Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, in Japan for a visit that will likely overlap with Chinese leader Hu Jintao’s attendance at a regional summit, repeated on Saturday his support for jailed Chinese dissident and fellow Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo.
Relations between Japan and China have chilled since September, when Japan detained the Chinese skipper of a boat that collided with Japanese patrol vessels near disputed isles in the East China Sea, the site of vast potential gas and oil reserves.
"In his movement, (Liu is) not toppling the government, but trying to bring more openness, more accountability," the Dalai Lama told reporters in Narita, near Tokyo.
"China remaining a secretive society is very very harmful for making significant contributions regarding world affairs … China, sooner or later, you have to open, it’s the only way," the 75-year-old said.
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