23 Nov, 2019 by https://www.rt.com/
Pope Francis is expected to deliver a staunch anti-nuclear message on his visit to Japan, the only country in the world to have suffered atomic bomb attacks.
Francis touched down in Tokyo on Saturday, becoming the first pope to visit the East Asian country in 38 years.
His four-day trip will include visits to Nagasaki and Hiroshima, cities where over 210,000 people were killed when the United States dropped nuclear bombs on them at the end of the Second World War.
On Sunday the pontiff will deliver a message about nuclear weapons in a park in Nagasaki that sits at the center of the 1945 bombing. That evening he will travel to Hiroshima and speak at the city’s Peace and Memorial Park, NHK reports.
“I wish to meet those who still bear the wounds of this tragic episode in human history,” he told Japanese bishops shortly after his arrival.
The pope attacked the “immoral” use of nuclear weapons in a video message to the Japanese people that was released before he left the Vatican.
“Together with you, I pray that the destructive power of nuclear weapons will never be unleashed again in human history,” he said.
Devastation after the nuclear bombing of Nagasaki. © Global Look Press
Francis will return to Tokyo on Monday, where he will meet victims of the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown that devastated parts of northeastern Japan. He will also celebrate mass at Tokyo Dome.
The pope travelled directly to Japan from Thailand, where he preached a message of religious tolerance and peace. He is expected to revisit the topic in Japan, which has only approximately 440,000 Catholics out of a population of 126 million.