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May 1, 2011

New Sadovnichy-Ikeda Dialogue to be Serialized in Japan

Rector Sadovnichy and Mr. Ikeda

Rector Sadovnichy and Mr. Ikeda at the Seikyo Press Building (November 2008)

TOKYO, Japan: The monthly literary magazine Ushio will begin a new dialogue series between Moscow State University (MSU) Rector Dr. Victor A. Sadovnichy and Daisaku Ikeda in its June 2011 issue. The work, Ashita no sekai, kyoiku no shimei—nijuisseiki no ningen o kosatsu suru (tentative translation: The Mission of Education in Tomorrow's World—Thoughts on Humanity in the Twenty-first Century), examines the role that education must play in informing the ethos of the twenty-first century through philosophical principles that uphold the sanctity of life.

In the first installment of the dialogue, Rector Sadovnichy and Mr. Ikeda review the events of the first decade of the twenty-first century and cite education as being foundational to humane social development and international exchange. As 2011 marks the 300th anniversary of the birth of Mikhail Lomonosov, an outstanding scientist noted for his passion for learning and his role in the founding of MSU, the rector explained that Lomonosov represents both the point of origin and the point of departure for MSU alumni. Ikeda added that an organization which carries forward its founding spirit views "trials and difficulties as opportunity for advancement," ultimately enabling it to flourish.

Rector Sadovnichy and Mr. Ikeda have met on several occasions and collaborated on the publication of a previous dialogue on education that was released as two books in Japanese and as one edition in Russian. Their latest dialogue was conducted through written correspondence beginning in 2008.

MSU awarded Mr. Ikeda an honorary doctorate in 1975 and an honorary professorship in 2002. Rector Sadovnichy was among those who nominated Mr. Ikeda for the Order of Friendship which, in 2008, was conferred by the Russian Federation on Mr. Ikeda, the only Japanese national to have received the award.Born in 1939, Rector Sadovnichy graduated from MSU as a mathematician. He now serves as vice-president of the Russian Academy of Sciences and presides over both the Russian Union of Rectors and the Eurasian Association of Universities.

[Adapted from an article in the May 1, 2011, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]