International Symposium Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Meeting Between Zhou Enlai and Daisaku Ikeda

Theme: Peace and Development through Dialogue
30 November – 1 December 2024, Soka University, Tokyo, Japan

Organized by: Soka University Ikeda Research Institute for Soka Education (IRISE)

        Language: Japanese, English, Chinese
        Opening Ceremony and Keynote Speeches: Simultaneous Interpretation 
        Parallel Sessions: conducted at respective venues based on the languages
        used - Japanese, English, and Chinese (no translation provided)
In recent years, tensions between countries and regions around the world have been rising. Given this context, how can we conduct dialogue that can transcend the differences (e.g., frameworks, values) observed among nations for the sake of peace and development? Indeed, the reality of the world does not look optimistic that peace can be achieved through dialogue alone. An objective analysis identifying what exactly is needed to make dialogue effective may be essential. However, this does not discount the importance of engaging in dialogue since avoiding dialogue with people of different cultures and values could potentially lead to a vicious cycle, heightening narrow-minded nationalism and mutual distrust. What is needed now is to maintain an open dialogue, using encounters with diverse cultures and values as opportunities for creativity to work toward peace and development of various regions across the world.

On 5 December 1974, Zhou Enlai, despite his illness, met with Daisaku Ikeda in Beijing, China. As the Premier of the People’s Republic of China, Zhou Enlai had persistently maintained dialogue with countries and people around the world during the Cold War. Meanwhile, Ikeda proposed the normalization of diplomatic relations between China and Japan in 1968 and contributed to the subsequent development of Sino-Japanese relations. Ikeda, who was 46 at the time of the meeting, was entrusted by the 76-year-old Zhou to “develop friendly relations between the people of China and Japan.” In response to this entrustment, Ikeda accepted the first six government-sponsored students from China to Soka University in 1975, acting as their guarantor. Since then, Soka University has made exchange agreements with 67 Chinese universities, exchanged some 2,000 Japanese and Chinese students, and hosted more than 300 faculty members from China. Meanwhile, the International Academic Symposium on the Philosophy of Daisaku Ikeda has been held 11 times with various institutions in China since its initial launch at Peking University in 2005. As the ‘Zhou Cherry Tree’ planted at Soka University in 1975 has grown over the years, the continuous exchange between people in education and academia has expanded the foundation for dialogue between Japan and China.

Today, the world, once again, appears to be increasingly confrontational and divided. Within this context, (1) what can we learn from the attempts at dialogue undertaken by Zhou Enlai and Daisaku Ikeda, (2) how can we continue dialogue across cultures and values, and (3) what is needed to realize peace and development through dialogue? We would like to explore these areas with our peers gathered from Asia and around the world.

For this symposium, we welcome papers that address the following topics:

  • Research or case studies on dialogue and exchange in the field of politics, economics, culture, and education in Asia or other countries in the world
  • Zhou Enlai's dialogue with the world and his foreign policies
  • Zhou Enlai's thoughts and practices
  • Daisaku Ikeda's dialogue with the world
  • Daisaku Ikeda's thoughts and practices on peace, culture, and education

Abstract Submission Instructions

We welcome abstract submissions with the theme, keywords, arguments and conclusion of the academic paper written in one of the following formats: about 600 words in English, 800 characters in Chinese, or 1000 characters in Japanese.
File type: Word 

Submission deadline: July 31, 2024
Submit to:
Language: Japanese, English, or Chinese
Announcement of selection results (tentative): August 31, 2024

※ For those selected as presenters, please submit your full paper based on your abstract to the e-mail stated above by October 30, 2024.

Keynote Speakers (tentative)

Yuji Miyamoto (President of Japan-China Relations Society)
Kang Sang-jung (President of Chinzei Gakuin University and Professor Emeritus of the University of Tokyo)
Kazuteru Saionji (Visiting Professor, Higashi Nippon International University)
Han Dongyu (Former Vice President of Northeast Normal University)
Ji Yaguang (Professor, Nankai University, College of Marxism)
Jia Huixuan (Professor, Peking University, School of International Studies)

Participation fee

The participation fee is free, but payment is required for the following:
November 30 (Saturday) Lunch 1000 yen
November 30 (Saturday) Reception Dinner 5000 yen
December 1   (Sunday) Lunch 1000 yen

Student Grant

Student grant will be provided for graduate students who are selected as presenters.
Up to 4 students will be selected, each receiving 50,000 yen.