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Shanghai Normal University Bestows Honorary Professorship

On December 17, 2007, China's acclaimed teacher training university, Shanghai Normal University (SHNU), conferred an honorary lifetime professorship upon Soka University founder Daisaku Ikeda at Soka University's Central Tower in Hachioji, Tokyo. SHNU Vice President Lu Jianfei presented the certificate to Soka University President Hideo Yamamoto, who received it on Mr. Ikeda's behalf.

In his remarks, Mr. Lu commended Mr. Ikeda for promoting global peace and humanistic education for the past several decades. He further stated that Mr. Ikeda is widely respected in China for his contributions to the normalization of Sino-Japanese bilateral relations in 1972 and for cultivating friendships between the people of China and Japan. Speaking on behalf SHNU, Vice President Lu said the university is honored to confer the title of Lifelong Emeritus Professor upon Mr. Ikeda and concluded his address by sharing a poem he penned, dedicated to Mr. Ikeda.

In a message read at the ceremony, Mr. Ikeda expressed his deepest appreciation to the SHNU delegation for traveling the long distance to Japan to present him with the accolade. He pledged to live up to the honor by further dedicating himself TO the cause of education. Referring to the influential work of the Chinese educator Tao Xingzhi (1891-1946), Mr. Ikeda also underscored the importance of education that focuses on students.

Among those accompanying Vice President Lu were SHNU International Exchange Division Vice Director Lu Hongyu and Shanghai Social Sciences Association Vice President Wang Bangzuo.

Founded in 1954 as Shanghai Teachers Training College, the institution was renamed Shanghai Normal University (SHNU) in 1984 when it combined with four other colleges including East China Normal University. Currently, SHNU comprises 16 colleges and 81 research bodies. Many of SHNU's more than 100,000 graduates now serve as teachers and principals of Shanghai's primary and secondary schools. In recent years, the university has collaborated on various projects and exchange programs with over 180 universities and institutions in 30 countries.

[Adapted from an article in the December 18, 2007, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]