Call for International Solidarity
The Catholic Bishops Conference of Japan is calling for an end to the use of nuclear power.
We, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan, appeal to all people who share our common home called Earth that we join hands, rise together and act in solidarity to end nuclear power generation.
It is unusual for the bishops of one country to address the whole world – that is usually the role of the pope. However the Japanese Bishops say that, because of their experiences, “Japan has a special responsibility to be in solidarity with all those who have suffered from nuclear radiation, calling for total nuclear disarmament and a solution to all the problems that atomic power has produced.”
Their statement of 11 November 2016 recalls their initial reaction to the disaster at the Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant in March 2011. Since then their concerns have grown because of Japanese government revisions to its post-disaster regulatory standards. Although the impact of the disaster is still causing economic, social and emotional suffering, the government is gearing up to re-open nuclear plants.
Different Views of Development
The Bishops understand that powerful forces stand in their way. They explain:
Behind all these policies to promote nuclear power generation are huge economic powers with which the government has allied itself. It is not easy to abolish nuclear power or bring about change in society when opposed by these powers that are only interested in economic benefits.
Instead they advocate considering the question from the point of view of human dignity and the protection of creation. They say “we must stop and ask ourselves what sort of human development society should aim for, and what constitutes true riches. This would not be a retreat from development, but an advance toward a new abundance.”
Read the Bishops’ Statements
Here is the text of the 11 November 2016 statement of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Japan
On the Abolition of Nuclear Power Generation: A Call by the Catholic Church in Japan Five and a Half Years after the Fukushima Dai-Ichi Nuclear Power Plant Disaster
This is the initial response of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Japan on 8 November 2011
Abolish Nuclear Plants Immediately: Facing The Tragedy of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant Disaster