BAGAC, Bataan- The Rissho Kosei-kai, a Japan-based Buddhist organization with more than 3 million members worldwide, plays a major role in youth development and the tourism industry in Bataan.
Ms. Anna Ma. “Annie” Tuazon, head of the Bataan Library and Youth Development Center (BLYDC), said that around 400 young and poor but deserving Filipino students have been sponsored by the Rissho Kosei-Kai as its scholars in the province alone aside from those outside the country.
Members of the Rissho Kosei-kai (RKK) have been regularly visiting Bataan during the “Araw ng Kagitingan,” celebration since the province is close to their heart being the site of the infamous battle between Japanese and joint Filipino – American soldiers where thousands were killed in action.
Tuazon said that some 123 officers and members of the RKK will be arriving in Bataan come April 6, to join the celebration of Bataan Day and the 40th anniversary celebration of the Friendship Tower in Bagac town.
Noriyuki Tsubouchi, Chief, Youth Development, Dharma Missions Bureau and Yusuke Saito, of RKK International, who have arrived earlier as advance party of the RKK, are now coordinating with Tourism officials headed by Mrs. Vicky Sandejas-Garcia, Chairperson of the Bataan Peninsula Tourism Council Foundation, Inc. and Ms. Christina Banzon, Provincial Tourism Officer, regarding the preparations for the various activities in the celebration of the Araw ng Kagitingan, which falls on April 9.
In its website, “RKK is composed of ordinary men and women who have faith in the Buddha and strive to enrich their spirituality by applying his teachings in their daily lives. At both the local community and international levels, they are very active in promoting peace and well-being through altruistic activities and cooperation with other organizations.”
The organization was founded by the late Nikkyo Niwano and Myoko Naganuma in 1938, guided by the teachings of the Lotus Sutra in which the innermost spirit of Shakyamuni Buddha is incorporated. In 1991, Rev. Nichiko Niwano succeeded his father as president.
Among the expected guests in the coming 40th celebration of the Friendship Tower are Rev. Kosho Niwano, who, together with Gov. Abet S. Garcia, will lead the ribbon cutting ceremony; Rev. Waichiro Izumita, Ms. Masayo Niwano, Ms. Takako Momma and other Japanese guests.
Rev. Kinjiro Niwano’s bust will also be unveiled during the blessing of the renovated BLYDC. Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, Archbishop Socrates Villega and Balanga Bishop Ruperto C. Santos will officiate the blessing.
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