The Japan Buddhist Conference for World Federation (JBCWF), an umbrella organization representing various sects of Japanese Buddhism, released a statement on January 21, 2023 strongly objecting to China’s interference in Tibet’s religious and spiritual matters and supported the right of the Tibetan people to decide the successor of the 14th Dalai Lama.
“His Holiness, Dalai Lama, the 14th turned 87 years on July 6, 2022. The issue of his future successor is gradually gaining attention all over the world. We the monks of Japan believe that Tibetan people must decide upon the next successor based on their Tibetan Buddhist culture and history” the statement stated.
The statement also states, “we, the Japanese Buddhist, believe that the Tibetans should decide the succession of the Dalai Lama based on Tibetan Buddhist culture and history. The national policy of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is communism, and communism is based on the principle of non-religion. Therefore, it is a contradiction to allow people who don’t believe in religion to decide who the country’s religious leader will be.”
On January 24, 2023 Rev. Mizutani Eikan, Secretary General of JBCWF, and Rev. Itoh Einin, visited the Office of Tibet in Tokyo, and handed over the original statement in Japanese to Dr. Arya Tsewang Gyalpo, the Dalai Lama and CTA’s Representative in Japan.