Pope Francis has used an address in Nagasaki to call for nuclear disarmament as the Papal tour of Asia continues.
The Pontiff is visiting both Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the two Japanese cities destroyed by nuclear weapons at the end of the Second World War. Pope Francis has long been a leader of global calls for nuclear abolition, and the Vatican was one of the first states to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in September 2017.
The Pope is meeting survivors of the attacks, known as Hibakusha, during his visit. Hibakusha have dedicated their lives to campaigning to ensure that no one else has to endure what they lived through in August 1945 and continue to deal with to this day. The Pope’s message was delivered in front of the iconic photograph of a boy carrying the body of his younger brother to a crematorium in the aftermath of the attacks.
One of the deepest longings of the human heart is for security, peace and stability. The possession of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction is not the answer to this desire; indeed they seem always to thwart it.
Japan is one of the states covered by a defence arrangement with the United States and therefore their nuclear weapons. Japan has also failed to engage with the Nuclear Ban Treaty, despite widespread public and civil society support for it to do so.
Join us as we thank God for the inspirational words of the Pontiff and pray that they would be heeded by world leaders in the run-up to nuclear disarmament talks at the United Nations in 2020.