Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama presents a khatak (Tibetan scarf) to Shinzo Abe, Japan's prime minister-elect in Tokyo on November 13, 2012. (Photo/AP/Itsuo Inouye)
DHARAMSHALA, December 17: The exile Tibetan administration today congratulated Japan’s new prime minister-elect Shinzo Abe on winning the parliamentary elections and expressed hope for his “continued support” on the issue of Tibet.
Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay, the elected head of the Tibetan people, also thanked the people and government of Japan for the “long-standing support” for the non-violent struggle of the Tibetan people.
“On behalf of the Tibetan people, I would like to congratulate Mr Shinzo Abe on winning the elections and wish him all the best as the next prime minister of Japan,” Sikyong Dr Sangay said. “I thank the people and government of Japan for their long-standing support for democracy and non-violent struggle of the Tibetan people. I look forward to your continued support for the issue of Tibet.”
Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile also issued a congratulatory letter to Abe, appreciating his support for the cause of Tibet.
“We have been very appreciative of your support for the cause of Tibet in general and the commitment that you showed during the visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama this year to Japan," Deputy Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel said.
"We wish you all the success in your endeavours and appeal to you again to play a pro-active role in reducing the current grave situation inside Tibet and in finding a lasting mutually beneficial solution to the issue of Tibet.”
Earlier in April, the de facto Tibetan prime minister met and had cordial exchanges with Abe on four separate occasions during his visit to Japan.
In his meetings, Abe had called the Tibet issue “one of those rare issues which enjoy multi-party support in Japan” and promised to do his best to help change the situation in Tibet.
During his five-day visit to Japan in April, Sikyong Dr Sangay addressed almost 100 parliamentarians and their representatives from five political parties of Japan, who later issued a statement urging the Chinese government to end its repressive policies in Tibet and hold result oriented dialogue with the Tibetan leadership to resolve the Tibet issue.
In a release today, the Dharamshala based Central Tibetan Administration expressed its “sincerest thanks” to the prime minister-elect for his “word of support and for co-hosting His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s recent Japan visit.”
The Tibetan spiritual leader, during his visit to the island nation last month, made a historic visit to the Japanese Parliament building and addressed more than 230 Japanese parliamentarians and their representatives.
Following the meeting, Abe, who was then the leader of Japan's main opposition party, the Liberal Democratic Party, had promised to “do everything to change the situation in Tibet.”
“I swear I will do everything in my power to change the situation in Tibet where human rights are being suppressed,” Abe told reporters in Tokyo. “Tibet seeks freedom and democracy and we agree on those values.”
After taking his party to a landslide victory in Sunday's election, Abe vowed to take a tough stance in territorial disputes with China.BBC
quoted Abe as saying that he wanted to "stop the challenge" from China over a chain of islands claimed by both countries.
Shinzo Abe had earlier served as Japanese prime minister between 2006 and 2007.