I am delighted to convey my warm wishes to all participants in this 20th anniversary summit meeting of religious leaders on Mt. Hiei.
Your anniversary occurs at a time of rising intolerance and growing cross-cultural tensions. It seems that in this age of satellite television and jet travel, distances have collapsed but divisions have not. Instead, our proximity has heightened longstanding suspicions of “the other” –the other religion, the other ethnicity, the other nationality. It has led increasing numbers of people to reject diversity in favour of the familiar.