4 October, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile

mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato

e-mail this to a friend printable version

» 03/29/2012
"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 God again."

"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 pull back."


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
02/21/2005 japan
Support for death penalty at record high among Japanese
04/28/2007 JAPAN
New executions, a return to the past
by Pino Cazzaniga
11/20/2008 JAPAN
The 188 martyrs, an expansion opportunity for the Japanese Church
by Pino Cazzaniga
09/21/2006 INDONESIA
Three Indonesian Catholics executed by firing squad
by Benteng Reges
05/03/2010 TAIWAN
Taipei defends execution of four prisoners

Editor's choices
Pope in the US: “We Christians, the Lord’s disciples, ask the families of the world to help us”In the last Mass of the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, Francis Pope highlights the daily "little gestures" that define the family, which is “the right place for faith to become life, and life to become faith". Gratitude, respect, and collaboration with families in which the Spirit operates can be found in every “family, people, region, or religion”.
Pope in the US: Without the family, the Church would not existFrancis met bishops gathered in Philadelphia for the eighth World Meeting of Families. “We might well ask whether in our pastoral ministry we are ready to ‘waste’ time with families. Whether we are ready to be present to them, sharing their difficulties and joys.” Young generations should not be blamed if they grew up with distorted values. “As pastors,” we must extend “a sincere invitation to young people to be brave and to opt for marriage and the family.”
As the pope’s visit to Cuba raises hopes, a sclerotic regime exploits it
by Tony Pino V.*As soon as he landed in Cuba, Pope Francis issued a message of faith, peace, forgiveness, reconciliation, compassion, and mercy, urging people to be child-like. As the regime conducts picture-perfect parades, ordinary Cubans pray to Our Lady of El Cobre asking for help to leave the island to live elsewhere. The US embargo has been an excuse to stifle dissent and development. So far, Cuban leaders have not done any ‘mea culpa’.


Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.