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Thursday, 9 November 1972


Mr. Ambassador,

We welcome with gratitude the kind words that Your Excellency addresses to us today in presenting your Letters of Credence, and the delicate message from His Majesty the Emperor of Japan of which you are the interpreter.

We entrust to you to express to His Majesty our respectful good wishes for him, as well as for the happiness and prosperity of his dear country. And we wish you, Mr. Ambassador, who are taking your place in the line of Japan's Representatives to the Holy See, a cordial welcome and success in carrying out this rather special mission, to an Authority the justification of which is primarily of the spiritual and moral order.

This spiritual concern, intended to promote the relations of men with their Creator, commits the Catholic Church to work also for peace, which is an integral part of God's plan for the world and of the demands of the Christian Gospel. Your Excellency has kindly stressed the interest of your compatriots in our incessant efforts for peace, a peace, inseparable from concern with development in solidarity, inseparable, too, from the establishment of justice. Yes, we know that public opinion in your country widely echoes these efforts of ours, and we rejoice to set this grave preoccupation not only accepted benevolently but also deeply shared by the Japanese populations. The courteous visits we frequently receive bring us an additional testimony, which we appreciate.

• The Holy See has been induced to establish with your noble country close relations which are seen to be cordial and fruitful on both sides. It is aware of the remarkable human values lived by the Japanese people; it appreciates their creativity, their spirit of intellectual curiosity, which is manifested particularly in the youth of today, and their openness to progress, while respecting the traditions of the Past. The Church, which has its Centre here, and the loving solicitude of which is universal, could not remain alien to this Japanese culture. Your Excellency knows, furthermore, the efforts carried out by Catholic institutions to contribute to this cultural promotion. The Church has also the conviction that the high spiritual values to which She testifies, in respect a consciences, can promote this "material and moral ecology, which you so rightly mentioned, and help the deepening of a real humanism opening on the Absolute. Does not humanity need, more than ever, light and moral strength to dedicate itself to the good that it foresees and desires?

Such is the spirit of service pursued by our Catholic Brothers and Sons. Such is the spirit that animates the Holy Se, of Which you will now be a close witness. Expressing to you again, Mr. Ambassador, and to your family, our warmest good wishes, we implore the Blessings of the Almighty on your person and your mission.

*ORa n.47 p.4.


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