It is a great honour to speak on this occasion of the Vesak Day, commemorating the birth, enlightenment, and death of Gautama Buddha. I thank the Permanent Missions of Thailand and Sri Lanka for organizing this event, and I am delighted to attend this event in-person again this year.
In Japan, Buddhist temples celebrate Vesak Day by holding “Flower Festivals.” Celebrants pour sweet tea over small sacred statues with decorated flowers, as if bathing a newborn baby, in commemoration of the birth of Buddha.
The teachings of Buddhism have inspired countless people throughout history and continue to be a source of guidance and inspiration for all people of various backgrounds.
In the current world, as humanity continues to suffer from various threats to human security concerning the survival, livelihoods, and dignity of people, let us reflect on the spirit of Buddhism together, which teaches tolerance, harmony, peace, and compassion.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The core values enshrined in the declaration, such as freedom from fear and freedom from want, are values that Buddhist practitioners also cherish and believe in deeply.
Buddhism teaches respect for the dignity of all beings—not only human beings, but also all living creatures, and even nature. Facing the multifaceted global challenges, including climate change, food insecurity, the issue of clean water, and sustainable energy, I sincerely believe that the wisdom of Buddhism can inspire our efforts to sustain peace and prosperity for future generations.
To conclude, I would like to offer my best wishes to those celebrating the Day of Vesak, and my sincerest hope that we may all draw on our spiritual ideals to ensure human security for all.