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“Run for Tibet !- Bring Tibet to the 2008 games ” was held on August 4th at Yoyogi park in Shibuya Tokyo, when Tibetan living in Japan run with Japanese supporters to appeal for human rights issues in Tibet. Just a year to go before Beijing Olympic 2008, ITSN (The International Tibet Support Network) that propounded to appeal for Tibet issues further to the world planed an event , which is a link in the chain of world simultaneous event (Team Tibet campaign) , by making a analogy to an Olympic-torch relay-. On this day a film showing and a public meeting were held in Tobetsucho in Hokkaido and Fukuoka in Kyusyu.
“Run” was hosted by Tibet Support Network Japan (TSNJ). TSNJ, network consisting of 20 groups of Tibet supporters in Japan, has been acting since 2001 and it holds a regular conference to exchange mutual information and the Peace March also to commemorate Uprising Day on March 10th.
21 participants inclusive 6 Tibetans living in Japan came in the Run. First Mr. Kubo, a representative of TSNJ for 2007, conveyed a statement on Beijing Olympic issued by Samdhong Rinpoche the Prime Minister of Tibetan Government in Exile. “Elsewhere in the world there are people have concern about Tibet issues. Now let us unite our hearts and run in same uniform. All we come together as one“ he said. The participants in same T-shirt with logo saying “Bring Tibet to the 2008 Games” run together 1km in the park.
Yoyogi park, a site for the Run, is one of the largest metropolitan park in Tokyo. The day for this event, it was mostly clear and sunny after typhoon and the park was visited by families and many citizen. It was appreciated T-shirt with a Snow Lion and the Tibetan national flag on it took a interest from those who visited the park. The participants while running smiled at families and other joggers whom they found on the way, afterwards lots of leaflet were handed over to people walk by in the park by the participants, which appealed for Tibet issues.
Mr. K (Age 36), a representative of the Association of people from Tibet in Japan, said after finishing that “There are few numbers of those gathered though today, it was great opportunity so that Tibetan and Japanese could cooperate and understand each other through this event. I would like to appreciate everyone here in “. At the end of the event Khata (Tibetan Scarf) was presented to all participators from him in token of appreciation. “Instead of radical and offensive way, with peace and nonviolence I’d like to call for resolution of Tibet issues, in that sense I believe this event we made today was successful” Mr. K in Japan for 10 years added.
Tibetan living in Japan for 9 years named Mr. K. T. (Age 33) headed a run and said wiping away sweat that “I wish Tibetan get in Beijing Olympic. It doesn’t matter even If we could bring one athlete only to the games. I would be happy with it. It must be wonderful to see him or her running a lap in a stadium with our flag “Snow Lion”. I was dreaming it during running today.”
Mrs. S L (Age 30) who has just come to Japan in March this year, said “It’s my pleasure that I made concrete action to my homeland Tibet. This is first experience for me to act something cooperating with Japanese. I’m glad that I joined in today” he commented with delight.
Significant experience impressed Japanese too and one of participants Mr. H K (Age 27), a company employee in Kawasaki-Kanagawa prefecture, said “This was good event and today I learned many things about what happen in Tibet”. He and a Tibetan who had just made friends on the day exchanged each e-mail address readily and promised to see again. They are generations.
Ms. A H (Age 22), a senior student and vice representative of “Genki-dama NET” who participated in ICTSG conference in Brussels and worked for this Run said “It was quite short period we had for the preparation, but we could pass go with no problem and I’m pleased with this successful result. Not big event though, we Japanese appealed aloud and could be linked with people all over the world who held the activity in the same way. I wish the wave of people who are interested in Tibet to expand in the future” She committed herself to continue activities for Tibet support.
In addition, there were Tibetan who left the site before the Run starts. They fear it might come under scrutiny by the government of Japan and China . They say “Agree the purpose and wish to join in this event though, what we’re worried about the most is the influence on my family in Tibet when we participated in ” . The life in Japan is difficult for many Tibetan. Some whose resident status being in precarious position are scared of forcibly returned. Prejudice against “stateless” foreigners cause trouble to look for job. Many Tibetan have problem when they renew a visa since it is not permitted easily. “I know lots of Tibetan who could not come in though they wished to run.. “For Tibet and also for our friends in silence all we 6 Tibetans here made a run today“. Mr. Kalden said.
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