May 22, 2007
Northeast Normal University in Northeastern China Opens Ikeda Studies Institute
On May 22, 2007, Northeast Normal University (NENU), a teachers' training institute located in Changchun, Jilin Province in northeastern China, celebrated the opening of the Institute for Daisaku Ikeda Philosophical Studies. The center, headed by Professor Han Dongyu, will conduct studies on Mr. Ikeda's ideals and activism grounded in peace, culture and education, as well as his writings. NENU President Shi Ningzhong and Vice Presidents Yang Zhongyuan, Zhang Shaojie and Ma Shang joined other faculty and student representatives at the opening.
Remarking on Mr. Ikeda's contributions to Sino-Japanese friendship and that 2007 marks the 35th anniversary of normalization of relations between the two countries, President Shi expressed hopes for the institute to further promote those exchanges. He went on to say that the study of Daisaku Ikeda's philosophy equates to the study of pacifism and the development of society based on humanism, and expressed his hopes to diffuse Mr. Ikeda's peace philosophy in East Asia and beyond.
Mr. Ikeda sent a message expressing his gratitude and renewing his pledge to pursue the virtuous road of philosophy and the great path of education, which are rooted in China's spiritual legacy, as second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda taught. He also voiced his expectations for the younger generations in both China and Japan to work together to develop mutual understanding and support one another in manifesting their full potential.
Noted Chinese historian Professor Zhu Yuan, present at the ceremony, stressed the importance of culture as the heart of political and economic exchanges. He expressed deep expectations for the new Ikeda Institute to serve as a catalyst for resolving longstanding misunderstandings between China and Japan and fostering peace in the world.
There are now 19 research institutes around the world dedicated to the study of Mr. Ikeda's philosophy.
[Adapted from an article in the May 28, 2007, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]