Pope Francis brings anti-nuclear message to Japan

Pope Francis landed in Tokyo, Japan, on Saturday, bringing with him a strong anti-nuclear message to a nation that has suffered devastation at the hands of nuclear weapons. Francis arrived in Japan after spending three days in Thailand, where he began his one-week-long Asia tour. 

Upon arrival, Francis told the bishops of Japan he would meet with survivors of the atomic bombings and pay tribute to victims. On Sunday, Francis will visit Nagasaki and Hiroshima — the cities devastated by two atomic bombs in 1945 — where he’ll make an important speech against nuclear arms, CBS News’ Anna Matranga reports from Tokyo.

Francis is scheduled to visit survivors on Monday, including victims of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, all prior to his scheduled meetings with Emperor Naruhito and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, The Associated Press reports. 

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As a young jesuit priest in Argentina, Francis wanted to be sent to Japan as a missionary, but was prevented from doing so due to health reasons, Matranga reported. Japan now has a flock of less than half a million people, in a population of over 126 million. 

Francis has consistently condemned nuclear weapons throughout his papacy. He has gone a step further than previous popes by saying that the mere possession of nuclear weapons is immoral, Matranga reported.

“Evil has no preferences; it does not care about people’s background or identity,” Francis said Saturday, the AP reported. “It simply bursts in with its destructive force.”

Source: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/pope-francis-brings-anti-nuclear-message-to-japan-today-2019-11-23/