Japanese prelate condemns military move

Japan – The president of the country’s Catholic bishops’ conference has spoken out to oppose moves by the government towards increasing the army’s role on the world stage.

Following news that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is planning to rework Japan’s 1947 constitution, under which the Japanese people renounced war and the post-World War II army was tightly restricted, Archbishop Peter Takeo Okada of Tokyo described the anti-war element of the constitution as “a treasure” and one which “reflects the teaching of Jesus Christ about love. It is our fundamental responsibility to protect this article and do everything possible to preserve it”.

Ironically, the growing debate around Japan’s military role comes as it is reported from Japan that a newly translated version of Pope John XXIII’s Pacem in Terris has been making waves among the population, and not confined to the minority Catholic faith.