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Ambassadors from Nine African Nations Honor SGI President

HE Ambassador Sar of Senegal (foreground, left) presents commendation to Mr. Ikeda (foreground, right)

­ On December 25, 2007, the African Diplomatic Corps, comprising ambassadors from nine African nations currently stationed in Japan, presented a letter of appreciation to SGI President Daisaku Ikeda for his longstanding contributions to cultural and educational exchanges and to world peace, in celebration of his 80th birthday (January 2, 2008). The presentation took place during a Soka Gakkai general staff meeting at the Soka International Friendship Hall in Sendagaya, Tokyo. His Excellency Gabriel Alexandre Sar, Republic of Senegal's Ambassador to Japan, speaking on behalf of the African delegation, congratulated Mr. Ikeda for reaching his 80th birthday on January 2. He presented a bouquet of flowers and a letter of appreciation, thanking Mr. Ikeda for declaring the twenty-first century to be the "Century of Africa" in 1960 when he visited the United Nations Headquarters in New York and for supporting the advancement of African nations through cultural and educational exchanges between Japan and Africa. The SGI leader was particularly commended for his meetings with influential African leaders such as former South African President Nelson Mandela. Mr. Ikeda expressed his heartfelt appreciation for the accolade.

Accompanying Ambassador Sar were: Their Excellencies Mr. Jean Christian Obame, Ambassador of Gabon; Mr. Marcel Mulumba Tshidimba, Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Congo; Mr. Godfrey S. Simasiku, Ambassador of the Republic of Zambia; Mr. Stuart Harold Comberbach, Ambassador of the Republic of Zimbabwe; Mr. Estifanos Afeworki Haile, Ambassador of the State of Eritrea, Mr. Dennis N. O. Awori, Ambassador of the Republic of Kenya; Dr. Emile Rwamasirabo, Ambassador of Rwanda; and Dr. Walid Mahmoud Abdelnasser, Ambassador of Egypt.

On the same occasion, Japanese film actor Teruhiko Aoi also congratulated Mr. Ikeda on his upcoming 80th birthday and presented a bouquet of flowers. Mr. Aoi played a young Shin'ichi Yamamoto (a.k.a. Mr. Ikeda) in Zoku ningen kakumei, a 1976 movie based on The Human Revolution, Mr. Ikeda's novelized account of the history of Soka Gakkai.

Mr. Ikeda (5th from left) takes a commemorative photo with ambassadors of the African Diplomatic Corps

[Adapted from an article in the December 26, 2007, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]