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SGI - Austria

SGI Relations With Austria

The relations of Soka Gakkai International (SGI) with Austria started with SGI president Ikeda's first visit to Vienna in 1961, followed by two further stays in 1981 and 1992.

In 1973, the Mozart Boys Choir was invited by the Min-On Concert Association, founded by President Ikeda, to tour Japan, followed by the Vienna State Opera in 1980 and the Salzburg Camerata Academica in 1986. In 1991 and 1994, pre-selections of the Min-on International Tokyo Conductor's Competition were held at the Vienna Konzerthaus.

The personal friendship of Mr. Ikeda with Dr. Hans Mayr, then president of the Vienna Künstlerhaus, lead to cultural exchanges between the Tokyo Fuji Art Museum (TFAM), founded by Mr. Ikeda, and various Austrian cultural institutions, such as the exhibition of "Treasures of Japanese Art" at the Vienna Künstlerhaus (1992), and "Treasures of the Imperial Household: Collection of the Museen des Mobiliendepots Hofsilber-& Tafelkammer und K.K. Hofmobiliendepots, Vienna" at TFAM, Tokyo (1998), to name a few.

In addition, president Ikeda met with various considerable personalities of Austrian's public life. In 1967, he began an on-going dialogue with Richard E. Coudenhove-Calergi, at his time a visionary of an united Europe. Mr. Ikeda also met with Austrian's Federal Chancellors Dr. Fred Sinowatz (Vienna, 1981) and Dr. Franz Vranitzky (Tokyo, 1989), as well as with Dr. Egon Seefellner, then Director of the Vienna State Opera (Vienna, 1981).

In June, 1992, president Ikeda was bestowed with the Verdienstkreuz I. Klasse of the Republic of Austria for Science and Art by Federal Minister Dr. Rudolf Scholten.

Ikeda Coudenhove
Daisaku Ikeda with R.E. Coudenhove-Calergi, a visionary of an united Europe (Tokyo, 1970)

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