SGI 2007 Autumn Training Course Held in Japan
From November 7-11, 2007, the SGI 2007 Autumn Training Course was held in Japan, with 220 participants from 60 countries and territories. On November 7, the SGI Board of Directors' meeting was held at the Josei Toda International Center in Tokyo. Major activities for 2008, designated as the "Year of Capable People and Development," were discussed.
On November 8, Soka Gakkai's monthly leaders' meeting, which commemorated November 18, Soka Gakkai's 77th anniversary, took place at Kansai Ikeda Auditorium in Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture. The meeting coincided with the 32nd SGI General Meeting and a Kansai general meeting. SGI President Daisaku Ikeda, who was visiting Osaka for the first time seven years, attended together with Soka Gakkai President Minoru Harada, other executive leaders of Japan and the 220 visiting SGI members. In his speech, Mr. Ikeda reminisced about the time he spent in Kansai as a youth, working together with his mentor second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda. Referring to Mr. Toda's words, he urged everyone to foster capable youth leaders for advancing peace in society.
A study session with SGI Study Department Chief Katsuji Saito took place on November 9 at Soka International Friendship Hall in Tokyo. Mr. Saito spoke about the SGI's significance in the history of Buddhism, emphasizing that promoting interreligious dialogue based on mutual respect, aiming at the happiness of humanity, is the key for building world peace. Following the study session, representatives from Mexico, Spain, South Korea and Iceland reported on local activities to broaden understanding of the SGI and Nichiren Buddhism in their respective societies.
On November 11, the SGI members attended exchange meetings in 30 locations in Tokyo. At a gathering at Soka Gakkai Adachi Peace Center, SGI-Canada members were welcomed by the local Japanese members. Representatives shared experiences of practicing Nichiren Buddhism and Japanese members performed traditional dances. SGI-Canada General Director Tony Meers expressed his joy of making a new departure with the members of Adachi, towards Soka Gakkai's 80th anniversary in 2010 and the 50th anniversary of SGI-Canada.
[Adapted from articles in the November 7-13, 2007 issues of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]