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Hatoyama gets word to visiting Dalai Lama

November 5, 2009

Kyodo News
November 2, 2009

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama sent a message to
the visiting Dalai Lama through a group of
lawmakers Sunday, saying he hopes to meet with
the Tibetan spiritual leader again, group sources said.

Hatoyama avoided directly meeting with the Dalai
Lama apparently in hopes of not provoking China,
which sees the Buddhist leader as a separatist
trying to tear Tibet from Chinese rule.

But the message may draw criticism from Beijing all the same.

Before he became prime minister in September,
Hatoyama met the Dalai Lama in November 2007 as
secretary general of the Democratic Party of
Japan and expressed support for "high autonomy" for Tibet.

The Dalai Lama, who lives in exile after fleeing
to India in 1959 following a failed uprising
against Chinese rule in Tibet, received Hatoyama's message at a Tokyo hotel.

It was delivered by a bipartisan group of
lawmakers interested in Tibet headed by DPJ member Seishu Makino.

The Dalai Lama thanked Hatoyama for the message
and told the lawmakers he was pleased that
Hatoyama, with whom he has met several times, has
become prime minister, according to the sources.
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