.- Meeting at the Vatican today with the new ambassador of Japan, Kagefumi Ueno, Pope Benedict XVI called for Japan to continue fostering bilateral and multilateral talks to bring about the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
The Holy Father encouraged Japan "to continue decisively in its efforts to contribute to establishing a just and lasting peace in the world, especially in the Far East.”
‘In the face of the current crisis in the region,” he said, “the Holy See encourages bilateral and multilateral negotiations, in the conviction that the solution must be found through peaceful means, and with respect for the commitments assumed by all sides to achieve the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula."
At the same time he expressed his hope, "that the international community may continue and intensify its humanitarian aid efforts to the most vulnerable populations, especially in North Korea, so that any interruption does not bring serious consequences to the civilian population." He also underlined Japan's "generous contribution" in "helping poorer countries."
"Interdependence between peoples, as it gradually develops, must be accompanied by a decided commitment to ensure that the fatal consequences of the great disparity ... between developed and developing countries do not become worse, rather that they change into authentic solidarity that stimulates the economic and growth of the poorest nations," the Holy Father continued.
"Today more than ever," the Pope continued, "the search for peace between nations must be a priority of international relations... Violence can never be a just response to the problems of societies, because it destroys the dignity, the life and the freedom of the human being it claims to defend. Cultural, political and economic progress are important in order to build peace."
The Pope noted that, “the rich cultural and spiritual traditions,” of Japan have contributed to the growth of fundamental human values.”
The spiritual dimension of society, he said, "which promotes authentic dialogue between religions and cultures cannot but favor a shared fraternal and united journey, which alone is capable of favoring the integral development of man."
Finally, Benedict XVI expressed his joy for "the respect the Catholic Church enjoys in Japan," and offered greetings to the bishops and all the faithful, encouraging them "to live ever more firmly in the communion of faith, and to continue in their commitment in favor of peace and reconciliation between the peoples of the region, generously collaborating with their compatriots."