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Korean, Japanese bishops hope for episcopal meeting at East Asian level

.- Japanese and Korean bishops gathered for their 12th Japanese and Korean Bishops' Interchange Meeting last week, but they hope their next meeting will include the bishops of from other East Asian countries, including China.

The bishops shared their concern for quality priestly formation in the region during their closed-door meeting at Hanti Martyrs' Shrine near Daegu, 230 kilometers southeast of Seoul.

Eighteen bishops from Korea, 16 from Japan, and one from Hong Kong attended. Auxiliary Bishop John Tong Hon of Hong Kong came as a special guest to discuss about the Church in Hong Kong and mainland China, reported UCA News.

"In Japan, priestly vocations are very few, so the formation of the small number of seminarians into intellectually and spiritually competent pastors is an important task," Bishop Augustine Jun-ichi Nomura of Nagoya, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Japan, told UCA News. "It was a good chance to share these concerns with Korean bishops."

Bishop John Chang Yik of Chunchon, president of the Korean bishops’ conference, told UCA News that discussions among bishops from throughout the region would be "very helpful for the pastoral work of local Churches.”

Korean and Japanese bishops hope for a "close relationship with the Chinese Church in the near future," he reportedly said.

The next Korean-Japanese bishops' meeting is scheduled for November 2007 in Japan. 

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