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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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Japanese bishops call for end to nuclear power

TOKYO (SE): During October, the Japanese bishops published a 290-page technical, ethical and theological call for the abolition of nuclear power generation.

Under the title of the Abolition of Nuclear Power: An Appeal from the Catholic Church in Japan, it was prepared by an editorial committee from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan headed by Father Ichiro Mitsunobu sj.

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Ten days for peace

HIROSHIMA (SE): For the 35th year in a row the Church in Japan is marking its Ten Days for Peace observance from August 6 to 15, a period that embraces the anniversaries of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and culminates on the day the Japanese Imperial Forces surrendered to the United States of America (US).

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Is this the big one?

KUMAMOTO (SE): “Is this the big one?” a long time resident of Kumamoto City on the southern island of Kyushu in Japan said he thought to himself as his home shook violently at 1.25am on April 14.

He said that although it is not something at the front of his consciousness, the occasional reminder that Japan is an earthquake-prone country leaves the thought of the big earthquake lurking somewhere at the back of his mind and images of Kobe from the 1990s and Fukushima from 2011 are always there.

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Identity of old missionary martyr in Japan confirmed

TOKYO (Agencies): Japanese authorities confirmed on April 4 the identity of a 17th century Italian Catholic missionary priest, Father Giovanni Battista Sidotti, whose remains were discovered in 2014 during excavations for an apartment building.

Vatican Radio reported on April 6 that he is known as the last missionary martyr to Japan.

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