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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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Japanese award to Sri Lankan centre for peace

TOKYO (AsiaNews): Sri Lanka’s Centre for Peace Building and Reconciliation is this year’s winner of the Niwano Peace Prize, which is awarded by the Niwano Peace Foundation each year in Japan.

The centre was founded in 2002 by Dishani Jayaweera and Jayantha Seneviratne, both of whom belonged to the Sinhala Buddhists since its foundation.

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Law suits to be filed against Japan’s security laws

TOKYO (AsiaNews): A group of 300 lawyers is preparing to file lawsuits with district courts across Japan claiming that the security legislation introduced by the government of Shinzo Abe in July 2014 violates the national constitution.

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War and peace on the high seas

MANILA (AsiaNews): The sidelines of the November 18 to 19 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) held in Manila, The Philippines, was a busy place, with negotiations on war and peace on the high seas a big part of the unofficial agenda.

The president of the host nation, Noynoy Aquino, was busy lobbying Japan for support ships to patrol the waters of the West Philippine Sea, which China refers to as the South China Sea.

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Japan’s new law lacks moral principle

NIIGATA (SE): “What made me sad while observing the debate on the bills in the parliament was the absence of moral principle among our politicians while talking about an issue related to human life,” Bishop Isao Kikuchi, from Niigata in Japan, said on the day that the Diet in Tokyo passed controversial amendments to Article Nine of the nation’s constitution approving the possibility of Japan once again going to war in defence of a nominated allay.

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Japan pushes samurai as its first individual saint

OSAKA (AsiaNews): The Japanese Church has finished preparing the application for the beatification of Ukon Takayama, a feudal lord, or daimyo, who, after his conversion to Catholicism, played a pioneering role in the spread of Christianity in Japan in the 16th century.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan presented a 400-page application to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints containing the results of research into his case.

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Christmas celebrated in hope and fear

 

HONG KONG (SE): While Christians in Iraq faced the Christmas season of peace and joy in fear and trepidation, Catholics in Nepal reported that they were looking forward to their first Christmas in many years without threats of violence from Hindu fundamentalist groups.

Then, in normally peaceful Japan, people faced the festive season in a mood of crisis and worry, as Archbishop Joseph Mitsuaki Takami, from Nagasaki, put it, “It is not a time to celebrate in a consumerist society.”

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Japan must lead in building a culture of peace

HIROSHIMA (Agencies): “As an American, visiting Hiroshima can be very difficult,” the first director of the Peace Museum in the Japanese city of Hiroshima from the United States of America (US), Steve Leeper, told the National Catholic Reporter on August 26. 

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New Japanese bible translated from original languages

TOKYO (SE): The publication of a one-volume translation of the complete bible into colloquial Japanese has marked the end of a 55-year-long project.

The translation and footnotes are the work of the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum (Franciscan Biblical School) in Tokyo, which was set up in Japan in 1956.

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