07/08/2016, 14.03
JAPAN
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Japanese Church calls on mankind to stop destroying the sea out of selfishness

In a message for the Day of the Seafarer, next Sunday, the president of the Catholic Commission of Japan for Migrants, Refugees and People on the Move, Mgr Goro Matsuura said seafarers do not face “natural threats alone”. They are also “threatened and damaged by [. . .] human activities.” Yet, we are all “on the same ship”.

Tokyo (AsiaNews) – The difficulties that “people working on the sea face are not natural threats alone. Although the sea is becoming even more dangerous because of nuclear test sites and dumping-of radioactive and other waste, most of such cases are hidden without being reported by the media. Seafarers and other people living with the sea, as well as all marine species are threatened and damaged by such human activities,” said Mgr Michael Goro Matsuura, head of the Catholic Commission of Japan for Migrants, Refugees and People on the Move, in a message issued for next Sunday, Day of the Seafarer.

Following a statement by the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerant People, Mgr Matsuura’s message, titled On the Same Ship – with Our Father’s Mercy, notes that “Each and every person in this world is loved by our Father, so we are called to love each other as members of our Father’s family.”

However, such merciful love does not always involve seafarers. Their “work is seldom known. On top of that, many people do not pay attention even to the fact that there are many people working on the sea. Perhaps that is because events on the sea are seldom reported, while accidents and terrorists’ attacks on land are covered at any cost.”

Yet, seafarer also face dangers. After “the Great East Japan Earthquake (March 2011), when a United States Navy aircraft carrier anchored off the coast of Fukushima as part of Operation Tomodachi in order to help affected persons, sailors from the carrier served without receiving any information about radiation spreading toward the sea. As a result, almost 2,000 persons were exposed to radiation.”

“The sea is a marvelous gift of God’s creation,” Mgr Matsuura explained. “We must not contaminate the sea for the sake of human ego. All of us receive our daily bread from the sea through people working on the sea.”

“Since we are all on board the same ship, we should pay equal attention to workers regardless of whether they are on the ground or the sea, and support each other.” Thus, “On the occasion of the Day of Seafarers, let us pray once again for seafarers and their families.”

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