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Unshakable Commitment to Sino-Japanese Friendship

Dr. Jin Yong
contemporary Chinese writer, Hong Kong, China

When reflecting on the past, it is clear that Dr. Ikeda played a major role in the reversion of Hong Kong to China [in 1997]. Even before its return, he had been engaged in discussions on the matter with leaders in China and the UK.

I laud Dr. Ikeda for his service. I am profoundly moved and grateful to the extent he, although a non-national, dedicated himself to the reversion of Hong Kong.

When I first met with Dr. Ikeda, our discussion turned to the reversion of Hong Kong and I asked him the following: "Many people in Japan regard the reversion with pessimism. Why are you optimistic?"

He replied, "The people of Hong Kong are industrious; they are hardworking. I am confident that they can prevail over any obstacle. That's why I refuse to let the views of others sway me."

I appreciated his judgment. He went to say, "Let's view things from an even broader perspective since we are in agreement on this matter."

Dr. Ikeda expressed his admiration for Hong Kong through "The City of Glory: Dawn over Hong Kong," a poem he composed in 1997.

While politicians in Japan did not see Hong Kong's return to China favorably, Dr. Ikeda took the opposite view. My own confidence in Hong Kong's future has not wavered in the least, either.

Not only did Dr. Ikeda play a role in the reversion of Hong Kong, he also contributed to the restoration of Sino-Japanese relations, for which I truly applaud him.

Many Japanese leaders today seem to have forgotten about their country's history of military aggression against China. Dr. Ikeda, however, has stated that we must all recognize the transgression for what it was, so that they will never be repeated again. I wholeheartedly concur.

[Like him,] I also experienced the conflagrations of war, but what was done is done. We merely need to set our sights on the future and strive even harder for the sake of world peace.

Dr. Ikeda was the target of right-wing extremists because he called for the normalization of diplomatic ties between China and Japan. It was a cause for which he willingly risked his life. That is why I wholeheartedly admire and appreciate him.

Moreover, Dr. Ikeda has consistently promoted exchanges to advance global peace, culture and education, accumulating exceptional experience in the process. Such efforts reflect the depths of Dr. Ikeda's character and his commitment to action.

That is why I do not assign any credibility to the people who defame him, regardless of who they are and what they assert. I know their aspersions are factually unfounded because I know what kind of man Dr. Ikeda is.

The world needs individuals like Dr. Ikeda, whose exceptional insights will be even more relevant in achieving world peace, social harmony and sustainable development. For this reason, I hope that he will continue to promote cultural and educational activities in the years to come.

I look forward to having further discussions with Dr. Ikeda on such pressing issues as overpopulation, pathways to peace and the future of our world.

Jin Yong is one of China's best-selling contemporary novelists. He is the cofounder of the Hong Kong daily Ming Pao and is also known for his social activism. Over 100 million of his books have been sold worldwide, translated into Korean, English, Japanese, French, Vietnamese, Malay and Thai. His dialogue with Daisaku Ikeda was published in Japanese and Chinese (both traditional and simplified). The tentative English title of their dialogue is "Compassionate Light in Asia."

[Taken from a message published in the December 22, 2007, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]