SGI President Ikeda has the utmost confidence in young people, including junior high and high school students. "Without young people," he says, "we will have no future. Such things as mentor and disciple, truth and justice, and victory will be no more than empty phrases. We risk losing the precious struggle for kosen-rufu. Let's open the future by bringing many more young people into our movement" (March 31, 2006, World Tribune). Because of his care for youth and deep desire to see them become happy and realize their potential, he established the high school division in Japan, on June 7, 1964 and the junior high school division on Jan. 15, 1965.
It was on March 14, 1993, during a visit to San Francisco, that President Ikeda established the junior high and high school divisions in the United States.
Since that time, President Ikeda has made consistent efforts to encourage and inspire members of the JHHS division. Below is a brief outline of our SGI-USA JHHS divisions' history with President Ikeda:
- March 14, 1993: SGI President Ikeda establishes the SGI-USA junior high and high school divisions and appointed the first JHHS leaders.
- August 22–25, 1996: The first JHHS Conference is held at the Florida Nature and Culture Center, which President Ikeda opened a month earlier.
- January 24, 1997: The SGI President names the youth newspaper, "Seize the Day," and stated that it is important for young people to begin every day anew and not waste a single moment.
- August 1999: The SGI-USA Youth Peace Committee and the JHHS divisions launched the "Victory Over Violence" campaign, a youth-sponsored initiative to help young people identify and counteract the root causes of violence in their lives. VOV outreach programs began as a response to growing concerns over the rise in youth-related violence. The VOV campaign is non-partisan and non-sectarian.
- February 25, 2000: The SGI President conducts a dialogue with the SGI-USA JHHS leaders, which was published in the World Tribune. The dialogue focused on many key issues that young American teens face.
- July 7–11, 2005: The first JHHS conference is held at Soka University of America. President Ikeda sent a message in which he asked that the conference be "well-documented for posterity."
- July 31, 2005: An article covering the JHHS conference at SUA is printed in the Seikyo Shimbun [the Soka Gakkai's daily newspaper] at President Ikeda's request. When he saw the article, he changed the headline to "You and I Will Create the Next 50 Years of America Together."
- September 14, 2005: The SGI-USA JHHS flags are presented to the SGI President, and placed on stage at the 52nd headquarters leaders meeting.
- September 28, 2005: An article mentioning the SGI-USA JHHS flags, is published in the Seikyo Shimbun where President Ikeda contributed the headline, which reads "I'm Counting On You for the Next 50 Years of America."
- August 20, 2007: The SGI President contributes a verse to the SGI-USA JHHS song, "Our Day of Youth."