International Institute for the Study of Religions
Religious Information Research Center
"Religious Articles Select 5" is the contents that introduce the Religious News Digest in Japan. All articles are picked up by Prof. Nobutaka Inoue who is the chief of RIRC, and selceted from the last "RIRC REPORT"; the publication for our members by the seasons.
Komazawa University Lecturer Yano Hidetake received the Japanese Association for the Study of Religion Award for his book Gendai tai ni okeru bukkyō undō: tanmagaai shiki meisō to tai shakai no henyō [Buddhist Movements in Modern Thailand: Tammagaai-style Meditation and the Transfiguration of Thai Society]. Yano also received the Second International Center for the Study of Religion Award for the same book in December.
The Association of New Japanese Religious Movements held a national general assembly at the World Headquarters of Sūkyō Mahikari in Takayama, Gifu Prefecture, and reelected Niwano Nichikō as Director.
Sōka Gakkai held a committee on presidential election, selecting Vice President Harada Minoru as the new President to succeed President Akiya Einosuke, who had made his intention to retire clear.
The South Korean satellite network that specializes in proselytization and education, Christian Global Network TV (CGNTV) opened a network office in Japan, and held a celebration ceremony at the Wesleyan Yodobashi Church in Tokyo.
The open symposium "How To Transmit Religious Culture?" sponsored by the International Institute for the Study of Religions was held at Taishō University in Tokyo.
Princess Kiko gave birth to a boy through caesarian section. It is the first male birth in the imperial family in 41 years. In the naming ceremony held on September 12, the family selected the name Hisahito. The baby is third in the order of imperial succession, following the Crown Prince and Prince Fumihito.
The Third Lower Supreme Court rejected the special appeal filed by Asahara Shōkō (Matsumoto Chizuo), who received the death penalty in an earlier Supreme Court decision. This solidified the defendant's death penalty.
Chino Yūko (Masuyama Eimi), leader of Chi no Shōhō Kai, passed away at the age of 72 in a hospital in Fukui City.
The Tokyo High Court rejected the appeal filed by former leader of Hō no Hana Sanpōgyō, Fukunaga Hōgen (Fukunaga Teruyoshi) and his partner, who were found guilty of fraud and received a 12-year sentence, on the grounds that the defendants' actions "were clearly fraudulent."
A basic educational reform bill passed through the Lower House. It was the first revision since the establishment of basic education laws in 1947. "Patriotism," the focus of the bill, was made clear in Article 2, Section 5: "Foster an attitude of respect for our traditions and culture, and love for our country and the homeland in which those traditions were cultivated, while at the same time respecting other nations and contributing to international peace and development."
The Canadian Department of Citizenship and Immigration offered honorary citizenship to the 14th Dalai Lama. The ceremony took place in an assembly area in Vancouver where the Dalai Lama gave a speech, and 12,000 people gathered for the event.
The Chinese Heavenly Sovereign Church, a Catholic Church official recognized by the Chinese government, announced that it established the largest Chinese theological school in Beijing.
A Moroccan artist won the first prize n the Holocaust satirical comic contest held by the conservative paper Hamshahari. The contest received about 1200 entries from 62 countries.
In the United States midterm elections, Minnesota Representative Keith Ellison (Democrat) became the first Muslim to be elected to the United States Congress.
The U.S. Department of State announced its yearly list of "countries of concern" regarding abuses of freedom of religion, and Vietnam, which had been included in the list in 2004, was removed.