Tokyo: A delegation of Japanese monks representing nine Sotoshu schools of Japanese Zen Buddhism expressed concern about the worsening situation in Tibet and issued a seven-point joint statement urging China to stop violations of human rights and religious freedom in Tibet.
Rev. Hayashi Shuei of Jorinji Temple and representatives from nine Temples in Tokyo, Nagano, and Ibaragi prefectures visited the Liaison Office of H.H. the Dalai Lama and handed over the statement to Representative Dr. Arya Tsewang Gyalpo.
Rev. Hayashi Shuei, the head of the delegation, said that the Chinese continued interference in Tibetan religious matters is not moral and unacceptable to all Buddhists and the international community. He said as Buddhists living in a free country it becomes our responsibility to speak out for the people of Tibet and for religious freedom around the world. He further added that he met H.H. the Dalai Lama a few times and that His Holiness has visited his school in Tokyo where the faculty members and the students greatly benefited from His Holiness’ teachings on love and compassion.
The members of the delegation each spoke about their concerns and expressed solidarity with the Tibetan people in Tibet. They said China`s interference in the selection of Tibetan reincarnate Lamas is unacceptable because the communist party does not believe in religion and knows nothing about the rebirth concept. They said they would like to visit Dharamsala to convey their support and feelings.
Representative Dr. Arya Tsewang Gyalpo thanked the delegation for their support and the statement and offered khatas to the monks. He briefly explained the situation in Tibet and how the CCP leadership was trying to wipe out the Tibetan identity, culture, and language through total control of the Tibetan monasteries and the Chinese boarding schools in Tibet.
Bukkyo Times, a Japanese newspaper reporting on Buddhist issues covered the event and interviewed Rev. Hayashi, Representative Dr. Arya, and other monks.
The seven-point statement in Japanese read as follows:
- We call on the Chinese government to abide by Article 4 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, to commit to regional autonomy and self-rule for ethnic minorities, and to let the Tibetan people practice genuine autonomy and self-rule
- We urge the Chinese government to implement Articles 10 and 11 of the Law on Autonomy of Ethnic Areas of the People’s Republic of China, which guarantees the freedom of language and religion of ethnic minorities
- We call on the Chinese government to clarify the whereabouts of the 11th Panchen Lama and his family and to release them as soon as possible
- We condemn the Chinese government’s violations of human rights and its policy of Sinicization of the language, culture, and identity of the Tibetan people
- We condemn the Chinese government’s interference in Tibetan religious affairs, including religious persecution, destruction of Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and Buddhist statues, reincarnation of high priests, and control of monasteries
- We affirm that the selection of reincarnations of the Tibetan Lamas, including the 15th Dalai Lama, is the prerogative of the Tibetan people and the Dalai Lama’s Office, and call for the passage of legislation in Japan similar to the 2020 U.S. Tibet Policy Support Bill.
- Future Tibetan reincarnated monks, including the Dalai Lama, should be selected by the Tibetan people according to their religious tradition. We urge the international community not to recognize any Lama selected and appointed by the Chinese authority.
-Report filed by the Office of Tibet, Japan and East Asia
Access the statement in Japanese below.