Visitors viewing the new exhibition “Promises to Ensure Peace” in Hiroshima. | © Seikyo Shimbun

25th July 2023

Exhibition Highlighting ICRC’s Humanitarian and Nuclear Disarmament Contributions Opens in Japan

  • Humanitarian relief
  • Disarmament

On 9 May 2023, a new exhibition “Promises to Ensure Peace,” jointly created by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and SGI, opened at the Hiroshima Ikeda Peace Memorial Hall, concurrent with the G7 Summit being held in the city. The exhibition ran until 25 June and will be shown in several other cities in Japan. The ICRC Head of Delegation in Japan, Jordi Raich, spoke at the opening ceremony, emphasizing that peace means ensuring that everyone can live a life of dignity, free from conflict and fear.

The two-part exhibition introduces ICRC’s humanitarian efforts in Ukraine and the support of nuclear abolition by ICRC and SGI. The first part, “Lost Daily Life: Ukraine Today,” portrays the impact of conflict on the daily lives of people in Ukraine and the provision of humanitarian assistance through photos and videos. The second part, "Nuclear Weapons: A Threat to Humanity—Are They Really Necessary?" aims to provoke thought and discussion about the inhumanity of nuclear weapons and the urgency of disarmament.

As the guardian of International Humanitarian Law (IHL), ICRC has called for a ban on nuclear weapons from a humanitarian perspective since 1945, when it provided medical supplies and equipment to the victims of nuclear bombings. In April 2010, then ICRC President Jakob Kellenberger’s statement to the Geneva Diplomatic Corps highlighted the unacceptable humanitarian damage caused by nuclear weapons and called on the international community to take immediate action. This statement marked a significant turning point in the global discussion on ridding the world of nuclear weapons.

Three international conferences were subsequently held to address the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons, with ICAN (the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons) playing a central coordinating role. A majority of states, the ICRC and numerous NGOs, including SGI, participated in these conferences that are said to have formed the basis for discussions leading to the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in 2017.

ICRC also recently created a blog titled “Religion and Humanitarian Principles,” with a collection of contributions that explore the relationship between IHL and the teachings of various faiths, including an article by SGI President Daisaku Ikeda that draws from a Buddhist perspective.