of Obon, also known as the ‘Festival of the Souls’.

“In the future, we may also celebrate Eid in Japan,” the CG said.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Dr. Hammadullah Kakeputo said that Japan should provide education and internship opportunities to the youth of Pakistan, especially the University of Sindh in Japan so that our youth might travel to Japan and get acquainted with its art and culture there.

He said that Japan and Pakistan enjoyed friendly relations which will further deepen in due course of time adding that Japan was a developed country and if it provided more employment, internship and education opportunities to Pakistani youth, it will surely further strengthen the rapport between the two countries as a result of people to people contact.

He on behalf of SU Vice-Chancellor Prof. Dr. Muhammad Siddique Kalhoro thanked the consul general for collaborating academic activities at SU’s Area Study Centre for last 3 years and suggested establishment of ‘Japanese Centre’ at the Faculty of Engineering & Technology aiming at promoting Japanese products and science equipment at varsity level.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Ronak Ali Behan highlighted the friendly relations between Pakistan and Japan and emphasized on religious harmony. He said that Japanese people remembered their people killed in different wars by attributing Yasukuni shrine with the departed souls.

He said that Japanese people were living in peace by combining Shinto and Buddhist religions, while Islam was the religion of peace. “We should forget the distances and become a united nation so that Pakistan may develop like Japan with tranquility”, he said.

Chairman Pakistan-Japan Intellect Forum Iqbal Burma said that the Japanese attached great importance to souls and they thought that the body was mortal; however the soul did not perish. “The belief of the Muslims is also similar to that of Japanese people”, he said.

He said that Islam also clarified that after the death of a person while his soul did not perish and it remained alive adding that Pakistanis must become a nation and spread peace.