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TOKYO, May 13: Daisaku Ikeda, president of the Soka Gakkai International lay Buddhist organization, was awarded the title of honorary professor from Tsinghua University*, China, at a ceremony held in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward on May 13. Tsinghua University President Gu Binglin headed a delegation that included Deputy Secretary-General Wang Jinzhan and other university officials which presented the academic honor to Mr. Ikeda. Also present at the ceremony were Chinese Ambassador to Japan Cheng Yonghua and Minister-Counselor Sun Jianming.
In his speech, President Gu cited the reasons for his university's decision to confer the academic title to Mr. Ikeda: "Based on his exceptional far-sightedness, Mr Ikeda made a public proposal for the normalization of diplomatic relations between China and Japan back in 1968…thereby setting a clear direction for the development of friendly bilateral ties between our two countries." He added, "In dedicating his entire life to advocating and taking action to realize the ideal of lasting global peace and the happiness of humankind, Mr. Ikeda has won widespread recognition as well as respect and appreciation from peace-loving people in China and around the world."
This honorary professorship brings to 288 the total number of academic honors awarded to Mr. Ikeda by institutions in 51 countries and territories for his contributions to building peace, cultural exchange and the promotion of dialogue.
Daisaku Ikeda, 82, is the founder of Soka University, Japan. The university was the first to receive students from China to study in Japan in 1975 immediately upon the normalization of diplomatic relationship between China and Japan. Presently, Soka University has exchange programs with more than 30 universities in China, including Tsinghua University since 2003. Mr. Ikeda is also founder of the Min-On Concert Association which has promoted cultural exchanges between Japan and China over the past 35 years. This year Min-On has invited the China National Acrobatic Troupe to tour major Japanese cities from February to May.
related article Soka Gakkai Japan and Singapore Soka Association Contribute to Myanmar Cyclone Relief Soka Gakkai General Director Masaaki Masaki visited the Tokyo office of the UNHCR to make a donation of 3 million yen (US$28,800) in support of relief efforts following the cyclone in Myanmar. *Tsinghua University, located in Beijing, China, is one of the top universities in China, ranking alongside the likes of Peking University and Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Established in 1911, it is highly esteemed in Asia as well as in Chinese speaking communities throughout the world and counts among its alumni luminaries such as Nobel physics laureates Yang Chen Ning and Lee Tsung Dao, Chinese President Hu Jintao and historian and writer Ji Xianlin.
Source: Soka Gakkai International
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