I received a visit from a group of young Buddhist monks who are promoting their activities to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted at the UN General Assembly in 2015. I promised to cooperate with them in their activities.
According to their explanation, principles of the SDGs inevitably coincide with Buddhist thought, and therefore, they started their activities by themselves, working together beyond doctrinal differences. The SDGs are now sublime principles that all of the Japanese people should pursue. As the Minister of the Environment, I am committed to the protection of natural environment, which is one of the most important goals in the SDGs.
Cruel terrorist attacks between Muslims and Christians are repeatedly occurring now in the world. I have learned from these monks that principles of the SDGs seem to be derived from Buddhist thought; to respect even a tree or a grass in nature and rescue all beings.