This is not a coincidence that he visited America and accepted a prestigious award (that according to the criteria should have never went to him as “The decoration is awarded to any individual who performs an outstanding deed or act of service to the security, prosperity, and national interest of the United States. The honoree need not be an American citizen.”  It was all a political message sent by Washington and him to China.  Seems that Japan is also going to follow America down this road, as if the Chinese don’t despise the Japanese enough.   I will be watching closely for the official party reaction and the response on the Chinese street.

Dalai Lama to visit Japan: report
Posted: 20 October 2007 1740 hrs  

TOKYO – The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama will visit Japan next month at the invitation of religious groups, a report said Saturday.His planned visit could come at a politically sensitive time as China has been angered by the honouring of the Dalai Lama in the United States.

The Dalai Lama plans to visit Japan from November 14 to 23 but it may be affected by the political row between Washington and Beijing, Kyodo News agency quoted anonymous sources saying.

During his Japan tour, the first since a similar visit last November, the Dalai Lama will give lectures in Yokohama near Tokyo and other cities, the agency said.

China has opposed visits to Japan by the Dalai Lama, but Japan allowed him to come last year on the condition he avoid political activities.

US President George W. Bush on Wednesday defied repeated warnings from China and awarded the Dalai Lama the Congressional Gold Medal — US lawmakers’ highest civilian honour — at the US Capitol building.

It was the first time a sitting US president had appeared in public with the Dalai Lama, whom China accuses of being a dangerous figure agitating for Tibetan independence. – AFP/ir