Soka Gakkai Delegation Visits China
Commemorating the 40th anniversary of the normalization of relations between China and Japan, a delegation of Soka Gakkai representatives, including Soka Gakkai Vice General Director Hiromasa Ikeda, visited China in mid-January.
On January 11, the delegation traveled to Beijing where they met with Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang at the Great Hall of the People and with China-Japan Friendship Association (CJFA) Honorary Advisor Tang Jiaxuan at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse.
At the first meeting, Vice Premier Li conveyed messages for SGI President Daisaku Ikeda on behalf of Chinese President Hu Jintao and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.
Mr. Li also highlighted that it has been 27 years since youth exchanges began between China and Soka Gakkai Japan. He himself visited the Soka Gakkai Headquarters in March 1985 as a vice president of the All-China Youth Federation (ACYF), together with Mr. Hu, who was director of ACYF at the time. Mr. Li also stressed that the foundation of Sino-Japan relations lies in the bonds between civilians and that youth are the hope for further strengthening friendship between the two countries.
Referring to SGI President Ikeda, Mr. Li shared that Mr. Ikeda is well-known and respected in China and that he personally tries to read Mr. Ikeda's writings and learn from philosophy and vision of peace.
Those who attended the meeting included: Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Zhang Zhijun; Deputy Secretary to the Premier Li Gang; President Li Xiaolin of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) and Deputy Director Li Hai of CPAFFC's general office; CJFA's Vice President Jing Dunquan, Secretary-General Guan Litong, Director of CJFA's Political Exchange Department Wang Zhanqi and Deputy Director Zhang Zhenxing.
At the meeting with Honorary Advisor to CJFA Tang Jiaxuan, Mr. Tang spoke about the proposal for the normalization of Sino-China relations issued by Mr. Ikeda in 1968 and commended his courageous efforts to help harmonize relations between the two countries despite being strongly criticized by those who opposed his proposal and even being subject to death threats.
Mr. Tang also mentioned that Soka University, founded by Mr. Ikeda, was the first university in Japan to take in exchange students from China following the normalization of Sino-Japanese diplomatic relations. Mr. Tang, who was previously minister of the Embassy of China in Japan, minister of foreign affairs and state councilor of the People's Republic of China, expressed his continued wish for the two countries to further deepen bonds through nurturing friendship among their citizens.
Mr. Hiromasa Ikeda expressed his desire to continue promoting cultural exchanges between the two countries, such as through supporting the ongoing Soka Gakkai Japan-China Youth Friendship Delegation. CPAFFC President Li Xiaolin and CJFA Vice President Jing Dunquan also attended the meeting.
The Soka Gakkai delegation also visited the China Youth University for Political Sciences, where they met with Party Committee Secretary Ni Bangwen and Vice President Li Jiahua.
Mr. Li Jiahua mentioned that the Chinese exchange students who studied at Soka University in Japan are now successful leaders in China. He also stated that raising youth is synonymous with nurturing the future and that Mr. Ikeda's devotion to youth education is a prime example of this point.
On January 12, the Soka Gakkai delegation also visited CPAFFC where they held a meeting with Ms. Li.
[Adapted from articles in the January 12, 14 and 17, 2012, issues of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photo courtesy of Seikyo Shimbun]