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Dalai Lama to visit Japan in November: Buddhist group

July 25, 2008

AFP
July 24, 2008

TOKYO, July 24 -- Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama,
will visit Japan in November for a series of lectures and meetings on
Buddhist themes, a religious group said Thursday.

The Nobel laureate, whose travels overseas are opposed by China, will
visit Japan from November 1 to 7 and speak in the southwestern city
of Fukuoka about compassion and happiness, the Fukuoka Prefectural
Buddhist Association said.

Supporters are also arranging other events for the Dalai Lama, an
official with the Buddhist group said.

The 73-year-old Dalai Lama, who has lived in India since fleeing
Tibet after a failed uprising in 1959, is a frequent visitor to Japan
where he enjoys an active following.

But unlike many Western nations, Japan has almost always refused
high-level official contacts with the Dalai Lama, even declining to
provide security for what it considers private visits.

Japan has historically had uneasy relations with China, which accuses
the Dalai Lama of trying to split Tibet from Beijing through his
meetings with foreign officials.

The Dalai Lama says he is seeking "meaningful autonomy" for Tibet
within China and has criticised Beijing's clampdown on protests that
broke out in the Himalayan region in March ahead of the Olympic Games.

The Dalai Lama last visited Japan in April just after the protests.
He met on the brief visit with Akie Abe, the wife of Japan's
conservative former premier Shinzo Abe, but not with Japanese officials.
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