Dalai Lama calls for nonviolence during visit to Okinawa

Kyodo

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama called for nonviolence Sunday during a visit to Japan’s Okinawa, a bloody battleground during World War II.

In a speech in the city of Naha, the Dalai Lama said peace must be achieved through dialogue in the 21st century, adding that tolerance and respect for different views are important.

The Dalai Lama did not refer to the Chinese government, which accuses him of being behind recent acts of self-immolation by Tibetans protesting against Beijing’s rule.

Ahead of the speech, he visited a cenotaph in the city of Itoman, the site of the final stage of the Battle of Okinawa in which over 200,000 people died, to offer a silent prayer.

The Dalai Lama is in Japan through Wednesday. It is his 18th visit to Japan and his second to Okinawa, the country’s southernmost prefecture, according to his liaison office for Japan and East Asia.