Japanese Buddhist Monk Reads out declaration of Support for Tibet

Tibet Custom, April 14 2008

Tokyo, Japan -- We, Japanese Buddhist monks are now put to the test. We cannot help expressing our deep sadness and protest against China’s military actions in Tibet that deprive Tibetans from religious freedom. As religionists and Buddhist, we cannot overlook Tibetan monks and people’s suffer any more. The most important thing is that Tibetans preserve their religious tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, by Tibetan people’s free intention.

You might wonder what monks throughout Japan are doing. Each sect and religious organization in Japan have devoted their energies to the restoration of Buddhist temples related to their temples in various parts of China after the normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and China. I myself was also involved in the restoration of Buddhist temples in China.

However, it was not possible to exchange with Buddhist temples in China without the approval of Beijing (government) and actually we had no freedom. Most monks across Japan know this and think that this might be unchanged even in the future. We also know that Beijing (government) feels unpleasant when Japanese Buddhist organizations exchange with the Dalai Lama. I think that religious freedom is the most important issue.

However, Japanese Buddhists have not expressed anything in 3 weeks or more after the Tibetan case broke out. If Chinese Buddhism association is our important friend, why do we tell nothing to it? Is it good without doing? Tibet that has accumulated its history as a Buddhism country with the leadership of the Dalai Lama is about to disappear. To save them, we should give the voice from grass roots as religionists and Buddhists.

However, if we do, Chinese Buddhists concerned may protest the religious sect I belong to and I may be scolded by it. So, it does not mean that I request you to act together with me. But, I ask you who are Buddhist monks and supporters to think voluntarily with this case as a start. Some of you as Buddhist monks may plan to visit the temples related to your temples during the Beijing Olympics 2008.

Under such circumstances, what will you talk with them? If you are not able to say your opinion to your Chinese counterparts in a resolute attitude, what can we preach to our supporters and followers in Japan? This might be the last chance for us as religionists and Buddhists.