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July 4, 2007

Yakut State Agricultural Academy Honors SGI President

On July 4, 2007, Yakut State Agricultural Academy (YSAA) of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia), Russian Federation, conferred an honorary professorship on Soka University (SU) founder Daisaku Ikeda in recognition of his promotion of peaceful coexistence and for inspiring young people through education. YSAA Rector Leonid N. Vladimirov entrusted the award to SU President Hideo Yamamoto, who accepted it on Mr. Ikeda's behalf, at a conferral ceremony at the SU Central Tower in Hachioji, Tokyo.

Rector Vladimirov lauded the SGI as a movement contributing to the spiritual renaissance of youth, concluding that the conferral will open a path for fruitful exchanges of humanistic education between the Russian and Japanese universities. He emphasized that despite Sakha's rich mineral deposits and natural resources, the true pride of the country are its people, and in particular the younger generation who will shoulder responsibility for the future.

In an acceptance speech read by SU Associate Vice President Tadashige Takamura, Mr. Ikeda emphasized the importance of and appreciation for agriculture and livestock-farming, acknowledging agriculture to be a foundation for constructing a peaceful society. He expressed his admiration for the resilience of the people of Yakutia and their value-creative way of life amidst the intensely cold climate. He further noted that founding Soka Gakkai President and educator Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, who pioneered research of the rural farming communities of Japan, shared his admiration of the Yakutsk people in his book, The Geography of Human Life. Mr. Ikeda also praised Sakha's commitment to environmental protection as a member of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

YSAA has its roots in the Faculty of Agriculture at Yakut State University, which was founded in 1956. Rector Vladimirov holds a Ph.D. in biology, specializing in the study of reindeer, with over 100 published works. As YSAA rector since 1997, Dr. Vladimirov has instituted broad-based educational programs and encouraged students to develop abilities in multiple fields.

[Adapted from an article in the July 5, 2007, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]