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29-october-2011-japanDharamshala: - The spiritual leader of Tibet in exile arrived in Tokyo today, on his 11th visit to Japan. On being asked the purpose of his visit, His Holiness said that although he had offered prayers to the victims of the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan this year, he wished to personally visit the affected areas, reported the Japanese media. "So, this time after the teachings at Koyasan University, I will visit the affected areas, offer prayers and consolation, and share the difficult times", said His Holiness.

The members of Japan's Parliamentarian Group for Tibet shall serve as his hosts for the visit.
Japan has a significant Buddhist population, and His Holiness has frequently visited the country in order to address and guide his followers there. Nevertheless, he has almost always received a cold shoulder from Japan, and been denied personal security and meetings with high-level Japanese officials.

Japan and China have a fairly rocky relationship, but with their economic partnership being one of the strongest in the world, Japan must be careful not to antagonise Chinese sentiments in any way, even if that means being a little more than hospitable to Tibet's spiritual leader. His Holiness last visited Japan in April, following a record-breaking earthquake and tsunami that created colossal damages, death and casualties in the sea-locked country. "I wanted to visit this nation that faced such a calamity and to be a spiritual comfort, even if this may be a small act," he said. China denounced this visit, and His Holiness' presence in Japan was snubbed by Japanese officials.

Today, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate spoke to the media during a news conference in Narita, east of Tokyo, condemning China's "ruthless policy" as the cause of the recent self-immolations. His Holiness called on Chinese government to change its approach to ruling over the Himalayan region, reports the international media. Only recently, the Chinese government accused the Dalai Lama of encouraging the self-immolations in Tibet, deeming it "terrorism in disguise". This has been the first media response of the Tibetan Spiritual head to the accusations made against him.

The Dalai Lama plans to kick off his visit in Osaka with a public talk on the Heart Sutra, 'From Emptiness to Compassion' and 'The Strength to Overcome Life's Difficulties', expected to have around 6000 people in attendance. He will then visit Koyasan in Kansai district to lead discussions with scientists and young Buddhist priests. In addition, he will discuss Esoteric Buddhism with the president of the Koyasan University and conduct the Vajradhatu Mandala Initiation. Public talks will follow in Sendai, Ishinomaki, and Koriyama in the Tohoku district. His Holiness will also visit Fukushima prefecture, where fears from nuclear radiation have not yet subsided.

The 2011 Media tour has been organized in order to cover HH's visit to Japan. "Four Tibetan journalists from Dharamshala arrived at Narita Airport in Japan safely this morning, 29th October. From Saturday afternoon onwards, they will start to cover His Holiness the Dalai Lama's 11th visit to Japan," said. said. Ms.S.Takahashi, who is a long time friend of the Tibetans and founder of Norbu Create, a Tibet support group of Japan.

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