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June 23, 2007

Peruvian University Honors SGI President

On June 23, 2007, Universidad Nacional del Santa (UNS) in Chimbote, Peru, conferred an honorary doctorate upon SGI President Daisaku Ikeda. Soka University President Hideo Yamamoto received the commendation on behalf of Mr. Ikeda from UNS Rector Esteban Horna Bances at a ceremony held at the Soka University Central Tower in Hachioji, Tokyo. SGI-Peru General Director Carlos Shima and Vice General Director José Juárez Salazar were also present.

Rector Horna noted that the university's first honorary doctorate degree was being conferred upon Mr. Ikeda in recognition of his extraordinary contributions and achievements in fields such as literature, art, science and philosophy. He expressed hopes for the forging of closer academic ties between Soka University and UNS, which he believes share a common vision of humanistic education as the most effective means to transform the individual and society at large. Explaining that UNS aims to foster future leaders for Chimbote society and that it is actively involved in civic-oriented activities, Rector Horna said it was through such connections that UNS encountered SGI-Peru. Because of their shared values of transforming society through the promotion of humanistic education, they have collaborated on events such as the showing in 2006 of "Seeds of Change: The Earth Charter and Human Potential," an exhibition advocating environmental preservation and sustainable living, cosponsored by the SGI, the Earth Council and the Earth Charter Initiative.

In a message read by Soka University Associate Vice President Tadashige Takamura, Mr. Ikeda wholeheartedly welcomed the delegation to Soka University and expressed his deep appreciation for the honor bestowed upon him. He touched upon UNS's emblem--a sculpture from the ruins of Punkurí Temple--a terraced observation point in Chimbote. He described how this emblem symbolizes a window to the future, directly pointing to the mission of the school, which is to help people discover their boundless potential and explore new horizons. He closed his message by expressing his resolve to work together with Rector Horna in inspiring youth to develop their potential through education and offering his best wishes for the further flourishing and development of the Peruvian university.

[Adapted from an article in the June 24, 2007, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]