PEACE STATEMENT DESIRING PEACE IN NORTHEAST ASIA We bishops of Korea and Japan have held an Exchange Meeting e […]
DESIRING PEACE IN NORTHEAST ASIA
We bishops of Korea and Japan have held an Exchange Meeting every year for the past 23 years. Through sincere dialogue and various interchanges we continue to help the people of our two countries overcome our anguished history and advance together toward a bright future filled with justice and peace. As neighbors, both countries have had interchanges of people and products since ancient times, and we are pleased that in these globalized times we are developing even deeper economic and cultural relationships. We believe that together we have been building a relationship that can greatly contribute to the peace of Asia.
However, today the insecure situation in Northeast Asia is a cause for deep concern. Countries in Northeast Asia are trying to maintain their own national security and prosperity by military force in alliance with other countries with similar political systems. This gives rise to a state of tension as threats and fear increase. Therefore, we, the bishops of Korea and Japan, earnestly desiring peace in Northeast Asia, have decided to issue this statement.
God calls on us to break our bad habit of resorting to violence to resolve conflicts. We affirm that all people must recognize that neither an arms race nor nuclear deterrence guarantee genuine peace at all, but rather increase the risk of war. We must stand by the fundamental principle expressed by Pope John XXIII, “The true and solid peace of nations consists not in equality of arms, but in mutual trust alone.” It is also unacceptable that huge expenditures on armaments hurt poor people unbearably and make the environment even worse. Everyone, especially heads of state and military leaders, must always consider our serious responsibility for world peace in the presence of God and all humanity and continue every effort for dialogue towards peace.
Violence impairs human dignity; it is a mindless tool that only results in tragedy. The true and solid peace of nations consists not in equality of arms, but in mutual trust alone. We bishops of Japan and Korea urge all people to trust not military force, but in God, actively practicing love for one another and actively building peace.