Decision in Brazil
May 17, 1998, Seikyo Shimbun Article
Sao Paulo District Court Issued An Interim Order That the Ichijo-ji Temple Should Be Administered by SGI-Brazil
The Sao Paulo District Court issued an interim order returning control of Ichijo-ji temple to SGI-Brazil. The unlawful occupation by the Nikken Sect priests, which has lasted for six and a half years, will come to an end, and the temple returned to SGI-Brazil. On May 14th, 1998, at 4:30 p.m., a judicial secretary, representatives of SGI-Brazil and its attorneys went into the temple. In the presence of the Nikken Sect attorneys, a seven-hour inventory was conducted. Based on the interim order, SGI-Brazil is entitled to control all temple structures, with the exception of the priests' residential area including that of the priest Shitsudo Ijiri.
In June 1991, the Nikken Sect faked the holding of the periodical general meeting of NSTB (a religious corporation, Nichiren Shoshu Temple of Brazil). Although it was legally improper, Nikken dismissed legitimate general corporate directors allied with the SGI, appointed his own directors and took over the corporation. Therefore, the original board of directors filed a lawsuit.
Because the temple was built with the sincere donations from Soka Gakkai members, SGI-Brazil leaders were appointed to the board of directors and legitimately administrated the temple for Brazil's Kosen-rufu. However, Nikken and his collaborators illegally attempted to take over the temple.
In September 1992, the Sao Paulo District Court decided that all actions the Nikken side took including the dismissal of the directors were entirely invalid. Although the defendants appealed, the Sao Paulo State High Court affirmed the decision in December 1994. The state high court dismissed the defendants' objection in April 1995. The defendants appealed to the Brazil Federal High Court as well as the Federal Supreme Court. The appeal is currently being processed.
Because the court's decision in April 1995 terminated its jurisdiction, SGI-Brazil demanded the Sao Paulo District Court to make an interim order reestablishing its right to control the temple.
The Nikken Sect has hidden these facts and misreported the case. Right after the decision in April 1995, Nikken said, "Although the stupid Gakkai members are saying, 'We have won the case,' actually, it has nothing to do with the Ichijo-ji temple in Brazil." Further, commemorating the thirtieth anniversary of the founding of the temple, a memorial service was held on April 19th, 1998, and Kotoku Obayashi, an Overseas Department chief, as well as Shinsho Abe, a General Affairs Department vice chief and Nikken's son, flew from Japan to attend the service. However, in spite of these efforts, a month later they wound up losing all the temple buildings except priests' residence.