(Excerpts from RSMM, The Person Who Gave Life to Me)
For years I have called for a world where all religions live together as one, all races live as one, and
all nations exist as one. For thousands of years history has seen the continuous increase of divisions.
Each time a different religion was adopted or a new regime came into power, more boundaries were
drawn and wars were fought. Now, however, we live in an age of globalism. For the sake of the
future we must become one.
One way I propose to facilitate that is through the International Peace Highway, a huge undertaking.
It will link Korea and Japan by an undersea tunnel and create a bridge across the Bering Strait that
separates Russia and North America. These great links can unify the world. When the highway is
completed it will be possible to travel by car from Africa’s Cape of Good Hope to Santiago, Chile,
and from London to New York. There will be no roadblocks; the entire world will be
interconnected as if by capillary vessels.
The world will become one integrated community, and everyone will be able to travel freely across
international borders. Borders that give free passage to anyone will lose their significance as
borders. Something similar will be true for religion. As the frequency of exchanges among religions
increases, greater mutual understanding will arise, conflict will disappear, and the walls of
separation will crumble. When different types of people live together in a single global community,
barriers between races will come down. Interaction between races will occur despite differences in
appearance and language. This cultural revolution will bring the world into one.
The Silk Road was not simply a trade route that people used in order to sell silk and buy spices. It
was also a vehicle for the peoples of the East and West to meet and for Buddhism, Islam, and
Christianity to meet. These different cultures intermingled and gave rise to a new culture. The
International Peace Highway will play a similar role in the twenty-first century.
Rome could thrive because all roads led to Rome. This illustrates the importance of roads. When a
road is built, people use it to travel. It is used to transport culture and ideology. That is why when a
road is built it changes the course of history. When the International Peace Highway is completed,
the world can be physically bound together as one. The road will make this possible. I cannot
overemphasize the importance of bringing the world together. Some may think that this is an idea
ahead of its time. Religious people, however, foresee the future and prepare for it. So it is only
natural that we are ahead of our time. The world may not understand us and may cause us to suffer,
but religious believers must persevere to lead the way to the future.
Completing the International Peace Highway will require the cooperation of many nations. China,
which was a victim of Japanese aggression, may not welcome the idea of being connected to Japan
by a highway. Japan and Korea, however, cannot connect to the rest of the world without going
through China, so we need to make efforts to win China’s trust. Who will do this? Those of us who
will take spiritual ownership over the International Peace Highway in the twenty-first century need
to take the lead in this effort.
How about bridging the Bering Strait? It will cost a great deal, but this should not cause concern.
The amount of money that the United States has spent in Iraq would be more than enough to build
such a bridge. We must stop waging war and forcing people to suffer. It is perverse to start wars and
squander hundreds of billions of dollars. The time has come for us to beat our swords into
plowshares and our spears into pruning hooks.
The International Peace Highway is a project to bring the world together as one. To become one
means more than simply connecting continents by tunnels and bridges. It refers to an equalization of
the world’s standards of living. When someone monopolizes a technology and keeps the profit for
himself, the balance of the world is upset. The International Peace Highway will rearrange the
current inequality by creating access to existing natural and human resources. This will bring about
a leveling of wealth. Leveling means that a little is taken off places that are high and added to places
that are low. As a result, the two have the same height. This will require sacrifice from those with
greater material possessions or knowledge. Building a world of peace cannot be done with one-time
charitable acts or donations. Only sincere love and continuous sacrifice is capable of creating a
world of peace. We must be willing to offer everything.
Building the International Peace Highway does more than just provide the world with a physical
means of communication. Human beings are created so that their mind and body become one.
Something similar is true for the world we live in. The world can be completely unified only when
there is both physical communication and communication of heart.
The United Nations has done much for world peace. More than sixty years after its founding,
however, the United Nations is losing sight of its original purpose and is now an organization that
works for the interests of a few powerful countries. The U.N. was created to solve the conflicts that
arise in the world, so it must put the world’s interest before the interests of one side or the other. It
only leads to further conflict when a powerful country insists on its own way and uses force to
pursue it. Unfortunately, the U.N. today is unable to do much about such situations.
In this light, I have proposed a restructuring of the United Nations as a bicameral institution. In
addition to the General Assembly there would be a religious, or cultural, assembly or council. This
body would consist of respected spiritual leaders in fields such as religion, culture, and education.
The members of this interreligious assembly would need to demonstrate an ability to transcend the
limited interests of particular religions and cultures and to speak for the spiritual and moral
purposes of all humanity. I maintain that the two chambers, working together in mutual respect and
cooperation, will be able to make great advances in ushering in a world of peace.
Some may oppose this, saying, “Why should religious people becom involved in world affairs?”
My answer is that the world today is in a period when the participation of religious people is
crucial. Those who have achieved deep self-awareness through religious practice are needed now
more than ever. It is only truly religious people who can stand up to the unrighteousness and evil of
the world and practice true love. It is only when the knowledge and experience of political leaders
are combined with the wisdom of interreligious leaders that the world will be able to find the path to
Again today I set out on my path with renewed determination t achieve that goal. My prayer is that
every person on earth will be reborn as a peace-loving global citizen, transcending barriers of
religion, ideology, and race.