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May 31, 2007

Russian State University for the Humanities Honors SGI President

Rector Pivovar (right) presents the honorary degree certificate to Mr. Ikeda</div>

Rector Pivovar (right) presents the honorary degree certificate to Mr. Ikeda


On May 31, 2007, the Russian State University for the Humanities (RSUH) conferred an honorary doctorate upon Soka University founder and SGI President Daisaku Ikeda during a meeting at the Soka International Friendship Hall, Tokyo. Mr. Ikeda was recognized for his contributions in the fields of culture, education and international relations. The Russian delegation, headed by RSUH Rector Efim I. Pivovar, traveled to Japan to confer the degree upon Mr. Ikeda.

The ceremony began with a citation by Rector Pivovar who lauded the SGI President for his dedication to promoting exchanges with Russia in the arenas of culture and education for the past thirty years. This has culminated in solid bonds of friendship and mutual understanding between Russia and Japan. He stated that the academic and cultural exchange programs initiated by Mr. Ikeda have fostered student, faculty and book exchanges between Russian institutes of higher learning and Soka University, as well as sponsorship of exhibitions and other cultural and arts activities which continue today.

Dr. J. Forbes Munro, emeritus professor of international economic history at the University of Glasgow, delivered a congratulatory address noting Mr. Ikeda's insightful leadership of the SGI and his ceaseless commitment to strengthening relations between Japan and its neighbors.

In accepting the accolade, Mr. Ikeda expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the visiting Russian educators for the honor bestowed upon him and to the delegation for traveling the long distance to Japan to confer the award. Speaking at length about the literary giant Leo Tolstoy, he cited passages from the novel War and Peace, underscoring the preciousness and value of peace. To his long-time friend Dr. Munro, Mr. Ikeda presented an epic poem he wrote in tribute to the Scottish scholar. He then closed his speech by emphasizing his unflagging resolve to contribute further to friendship between Russia and Japan.

Founded in 1991, RSUH is heir to the 300-year old Moscow Public University and Moscow State Institute for History and Archives. RSUH comprises 12 colleges and research institutes, and enrolls some 38,000 students in 18 faculties. The university also offers courses in 37 foreign languages including rare Oriental languages.

[Adapted from an article in the June 1, 2007, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]