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Seikyo Shimbun Highlights for May 1, 2020

May 1, 2020

Seikyo Shimbun is a Soka Gakkai daily newspaper

Minneapolis, USA: On March 18, the City of Minneapolis conferred an honorary citizenship upon SGI President Ikeda in recognition of his contributions to the city and to the world.

Cambridge, USA: On April 16, the Ikeda Center for Peace, Learning, and Dialogue organized its first virtual dialogue, “A Time To Reflect & Reimagine: Creating A Better Future Now,” attended by 133 people from 16 countries, including Professor Sarah Wider, former president of The Ralph Waldo Emerson Society. Participants discussed the current crisis and the three elements of global citizenship defined by SGI President Ikeda.

WORLD: On April 21, Nobuyuki Asai of the SGI Office of Peace and Global Issues and Elisa Gazzotti of the SGI Office for UN Affairs participated in an online meeting about the role of Faith-based organizations (FBOs) in the fight against COVID-19. The event was hosted by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), together with representatives from 11 FBOs around the world. Nobuyuki Asai mentioned that one of the key roles of FBOs is to raise awareness of the infection risk for refugee populations. He also introduced initiatives launched by SGI organizations around the world to fight against COVID-19.

JAPAN: On April 23, Soka Gakkai youth representatives held their fifth teleconference with Professor Takeo Fujiwara of Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Associate Professor Yugo Shobugawa of Niigata University and the chairs of the Soka Youth Physicians Conference, joined this time by the chairs of the Soka Women Physicians Conference. They expressed their respect and appreciation toward essential workers, and reiterated messages about social distancing and relying on accurate information.

WORLD: On April 25, representatives from the Soka Gakkai Peace Committee and the SGI Office for UN Affairs participated in a global online conference to call for the abolition of nuclear weapons. The conference was joined by more than 1,000 attendees from NGOs active in disarmament around the world. Wada Masako, representing Nihon Hidankyo, (the Japan Confederation of A-and H-bomb Sufferers Organizations), shared her experience.

JAPAN: On April 25, it was announced that, as part of the participatory songwriting project launched by the Soka Gakkai youth division in Japan, choreography for a dance to accompany the song has been released. People are encouraged to post a video of themselves dancing to the song on social media. Details in Japanese are available here.

SOUTH KOREA: On April 28, SGI Korea (KSGI) General Director Kim In Soo described the COVID-19 response in South Korea in an interview in the Seikyo Shimbun. In-person meetings and activities remain canceled, and all community centers closed. Online meetings are being held throughout the country. The “Advancement 1 2 3 Encouragement Campaign” has been launched: where members chant for the health and happiness of their friends and for world peace, study The New Human Revolution, and encourage their friends through phone calls and letters. KSGI has donated 100 million KRW to Hope Bridge Korea Disaster Relief Association. Many KSGI members are among health workers risking their lives on the front line.

JAPAN: It was announced on April 28 that precautionary measures against the novel coronavirus in Japan have been extended, with meetings and home visits canceled until at least May 31 for Soka Gakkai, and all centers closed.