The editorial “Pope’s demand for nuclear disarmament” in the Nov. 27 edition led me to ponder peace and nukes.

The speeches delivered by Pope Francis in Nagasaki and Hiroshima called on us to strive for peace. These words will continue to speak to our hearts: “From that abyss of silence, we continue even today to hear the cries of those who are no longer.” “The use of atomic energy for purposes of war is today, more than ever, a crime.” And, “A true peace can only be an unarmed peace.”

Biological and chemical weapons are cruel and banned from use. Can anyone claim that nukes are less inhuman compared to those weapons? It is clear that nuclear weapons are barbarous and a crime against humanity. Since our Earth is a beautiful planet of life, nuclear weapons are also a great crime against all life. Can we justify annihilating all life on Earth and the beautiful habitable environment with our nukes? We must protect the planet and its life.

Pope Francis quoted from the prayer for peace of St. Francis of Assisi, saying, “Make us instruments and reflections of your peace.” The prayer continues, “Where there is hatred, let me sow love.” It seems that the pope was desiring to add one more phrase through his speeches: “Where there are nukes, the courage to abolish.”

All of us, including leaders of the world, should listen to the pope’s speeches seeking peace, and the cries of the victims of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, the hibakusha, all peace-loving people of the world, and all other living creatures on this planet, in order not to repeat the mistake of the past. We must destroy nukes before nukes destroy us.

Pope Francis has sown seeds of peace in Nagasaki and Hiroshima, the only cities in human history to suffer the devastation of atomic bombs.

Let us deeply thank Pope Francis for his pleas for peace and pray sincerely that they will spread over the whole world with enough goodwill to abolish all nuclear weapons.


The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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