12/22/2012, 00.00
JAPAN
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Archbishop of Nagasaki: A Christmas against the crisis in Japan

The prelate tells AsiaNews: "This Advent has been marked by prayer for the most vulnerable victims of the economic crisis and the nuclear disaster. We must strive every day to build a better world. "

Nagasaki (AsiaNews) - The season of Advent and Christmas Day "are the best times to concentrate prayers on those who suffer the most. And those who suffer most, here in Japan, are victims of the economic crisis and the of the nuclear disaster. This is why I think we should devote to them our thoughts and our prayers", says  the Archbishop of Nagasaki, Msgr. Joseph Mitsuaki Takami speaking to AsiaNews.

The bishop says that in his diocese Christmas will be celebrated in a more reserved fashion than in previous years: "It is not time to celebrate in a consumer society. We need to focus on prayer and help towards the weakest because the country is facing very critical times in terms of political and energy issues. "

With the election of the new prime minister, Shinzo Abe, a conservative, the question of nuclear power plants is open once again.  The Japanese Church has asked to close once and for all: "The new prime minister is a promoter of an old-fashioned energy policy, but he should again. Today, the voice of the people is very strong against the politics of against nuclear power. "

There are, said Msgr. Takami, "at least two very good and important reasons to say no to nuclear power: the inherent danger in the use of those technologies, no matter how many precautions are taken, and the fact that we do not know yet how to deal with waste. It is useful but is too dangerous, it contaminates nature.  We can not put savings or profit above human life or the environment. "

The country in this regard seems to split in two: "You can not give an estimate of the percentage of those who are for or against it in Japan. Obviously, in favor of this type of energy are mainly those who work directly with the nuclear sector. Apart from these, there are many others who think of the economic gain and possibility of reducing energy costs. But we are all aware of what can happen, the problems it can bring. "

Every Friday, said the bishop, "there is a huge demonstration against nuclear plants in front of the Parliament in Tokyo.  It is no longer a question of ideology, as in the past, but it is a national emergency, a new social phenomenon that brings the voice of the people to the front row. The government must listen to this voice. "

For this reason, he concludes, "This will be a 'nuclear' Christmas for the whole country. The prayers of the Japanese Church are close to those who suffer and those who fight against these forms of injustice. Hopefully that will be heard by the government."

 

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