Lay Buddhist Group Soka Gakkai Leader Daisaku Ikeda Dies


Tokyo, Nov. 18 (Jiji Press)--Daisaku Ikeda, honorary president of lay Buddhist group Soka Gakkai and the founder of Komeito, the coalition partner of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party, died of old age at a group facility in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward on Wednesday, the group said Saturday. He was 95.

The death of the longtime leader of the giant religious organization is likely to affect not only the group's activities but also the management of Komeito, pundits said.

Born in Tokyo's Ota Ward in 1928, Ikeda joined Soka Gakkai at the age of 19 and demonstrated his ability in supporting the group's operations under the late Josei Toda, the group's second president. Ikeda became the third president of Soka Gakkai in 1960 at the age of 32.

After becoming president, he made efforts to expand the organization both in Japan and abroad, contributing to increasing the number of domestic member households from 750,000 to 8.27 million.

In 1975, he established Soka Gakkai International (SGI), which now has members in 192 countries and regions.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press