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Buddhism in Action for Peace
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On July 27, at its Taoyuan Culture Center, Taiwan Soka Association (TSA) held a prayer service for victims of the July 23 TransAsia Airways plane that crashed in Taiwan’s Penghu Islands. TSA General Director Lin Chao led the service at which prayers were offered for the repose of those who lost their lives in the crash and for the rapid recovery of all those affected.
Following gas explosions in the southern Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung on July 31, TSA set up a relief center and dispatched bottled water to those affected, some of whom had been left without water and electricity. On August 2, TSA also donated NT$1,000,000 (US$33,300) to the Taiwanese government in support of relief activities in the region.
SGI President Daisaku Ikeda sent messages conveying his sincere condolences to those affected by the plane crash and gas explosions, and TSA members throughout Taiwan gathered in their local areas to pray for the victims.
In addition, both Soka Gakkai Japan and TSA made donations in support of aid activities in Zhaotong City in China’s Yunnan Province that was hit by a magnitude 6.1 earthquake on August 3. On August 4, TSA donated the equivalent of approximately US$40,500 to the Yunnan Overseas Friendship Association. On August 5, Soka Gakkai President Minoru Harada visited the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Japan and presented the donation of 5 million Japanese yen (US$48,801) to H.E. Ambassador Cheng Yonghua.
On July 30, Soka Gakkai Japan also made an emergency relief donation to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in response to the rising number of refugees in war-torn African countries and Syria. The donation, which totaled 2 million Japanese yen (US$19,493), was received by the Japan Association for UNHCR General Director Mikitoshi Kai at the Soka Gakkai Headquarters in Shinanomachi, Tokyo.
[Adapted from a article in the August 12, 2014, issue of Soka Press, Taiwan Soka Association (TSA), a report from TSA and an article in the August 6, 2014, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photos courtesy of Soka Press and Seikyo Shimbun]
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