Japanese lawmakers affirm support for self-government-in-exile Tibet
The six million Tibetans who endure Beijing’s relentless repression inside Tibet, and the Tibetans living in forced exile in India and around the world, led by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, have little hope of success. preserve their identity.
Yet the most recent illustration of political support for one of the world’s leading free democracies provides a measure of optimism. It comes in the form of April 27, 2021, virtual meeting between the Japanese All-Party Parliamentary Support Group for Tibet, whose reports say they praised the chairman of the Tibetan Central Administration (CTA), Lobsang Sangay, at the end of his two-year term as Sikyong. The 98-member Japanese group pledged to continue supporting the unpromising, but heated, struggle for Tibet and the Tibetans.
The Japan All-Party Parliamentary Support Group includes members of most parties in the upper and lower houses of the Japanese parliament. Its members include former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Deputy Defense Minister Yasuhide Nakayama and former Education Minister Hakubun Shimomura, who is also the group’s chairman.
Since 1959, when the Dalai Lama was driven from his homeland in Lhasa, the hillside town of Dharamshala in northern India, surrounded by lush cedar forests on the edge of the Himalayas, has hosted the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government in exile.
The idea of launching the Japanese Parliamentary Support Group for Tibet came about around 10 years ago, when Abe and Hakubun met the Dalai Lama in Dharamshala, along with other Japanese lawmakers. They were accompanied by Yoshiko Sakurai, president of the main Japanese think tank on public and foreign policies, Japanese Institute of National Fundamentals, who was instrumental in organizing this meeting.
Subsequently, the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tibet was formed in December 2016, comprising members from all political lines in Japan. The main objective of the Parliamentary Support Group remains to support the Tibetan cause. The group has evolved into the largest parliamentary support group in Tibet, providing support and assistance through Japan’s official development assistance program.
The Japan Parliamentary Support Group symbolizes strong support for human rights, democracy and justice, as acknowledged by CTA President Sangay.
“[It is] a message that human rights are fundamental and that democracy is universal. These values stand in stark contrast to what China says is “socialism with Chinese characteristics,” ”Sangay said.
He highlighted the plight of Tibet under the tyrannical rule of Communist China, where “monasteries are demolished, the Tibetan language is discouraged and over half a million Tibetans are uprooted from nomadic areas and placed in camp situations. work to assimilate Tibet. in China.
These points of view were taken up in the Tibet 2020 Report by Freedom House, which highlights how ethnic Tibetans are denied their basic rights, with authorities being particularly rigorous in suppressing all signs of dissent, including manifestations of distinctly Tibetan religious beliefs and cultural identity. State policies encourage the migration of Han Chinese from other parts of China, thereby reducing the Tibetan ethnic share of the troubled province’s population.
In the fall of 2020, the Sankei Shimbun reported that representative members of China’s ethnic minorities, who have lived in Japan, met with Japanese lawmakers at the National Diet in Tokyo. During the meeting, they described Beijing’s “assimilation” policies and other authoritarian measures, which they said amounted to cultural genocide.
The group called on members of the National Diet of Japan to highlight China’s blatant disregard for basic human rights. The meeting was part of joint protest activities organized by Tibet Support Organizations, which staged protests in 36 countries to mark the Chinese National Day. A protest against the Communist regime in China was held in Tokyo on October 3, 2020, in the iconic shopping district of Ginza city, near the Imperial Palace.
Coupled with the indispensable and continued support from Japan, another major encouragement for Tibet and its diaspora residing in the world has been the Tibetan Policy and Support Act 2020 (TPSA) unanimously adopted by the United States Congress on December 22, 2020. Biparty legislation calls for the establishment of an American consulate in the capital of Tibet, Lhasa, and commends the Dalai Lama for his decision to implement democratic governance. He commends the Tibetan community in exile for successfully adopting a system of self-governance to choose their current and future leaders.
The struggle between the Chinese “peoples” with their “freedom to practice religion” and Beijing’s violent state power seems endless. Socio-political subjugation and the demonstration of socio-economic change under duress is a bitter reality that Tibet has learned to endure.
Any potential move that is likely to threaten the political authority or legitimacy of the Chinese Community Party will continue to be treated with an iron fist, resulting in human rights violations, the extent and intensity of which cannot be surveyed.
Japan, whose deep roots connect it to Buddhism, owes Tibet to be the latter’s liferaft, helping it stay afloat. In the meantime, we can all hope to see the Tibetans regain the autonomy of their homeland, called the Tibet Autonomous Region.
Author: Dr Monika Chansoria
Dr Monika Chansoria is a Principal Investigator at the Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA) in Tokyo. The opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the Japan Institute of International Affairs or any other organization with which the author is affiliated. She tweet @MonikaChansoria. Find more articles from Dr Chansoria here at JAPAN Before.