11/29/2019, 13.13
JAPAN – VATICAN
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Pope's visit makes Japan better understand

by Alberto Berra

Katsuzo Ishimaru is a curator at the Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art and an internationally renowned artist. A survivor of the 1945 atomic bomb, he followed Francis's journey to Japan. For him, “Politicians must listen to his message of peace”.

Hiroshima (AsiaNews) – Katsuzo Ishimaru, a curator at the Hiroshima Museum of Contemporary Art and an internationally renowned artist, survived the 1945 nuclear bombing. At the time, he was only 2 years old.

Speaking to AsiaNews about Pope Francis’s visit to Japan, he said it "really brought encouragement, helping us better understand Japan and its problems. Now politicians must listen to his message of peace, because they often say one thing and do another.”

"I was able to follow Pope Francis’s message in both Nagasaki and Hiroshima and what he said struck me very much. Especially when he said that we must be sincere when it comes to building peace building.

“This is very important, especially because some political leaders, whilst talking about peace, do the opposite. They are the ones who especially must listen to him.”

The pontiff also touched a sensitive point for the Japanese. “He was highly critical of the principle of ‘my country first’. The pope compared the Earth to a house, and encouraged us to live in brotherly love with other nations.

“He made us recognise that if we do not live respecting peace and life, we ​​run the risk of creating a civilisation of death.”

What he said about the atomic bomb was fundamental. “Why were weapons created based on atomic energy? I wish so much that the circumstances that led to its military use are clarified so that we do not fall into the error of engaging in a nuclear arms race. Francis inspired us to oppose nuclear power.”

The issue, he insists, “is very important. We cannot forget Japan's other problems, including genetic manipulation, artificial intelligence and many others.

“Even in these domains we have reached a point where it is easy to cross the line that we must not cross. Unless we want to create a civilisation of death.”

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