Soka Gakkai Education Department Visits China
In late December, delegates from the Soka Gakkai Education Department visited China at the invitation of the China-Japan Friendship Association (CJFA).
On December 26, the delegates visited the CJFA headquarters and met with the association's Vice President Jing Dunquan. Mr. Jing stressed that 2012 marks the 40th anniversary of normalization of Sino-Japanese diplomatic relations and stated that he sees the firm friendship between SGI President Daisaku Ikeda and China as one key to the continued deepening of China-Japan relations.
The Soka Gakkai delegates also met President Liu Lin of Beijing City University on the same day. The following day, on December 27, they visited Nankai University, where they held an exchange meeting with students of the Zhou Enlai and Daisaku Ikeda Research Group. At this meeting, Professor Zhao Tiesuo emphasized that the friendship between the late Premier Zhou Enlai and Mr. Ikeda has been instrumental in developing exchanges between the two countries. Mr. Mikiya Takanashi from the Soka Gakkai Education Department spoke about how 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.
On December 28, the delegates visited the Beijing First Experimental Primary School which has a long-standing relationship with Soka Elementary School. The two have held 18 joint arts exhibitions over the years.
On December 29, the CJFA and Soka Gakkai Education Department sponsored the Chinese-Japan Rally on Practical Application of Education which was attended by educators and teachers from both countries. Guan Litong, secretary-general of the CJFA, commended Soka Gakkai for its contributions to China-Japan relations and activities to promote peace, culture and education. Mr. Takanashi from Soka Univeristy gave a report on the underlying principles of Soka Education expounded by the three Soka Gakkai presidents, and reported on how teachers have successfully applied Soka value-creating pedagogy in the classroom. Teachers also gave first-hand accounts of their classroom experience. Mr. Nobuyuki Oka, an elementary school teacher from Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, talked about how he used puppet shows in his class to help children develop their ability to be more expressive.
[Adapted from articles in the December 28, 2011, and January 6, 2012, issues of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photos courtesy of Seikyo Shimbun]