» 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.
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.
Taipei defends execution of four prisoners
Criticism from human rights groups and the European Union. But 70% of people in Taiwan support the death penalty. Premier Wu: Even democratic countries like U.S. and Japan maintain capital punishment.
CHINA – VATICAN
Global Times: the pope should accept the independence of the Chinese Church
After 24 hours of silence, China’s media today published excerpts, comments and editorials about Pope Francis’ interview with Asia Times. Although the pope did not address religious issues or Church problems, many saw the interview as an attempt to improve diplomatic relations between China and the Vatican, and advised Francis to accept Mao Zedong’s "three principles of independence" (theology, administration, jurisdiction), which would leave the power to appoint bishops in the hands of the Party. The People's Daily’s Global Times publishes an editorial on the issue.
INDIA – PHILIPPINES
Archbishop of Guwahati: In Asia religion is not dying, the faithful take strength from the Eucharist
Mgr Menamparampil is among the speakers at the International Eucharistic Congress in Cebu, Philippines. He was also a conflict mediator between various ethnic groups. He told AsiaNews about the value of the Congress for the Catholic Church in Asia and how people can bear witness the Gospel today, even amid tensions and violence of those who "hate us." "with the same pain in our hearts that we descend to our depths during a Eucharistic adoration."
06/02/2016 RUSSIA - VATICAN
06/02/2016 RUSSIA - VATICAN
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.