His Holiness the 14th Dalai lama of Tibet. Photo: TPI

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Bodhgaya — His Holiness the Dalai Lama has written to Fumio Kishida, Prime Minister of Japan, to express his sadness at the recent earthquake in Japan, which has caused many deaths and injuries and destroyed property and infrastructure. His Holiness offered his sympathy and condolences to their families and others affected by this calamity.

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama wrote to Fumio Kishida, the Prime Minister of Japan, on January 2, 2024, to express his condolences to the victims of the earthquake. The magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck north-northwest of Suzu, located on the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa prefecture, Japan. The Japan Meteorological Agency officially named the earthquake the "2024 Noto Peninsula Earthquake".

His Holiness the Dalai Lama wrote, "I am saying prayers for those who have lost their lives and offer my sympathy and condolences to their families and others affected by this calamity."

The spirital leader said, "I appreciate that the Japanese Government is doing everything it can to bring relief and support to those in need. As a Buddhist monk who recites the ‘Heart Sutra’ daily, I feel it would be good if Japanese Buddhists were also to recite this text on this occasion. Such recitation will not only be of benefit to those who have died but may also avert further disasters in the future."

His Holiness explained, "I am at present in Bodhgaya, the sacred place in India where the Buddha attained enlightenment. Together with members of the Sangha, and other people currently on pilgrimage to this holy place, we will recite the ‘Heart Sutra’ for the victims of this disaster in Japan."

His Holiness the Dalai Lama concluded his letter by once again offering his prayers.

According to media reports, the earthquake that struck north-northwest of Suzu, Japan, has killed at least 62 people so far, and rescue workers are continuing to save people feared trapped under the rubble of collapsed buildings. The earthquake has destroyed roads and buildings, and continues to shake the affected areas repeatedly, as reported by the media.