Japanese Catholics Aim to Heal 1930s Wounds with China

TOKYO, OCT. 15, 2001 (Zenit.org).- Japanese Catholics are trying to mend the deep wounds caused by their nation´s 1930s war with China.

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A group of priests, religious and laity from the Nigata and Urawa dioceses in Japan traveled to Beijing and Nanjing recently to pay homage to the victims of the massacres committed by the Japanese Imperial Army during the Sino-Japanese war.

The visit was part of an exchange program fostered by the Diocese of Urawa between Japan and other Asian nations including China.

Bishop Tanu Daiji of Urawa explained that the program is directed primarily at youth, to promote friendly relations between Japan and the Asian countries that suffered military occupation during the 1930s.

In addition to rendering homage to the victims of the massacres perpetrated by Japanese troops, the group met with the auxiliary bishop of Nanjing, with whom they exchanged pastoral experiences.

The “rape of Nanking” cost 300,000 Chinese lives in 1937-38 and was one of the most tragic and bloody events of the war.

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