October 3, 2015
Lau–Ikeda Dialogue Published in Japan
Japanese edition of Lau–Ikeda dialogue
TOKYO, Japan: Daisanbunmei-sha released Aratana gurobaru shakai no shihyo—Heiwa to keizai to kyoiku o kataru (working title: Shaping a New Society: Discussion on Peace, Economics and Education in the Twenty-first Century), a dialogue between former president (vice chancellor) of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Dr. Laurence J. Lau and SGI President Daisaku Ikeda. Their dialogue, which delves into themes of economics, education and the future role of Asia, was originally serialized in Daisanbunmei, a monthly commentary magazine, from May to December 2014. It was published as a book after reediting and includes new material.
Dr. Lau completed his undergraduate studies at Stanford University in California and earned his PhD in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley, before becoming a professor at Stanford University at the age of 31. As a renowned professor of economics, he has held numerous positions at various academic institutions as well as serving as consultant to the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the United Nations Development Programme.
CUHK, where Dr. Lau served as president, was the first institute of higher learning with which Soka University (SU) in Japan established an academic exchange. SU Founder Daisaku Ikeda received an Honorary Doctorate of Social Science from CUHK in 2000.
Dr. Lau and Mr. Ikeda first met in January 2007 at the Seikyo Press building in Shinanomachi, Tokyo. The idea of collaborating on a dialogue grew out of discussions they held at that time and continued through written correspondence. The discourse begins with the Asian Financial Crisis and continues on to explore the future course for humanity based on themes ranging from the Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy and unemployment to other global issues such as environmental pollution and nuclear disarmament. In particular, they concur that education does not entail simply gaining knowledge but also cultivating effective means of learning.
[Adapted from an article in the October 3, 2015, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]