His Holiness the Dalai Lama flanked by Kogakkan University Chairman Mr Uesugi Chisato (L) and Mr Seishu Makino, former member of Lower House and founder of the Japanese Parliamentary Group for Tibet (R) during the Press briefing at Ise’s Kogakkan University. (Photo by Tenzin Dasel/Phayul)
Ise, November 17: His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrived in Ise city in Western Japan’s Mie Prefecture this afternoon.
His Holiness was welcomed at the Ise’s Ujiyamada station by Mr. Iwana Hideki, Chairman of the Mie Prefectural Assembly and Mr Seishu Makino, former member of the lower House and founder of the Diet member’s league for Tibetan issue. Members of Japanese Tibet Group were also present with Tibetan ceremonial scarves (Khata
) to greet His Holiness.
His Holiness was accompanied by one of his former secretaries, Tenzin Geyche Tethong, his younger brother Ngari Rinpoche, Tokyo representative Mr Lhakpa Tshoko and other staff members of the Office of Tibet in Japan.
From the station, His Holiness headed for Kogakkan University where he was again welcomed by the university’s Chairman Mr Chisato, President Mr Ban Isoshiro and Dean Mr Shimizu Kiyoshi.
His Holiness later briefed a group of media, including a team of visiting Tibetan journalists on the purpose of his visit to Ise and on his decision to participate in the religious harmony dialogue.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama addressing an audience gathered for the inaugural meeting at the Kogakkan University Hall ahead of interfaith forum to be held on Sunday. (Photo by Tenzin Dasel/Phayul)
His Holiness said promotion of “religious harmony” was one of his two main commitments. The other, he said, was promotion of human values.
During the press briefing, the Tibetan leader also reiterated his call for "meaningful autonomy" with China. The Dalai Lama said that “the whole world knows I am only seeking genuine autonomy” and not independence as Chinese authorities blatantly accuses him of.
“Chinese Government officials still continuously accuse me as a separatist … that I don’t know,” the Tibetan leader added responding to a media question.
The Dalai Lama further said Tibetans could live within the People’s Republic of China “provided the Chinese government should give us meaningful autonomy."
Following press briefing, His Holiness arrived at the University’s hall and gave a brief speech to the audience as part of the inaugural meeting ahead of the interfaith forum. His Holiness told the audience that he was in Ise to participate in the interfaith conference. “Because one of my key commitments is to promote religious harmony, I am very much committed to it,” he said.
Students charmed by the Dalai Lama's brief talk ahead of the interfatih forum at the Kogakkan University. (Photo by Tenzin Dasel/Phayul)
“I have full conviction that we are same human beings on this same planet. So, we must share more sense of universal or global responsibility,” the Dalai Lama told the gathering, adding “Many problems we face today are human creations”.
“I believe myself a citizen of the world, and I visit different places and religious temples to have more knowledge, more experience and to meet more people. In this way I get to understand better other culture and beliefs, and reduce differences,” His Holiness said.
On Sunday, His Holiness will tour the holiest Shinto shrine of Ise before presiding over an interfaith forum participated by Shinto, Buddhist and Shugendo faiths at the Kogakkan University. The Tibetan spiritual leader will address the forum’s audience on “Religious Harmony” in the University’s hall.