» 03/29/2012, 00.00
"Death penalty could destroy Japan", Nagasaki archbishop says
Mgr Joseph Mitsuaki Takami talks to AsiaNews about the decision of Japan's Justice minister to uphold three death sentences. Japanese society, he said, "believes in an 'eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth', but its blind spot on the issue could harden its soul." By contrast, "The Church has always fought for a culture of life. We are trying to get the government to abolish the death penalty."
Nagasaki (AsiaNews) - Japanese
society "believes in an 'eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth', but its blind spot
on the issue could harden its soul," said Mgr Joseph Mitsuaki Takami. The archbishop
of Nagasaki spoke to AsiaNews about a
recent decision by Japan's Justice minister to uphold three death sentences. "I
cannot comment about the individual cases because the details are not known,
but the battle against the death penalty must continue," he added.
The three death row inmates were
executed today, almost two years from the last executions in July 2010. The prisoners,
hanged in separate prisons, had all been convicted of multiple murders.
Justice Minister Toshio Ogawa noted
that 80 per cent of the Japanese public supports capital punishment. Still,
hangings have always proved to be controversial in the country.
The Catholic Church has always
opposed the practice. "All Japanese bishops are for the abolition of the death
penalty. There are no differences of opinion. Even if the person who is killed
is a murderer, his death is another murder, by the state this time. Humanity must
renew its sense of living together. We must all consider ourselves children of
"It is not only about
philosophical or religious arguments," Mgr Takami said. "We must consider the
fact that imposing the death penalty entails the most demanding decision a man
can take. Japan's legal system is not perfect. Juridical errors are possible. Many
have occurred in the past, and no one can come back from hanging."
The archbishop of Nagasaki has
been fighting for years to see love blossom again in the life of the country. "I
and the other members of the Bishops' Conference have published a book titled 'Looking
at life'. In it, we call on Japan to rediscover the importance and the beauty
of God's most important gift and stop mortifying man."
However, Mgr Tanaki agrees with the
government on one account. "Until now, a majority of Japanese have been in
favour of the death penalty. 'Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth' is the
prevailing mindset. However, in so doing society's blind spot on the issue could
harden its soul. It is sad to say but this is how most Japanese think, especially
victims' families who clamour for the death penalty. I can empathise with them but
they are wrong."
Within the Bishops' Conference, some
members are "engaged in a study and prayer session to encourage the government
to abolish the death penalty. It will be a hard battle to fight but we cannot
Support for death penalty at record high among Japanese
New executions, a return to the past
April 23, after 15 years three men guilty of multiple murders, were hanged. The death decrees signed at the weekend to avoid criticism from the opposition. The return of the death penalty, perhaps as a method to empty prisons.
25/03/2016 10:15:00 JAPAN
Two executions in Japan. Msgr. Kikuchi: If you invite Pope Francis, you should also listen to him
This morning the Minister of Justice confirmed the hanging of a serial killer and a nurse, who killed patients for the insurance money. The bishop of Niigata and President of Caritas Asia: "It is very sad that this happens in the Paschal Triduum, and moreover on Good Friday. But the attitude of the government is especially surprising. They seriously and insistently invite Francis to the country, but totally ignore his appeals for a moratorium on the death penalty".
The 188 martyrs, an expansion opportunity for the Japanese Church
On November 24, the martyrs will be beatified whom Cardinal Peter Seichi Shirayanagi calls ordinary people, "exemplary in their observance of social order, who did not hesitate to refuse submission to the decrees of the shogun and of the daimyos when these were opposed to the faith and the dignity of the human person."
Three Indonesian Catholics executed by firing squad
First reports suggest the three were executed at Palu's airport. The news is met with grief by the families and all those who were taking part in prayer vigils. In Central Timor people are protesting; demonstrators peacefully take over the Prosecutor's Office.
Pope Francis tells young people that “genuine love” is not a “soap opera”, but Christians’ real identity card
In his homily for the Jubilee of Teens, Pope Francis asked questions and gave answers to the 70,000 present. Stressing the great ideal of love as giving oneself “without being possessive”, he noted that freedom is “being able to choose the good”. He warned young people “who dare not dream,” telling them that “If you do not dream at your age, you are already ready for retirement”. He also received funds raised for the Ukraine, and appealed for the release of bishops and the priests held in Syria.
Odd alliance between the US and Iranian fundamentalists
Washington is still preventing the use of US dollars in transactions with Iranian banks, preventing business with the outside world in spite of the nuclear deal. This way, the US is helping Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards, who want to torpedo the agreement in order to maintain their hold on power. Meanwhile, most Iranians hold down two or three jobs just to make ends meet. An unstable and bellicose Iran is a boon for arms sales. A report follows.
29/04/2016 NORTH KOREA- USA
26/04/2016 SYRIA - TURKEY
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.