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November 28, 2009

Pérez Esquivel-Ikeda Dialogue Published in Japan

TOKYO, Japan: The Institute of Oriental Philosophy (IOP), a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing scholarly inquiry into Buddhism and other world religions, has published a dialogue between Nobel peace laureate Dr. Adolfo Pérez Esquivel of Argentina and Daisaku Ikeda. Entitled Jinken no seiki e no messeiji (tentative English translation: A Message to the Century of Human Rights), their discourse, which covers five chapters, addresses a broad range of issues, from the history of the human rights movement and the spirit of nonviolence to women's issues, youth and the power of ordinary citizens to advance peace.

Originally schooled as a sculptor and architect, Dr. Pérez Esquivel was jailed and tortured by the Argentine government in 1977 for speaking out against its repressive domestic policies and in defense of human rights through the Service, Peace and Justice Foundation, which he founded. Dr. Pérez Esquivel was subsequently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1980.

Dr. Pérez Esquivel first met Mr. Ikeda in Japan in 1995, with the two conducting a dialogue through letters over a 14-year span.

[Adapted from an article in the November 28, 2009, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]