Recently Appointed Japan UNHCR Representative Visits Soka Gakkai Headquarters
On January 30, 2007, Saburo Takizawa, the new United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Representative in Japan, met with Soka Gakkai President Minoru Harada at the Soka Gakkai Headquarters, Shinanomachi, Tokyo. Mr. Takizawa began his post as representative of the UNHCR's Tokyo Office one week earlier. He is the first Japanese citizen to hold the position.
Saying this was his first courtesy call in his new position, Mr Takizawa expressed his appreciation to Soka Gakkai for its active commitment to help displaced persons through humanitarian aid and public information activities in support of the UNHCR's refugee relief efforts since the 1970s. He also expressed a desire for further cooperation with Soka Gakkai, which he believes shares the UNHCR's ideals of peace, human rights and promotion of humanitarian aid. In particular Mr. Takizawa stated, "Refugees from those areas which are widely covered by the media are apt to attract worldwide interest and concern and as a result are extended relief. There are, however, so called 'forgotten refugees' in the world who are not taken up by the media. Therefore, I keenly feel the importance of public information activities in our efforts to tackle refugee problems. I hope we can continue to build upon our cooperative relationship with Soka Gakkai in the field of public information."
Mr. Harada responded that the Soka Gakkai is pleased to extend as much cooperation as possible, primarily through youth activities and efforts in raising citizen awareness about pressing global issues through various educational exhibits. Also attending the meeting were Hikaru Kozuki responsible for external relations within UNHCR Japan and Hirotsugu Terasaki, executive director of the SGI Office of Public Information.
[Adapted from an article in the January 31, 2007 issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]