Japanese bishops make VJ Day apology

 

Japanese bishops make VJ Day apology

Author: 

George Conger

The House of Bishops of the Nippon Sei Ko Kai, the Anglican Church of Japan, has offered its apologies to the victims of Japanese aggression during the Second World War. In a letter marking the seventieth anniversary of the end of hostilities, the NSKK noted: “While the war ended with the defeat of Japan, about 20 million people in several Asian/Pacific countries including Japan were victims. Pain and suffering brought by sacrifices and damage of this war have not yet healed even after 70 years. We especially bear in mind that our country has not been able to make reconciliation and peace with the countries we invaded.” The bishops noted in 1995 the Japanese Church “admitted our war responsibility”,and vowed to “walk with those who were historically persecuted and victimized during the war and are still discriminated against.” In light of past military aggression, the church stated it could not support recent moves by the Japanese government “towards remilitarization, by means of passing the New State Secrecy Law, approving the use of the right of collective self-defense, and attempting to revise the Constitution, especially altering Article 9, which eternally renounces war.” These moves would serve to inflame relations with Korea and China, the bishops said, as well as “many other peace-threatening unbalanced situations.” The bishops resolved to “mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II with our hearts and minds renewed by learning from the history and the Gospel of our Lord Jesus. We will let His Life shine in us, help break down dividing walls wherever we can, gather the separated into one, and walk as instruments of His Peace.”

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