Soka Gakkai Day Commemorated at Soka Gakkai Monthly Leaders' Meeting
On April 17, 2010, a total of 152 SGI members from 24 countries and territories attended the monthly leaders' meeting in Japan held at the Tokyo Makiguchi Memorial Hall in Hachioji. The event commemorated May 3, Soka Gakkai Day, and also celebrated the 50th anniversary of SGI President Daisaku Ikeda's inauguration as third president of the Soka Gakkai.
The meeting commenced with performances by the Soka Gakkai marching band and the Soka Gakkai Fuji Fife-and-Drum Corps.
Following this, Soka Gakkai President Minoru Harada spoke about how society will prosper and actualize peace when people uphold humanistic principles based on the dignity of human life. Mr. Harada emphasized the importance of engaging in heart-to-heart dialogue and standing up for justice.
SGI-Côte d'Ivoire General Director Andre Deazon introduced the activities and recent progress of SGI-Côte d'Ivoire. Mr. Deazon also expressed his appreciation for Mr. Ikeda's constant encouragement of SGI members in Africa, beginning with his visit to the United Nations 50 years ago, where he declared that the twenty-first century would be the century of Africa.
Recounting the civil strife within his country that took place in 2002, Mr. Deazon shared that SGI-Côte d'Ivoire members volunteered to assist those injured in the conflict and provide medical support for those in need.
In his speech, Mr. Ikeda stressed the power of sincere and honest dialogue in transcending all differences and how this can act as a catalyst for peace. He encouraged leaders to devote themselves to the happiness of others and called on young people to lead the world peace movement for the sake of the future.
[Adapted from articles in the April 23, 26 and 28, 2010, issues of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photos courtesy of Seikyo Shimbun]