Silvio Marquardt (Okazaki City)
Somehow I share Prof. Kuroda's impression that Japan could play a significant role in mediating the supposed clash of civilizations: A positive recovery of religious identity in Japan, the pacifist Buddhist heritage and the ecologically conscious Shinto and their natural vocation to promote interfaith dialogue. For example, international contributions from traditions like Rissho Kosei-kai and Oomoto-kyo would reinforce Japan's capacity to do so. But observing a kind of subtle public opinion discriminating against Japanese new religious movements and against the word "religion" itself, I think that Islam is still far away to be accepted, studied and regarded as a partner for dialogue. A positive evaluation of Japanese religious history could bring about the right diplomatic tools for Japanese society and political leaders to act for the sake of peace.