Japanese Bishops Call for Peace 70 Years After World War II
The Catholic Bishops Conference of Japan understands itself to have a special vocation to work for peace. They explain:
“It is not based upon any political ideology. We continue to appeal for peace not as a political issue, but as a human one. Our awareness of this vocation is, of course, influenced by the horrors inflicted by nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but it is also born of deep remorse when we reflect upon the attitude of the Church in Japan before and during the war.”
The statement 70 Years after the War, Blessed are the peacemakers – Now especially, peace must not depend upon weapons joins statements made by the Catholic Bishops Conference of Japan for the 50th and 60th anniversaries of the end of World War II. In it they express concern about growing nationalism in Japan and elsewhere, moves to change Japan’s Peace Constitution, and efforts to revise history.
Considering the world today, they note problems of financial globalization, human generated climate change and reduction of biodiversity, and continuing problems of poverty that produce disparity and exclusion. They say that things must change:
“We are each called upon to overcome our indifference to the world’s problems and change our lives. We cannot solve all the world’s problems at once, but we can patiently continue to work toward peace and mutual understanding.