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Killing off suicide

TOKYO (AsiaNews): The government in what is arguably the world’s capital for youth suicide is setting out to reduce the rate in under 20s by at least 30 per cent.
 
Japan’s youth suicide rate is the highest among the G7 nations and although the number has decreased slightly in recent years, Tokyo is calling for further efforts to stem the flow.
 

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Cardinal Tong at peace prayer meet in Kyoto

KYOTO (SE): Two days after stepping down as bishop of Hong Kong, John Cardinal Tong Hon travelled to Kyoto in Japan as a representative of Pope Francis at the 30th annual Prayer Meeting on Mount Hiei, a gathering that brings people from all religions together to pray and work for peace.
 
Cardinal Tong read a letter from Pope Francis, which opened with the words, “It is my pleasure to send my cordial greetings to you and to the distinguished representatives of the different religious traditions.”
 

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Japanese warrior for refugees mourned

TOKYO (UCAN): Michiko Inukai, a nationally-known Catholic author who supported refugees in Japan and abroad, died on July 24 due to advanced age. She was 96.
 
Inukai was a granddaughter of the prime minister, Tsuyoshi Inukai, whose assassination by young naval officers in 1932 marked the end of effective civilian control of the Japanese government until after World War II.
 

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Double execution in Japan

TOKYO (AsiaNews): Japan hanged two men on July 14, the more high profile of who was 61-year-old Masakatsu Nishikawa, who had been convicted of multiple murder but was seeking a retrial.
 
Nishikawa had been convicted of killing four female bar managers in Himeji, Hyogo prefecture, in 1991. The second one to dangle on the rope was 34-year-old Koichi Sumida, who was sentenced to death in February 2013 by the Okayama District Court for killing his 27-year-old former colleague, Misa Kato, a temporary staff, on 30 September 2011.
 

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Japan’s child starvation

TOKYO (AsiaNews): The birth rate in Japan, which has sat below population replacement level for decades, has plunged to its lowest level since 1950 and left the under 15-year-old population at its lowest ebb since the end of World War II.

At the beginning of April this year, the number of children under 15 stood at 15.71 million, down 170,000 on the previous year.

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Japan called to pay for past forced abortions

TOKYO (AsiaNews): The Japan Federation of Bar Associations issued a written statement on February 25 challenging the government in Tokyo to conduct a full investigation into the effects of the now defunct Eugenic Protection Act, which prescribed abortions and sterilisation for people with certain disabilities and hereditary illnesses.

Adopted in 1948, the purpose of the Eugenic Protection Act was to prevent the birth of imperfect children.

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Japan called to pay for past forced abortions

TOKYO (AsiaNews): The Japan Federation of Bar Associations issued a written statement on February 25 challenging the government in Tokyo to conduct a full investigation into the effects of the now defunct Eugenic Protection Act, which prescribed abortions and sterilisation for people with certain disabilities and hereditary illnesses.

Adopted in 1948, the purpose of the Eugenic Protection Act was to prevent the birth of imperfect children.

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Japan invites the pope to pray at Hiroshima

HIROSHIMA (SE): “One of the things that I have learned since I arrived here in Japan and during my visit to Hiroshima is that Japan has a very particular and understandable take on the whole nuclear question,” Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the secretary for Relations with States for the Vatican, told a press conference in Hiroshima on February 2.

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Samurai takes first step to sainthood

OSAKA (SE): What is a statue of a 16th century Japanese samurai doing in Plaza Dilao in downtown Manila in The Philippines?

And what is more, why is the Japanese fighting man beatified as an honorary Filipino also being beatified as a hero of the Church and a role model for Christians in his native Japan?

The Samurai of Christ, Justo Takayama Ukon (1552 to 1615), was beatified in Osaka, Japan, on February 7.

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Universities are for learning not war

TOKYO (AsiaNews): The Kansai University, a private institution based in Osaka in Japan, has forbidden the members of its staff to participate in a programme sponsored by the Ministry of Defence aimed at achieving a technological development of national security.

The university president justified the decision by saying, “The research can be used against peace, without scientists even knowing about it.”

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