Japan calls for 'unconditional' dialogue over Tibet | world | Hindustan Times
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Japan calls for 'unconditional' dialogue over Tibet

Japan has encouraged China and exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama to restart unconditional talks over trouble in Tibet.

world Updated: Mar 21, 2008 16:23 IST

Japan on Friday encouraged China and exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama to restart unconditional talks after the biggest protests in nearly 20 years in the Himalayan territory.

"Japan would welcome if both sides held dialogue unconditionally to improve the situation," said chief government spokesman Nobutaka Machimura.

The Dalai Lama has appealed for talks with China about the situation in Tibet, where protests broke out last week on the anniversary of the failed 1959 uprising that led the Tibetan spiritual leader to flee to exile in India.

China opened talks with envoys from the Dalai Lama in 2002 but with few results.
China accuses the Dalai Lama of being a separatist fomenting the unrest. The Nobel peace laureate says he is seeking greater autonomy within China but not independence, and that he opposes all forms of violence.

Japan has been repairing relations with China, which have long been tense over memories of Japanese aggression, and has usually taken a lower profile on Tibetan issues.

But Japan has said it will raise concerns about human rights in Tibet with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi when he comes to Tokyo next month.