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March 16, 2007

Korean Arts Federation Honors SGI President

FACOK President Lee presents plaque to Mr. Ikeda

On March 16, 2007, the Federation of Artistic & Cultural Organizations of Korea (FACOK) presented Soka Schools founder and SGI President Daisaku Ikeda with a special commendation in recognition of his longstanding contributions to global peace, Korean-Japanese friendship and promotion of Korean culture in Japan. The conferral took place during the combined graduation ceremonies for Tokyo Soka Schools in Kodaira, Tokyo, Kansai Soka Schools in Katano, Osaka, and Soka Kindergarten in Sapporo, Hokkaido Prefecture. The three schools were connected via satellite linkup.

FACOK President Lee Soung-Rim stated that Mr. Ikeda inspired hope in people's hearts amidst today's chaos and particularly noted his promotion of Korean culture in Japan and the world. Mr. Ikeda expressed deep appreciation to the Korean delegation for traveling to Japan for the conferral. He stressed that Japan must never forget the debt of gratitude it owes Korea as its cultural benefactor and reiterated his commitment in this regard.

With a membership of 1.2 million, FACOK is the largest cultural federation in Korea. It aims to protect the rights of artists and cultural figures and strengthen cultural exchanges. FACOK incorporates ten artists associations in the genres of music, traditional classical Korean music, literature, photography, performing arts, fine arts, theater, architecture, classical dance and film. FACOK currently focuses on fostering young artists, recognizing outstanding work, promoting art through sponsoring festivals and publishing a monthly art magazine. Ms. Lee Soung-Rim, herself a singer in the traditional classical music genre and a kayagum (traditional Korean zither) performer, was inaugurated as FACOK president in February 2002.

[Adapted from an article in the March 17, 2007, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]