The first steering committee of the G8 Religious Leaders Summit
was held on December 14, 2007 at the Kyoto Century Hotel, and was
attended by 19 representatives of various religious groups.
Committee meeting of the proposed G8 Religious Leaders
December 14, 2007
Rt. Rev. Yoshinobu Miyake, Director-General of the Konko Church
of Izuo (a Shinto denomination), having attended the G8 Religious
Leaders Summit (G8RLS) held in Cologne, Germany in early June,
2007, has since July 5th 2007 undertaken preparations for the
next G8 Religious Leaders Summit (2008), acting tentatively as
After the opening Shinto prayer by Very Rev. Fumihiko Katayama,
the Chief Priest of Shinjuku Hanazono Shrine and President of
Heisei Shinto Association, all participants were introduced by
Rev. Miyake since this was the first meeting of the Steering
The steering committee announced the following: Firstly, the
names and titles of the 37 invitees who had declared their participation;
then, the entire structure of the hosting body (Japan), from
the General Secretary to the steering committee; and, the composition
of the honorary directorship of the G8RLS 2008.
President Juntoku Deguchi, the 110th Chief Abbot of Shitenno-ji Temple
The meeting elected the Most Ven. Jyunyoku Deguchi, the 110th
Chief Abbot of Shitenno-ji Temple (the oldest Buddhist temple
in Japan established AD593) as President of the G8RLS 2008, and
the Most Rev. Mitsuo Miyake, Chairman of the International Religious
Fellowship and the Chief Senior Minister of Konko Church of Izuo,
as the Chairman of this steering committee. It was also resolved
by unanimous approval that Rev. Yoshinobu Miyake, until then
serving as "tentative General Secretary", take on the
Most Rev. Mitsuo Miyake gives address as Chairman
of the Steering Committee
General Secretary Miyake introduced his appointment of Ven.
Sodo Yasunaga, Master of the Tenryuji International Zen School,
and Rev. Takahiro Miwa, Chief Priest of Hiyoshi Shinto Shrine,
as his Secretariat Advisers. The official positions of Honorary
President, Vice President, Councillors, and others, will be decided
by election in the near future.
The discussion of the budget proposed by the secretariat approved
a total budget expense of 20 million yen (approx. US$180,000),
consisting of conference expenses of 10 million yen (approx.
US$90,000), administrative expenses of 7.7 million yen (approx.
US$70,000), and a reserve fund of 2.3 million yen (approx. US$20,000).
Because, in addition to donations from companies and individuals,
the participating religious organizations bore "support
money", the income for this budget was confirmed.
The proposed rationale and scope of the G8 Religious Leader
Summit 2008 was discussed, and ten articles of agreement on the
host organization’s constitution and functioning were approved.
Moreover, the theme of the summit conference was proposed by
the secretariat, as well as themes to each breakaway meeting,
with a stress upon continuity with the conferences in Russia
in 2006 and Germany in 2007. It was resolved to examine these
themes further at the next steering committee meeting.
Steering Committee approved the agreement
The steering committee was obliged to discuss on this day when
to fix the date of the G8 Religious Leaders Summit, since several
similar conferences are expected to be held in various venues
in Japan before and after next year's G8 Political Leaders Summit,
to be held in Hokkaido, Japan, 7-9 July 2008. Some persons whose
participation was scheduled in one meeting wish also to attend
the other, so at the next steering committee meeting, to be held
in early February 2008, it will be decided to fix either Plan
A (July 2 to 4) or Plan B (June 27 to 29) as the exact date of
G8RLS. A serious discussion was held as to how to allow for the
possibility of dual or multiple attendances.
The summit proposal has already been submitted to the Prime
Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and has
received the support of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious
Dialogue at the Vatican. Thus the Secretariat may proceed forthwith
to progress this G8 Religious Leaders Summit. To this end, it
was reported by the steering committee's Rev. Naoki Kakeno, the
Chief Priest of Nonomiya Shrine in Kyoto, that the Government
of Kyoto Prefecture welcomes the holding of the G8 Religious
Leaders Summit in Kyoto as the main venue.
In accordance with the principle of information disclosure, which
is to be one of the essential principles of this meeting, nine
national newspapers and news agencies gave coverage.
Finally, the Most Rev. Mitsuo Miyake who had been elected Chairman
of the steering committee, gave the closing address. The meeting
was closed with a Buddhist prayer by the Very Ven. Giko Sonoki,
Executive Director of Jodo-Shinshu Hongwanji Sect. General Secretary
Miyake continued the press conference afterwards.
19 religious leaders attended, and 6 observers, as follows:
Very Ven. Yoshihiro Otani, Director General of Shin-shu Bukkoji
Sect; Very Ven. Riten Tanaka, Director General of Kimpusen Shugen-honshu;
Very Ven. Ryoyu Okeya (proxy), Director General of Nempo Shin-kyo;
Very Ven. Gashow Hirano, Executive Director of Shingon-shu Sen’nyuji
Sect; Very Ven. Hotoku Sakamoto, Executive Director of Shitenno-ji
Temple; Ven. Eikan Mizutani, Secretary General of Japan Buddhist
Committee of the WFM; Most Rev. Taira Nakagawa, President of
Jinjya Hon-kyo; Very Rev. Chotaro Iwata (proxy), Executive Director
of Tenri-kyo; Very Rev. Akira Ueno, Chief Priest of Nachi-Hayatama
Grand Shrine; Rev. Michihiro Takai, Deputy Chief Priest of Sumiyoshi
Grand Shrine; Very Rev. Takeshi Nishida, President of Itto-en
Community; Very Rev. Shigemi Asakawa (proxy), President of ITRI
Japan Center; Most Rev. Mitsuo Miyake, Chairman of International
Religious Fellowship and Chief Senior Minister of Konko Church
of Izuo; Very Rev. Fumihiko Katayama, the Chief Priest of Shinjuku
Hanazono Shrine and the President of Heisei Shinto Association;
Rev. Takahiro Miwa, the Chief Priest of Hiyoshi Shinto Shrine;
Rev. Naoki Kakeno, the Chief Priest of Nonomiya Shrine; Rt. Rev.
Yoshinobu Miyake, Director General of Konko Church of Izuo. Plus