Candles lit in Nagano, Tokyo for peace in Tibet

NAGANO (Kyodo) A local citizens group lit candles Sunday evening at Nagano’s Zenkoji Buddhist temple, the starting point for an Olympic torch relay set for April 26, to pray for the victims of the violence in Tibet, while about 300 people held a candlelight march in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward.

In Nagano, about 60 people formed a circle of 177 candles — the number of people they estimate have been killed in the violence in Tibet.

A 48-year-old monk representing the group said, “Both the philosophy of the Olympics and of Buddhism is harmony among diversity. I hope that our wish for a peace in the world will come true.”

Harumi Kaneko, a 27-year-old Nagano resident who took part in the event, said she hopes the torch relay will pass on people’s wish for peace.

In Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward, about 300 people, including monks, Tibetan residents of Japan and supporters of Tibetan refugees, held a candlelight march calling for peace in Tibet following the crackdown by Chinese authorities.

The marchers sang as they walked on busy streets.

A 30-year-old Tibetan student, who joined the march, said he hoped that more Japanese people would come to know about China’s suppression in Tibet.