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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Dalai Lama addresses 200 in Japanese Parliament

November 21, 2016

Central Tibetan Administration, November 17, 2016 - His Holiness the Dalai Lama on 16 November visited the Japanese Parliament and interacted with 229 parliamentarians from different political parties on the theme “Tibet and Japan” in the global world.

On his arrival at the House of Representatives Congress hall, His Holiness was greeted with thunderous applause from over 200 parliamentarians and policy makers present at the meeting.

His Holiness praised Japan as the most industrialised democratic country in Asia with very rich traditions of Shintoism and Buddhism. He expressed respect for the Shinto tradition of loving and respecting all forms of nature. “Shintoism carries respect for all forms of life. Ultimately, we are part of the nature. So respect for nature is very essential.”


Shinto is the indigenous religion of Japan and the Japanese people. It is defined as an action-centric religion, focused on ritual practices to be carried out diligently, to establish a connection between present-day Japan and its ancient past. Shinto is the largest religion in Japan, practiced by nearly 80% of the population.

Clarifying his position on the Tibetan issue, His Holiness said, “Politically we are not looking for independence. For economic and other reasons, we want to stay within China. But Tibet issue is not just a political matter. It is preservation of one of the world’s ancient culture which is relevant to today’s world. So it is worthwhile to preserve it. The Chinese government has the responsibility to preserve rather than destroying it.”

His Holiness criticised the communist hardliners at the helm in China for attempting to censor flow of information to the public. “1.3 billion Chinese people have every right to know the reality. Once Chinese people know the reality, they have the ability to judge what’s right and wrong. So censorship is immoral… Freedom of speech and democratic system, that’s the only way,” he argued.

“World belongs to seven billion human beings and Japan belongs to Japanese people. Each country belongs to the people. Government from time to time change, people always remain there.”

His Holiness the Dalai Lama reiterated that as one of seven billion human beings on this planet, he is committed to create a peaceful and happy 21st century. Secondly, as a Buddhist monk, he is fully committed to promote harmony between different religious traditions, as they all have same message of compassion and love. Thirdly, as a Tibetan he is fully committed to the preservation of Tibet’s environment, rich heritage of knowledge and culture.

In response to a series of question, His Holiness expressed his genuine admiration and respect for the centuries-old culture and traditions of the Chinese people. “The Chinese people we really admire, we really respect. They have a 5000 year-old culture; they are a very cultured and hard-working people.”

Speaking to members of the new Parliamentary Support Group for Tibet in the Japanese Parliament, His Holiness said that their support for the Tibetan issue represents a universal commitment to justice and truth.

A Parliamentary support group for Tibet has been set up in the Japanese Parliament, which pledged to reinvigorate its support to the issue of Tibet.

-Report filed by Lobsang Choedak from Japan-

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