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Saturday,  2 October 1976


Mr. Ambassador,

Your Excellency has just expressed to us in such inspiring terms the sentiments that inspire you on the threshold of your mission as Ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of Japan to the Holy See. We thank you heartily, as we also thank His Majesty Emperor Hiro Hito, whose noble wishes you have conveyed to us, and we request you to express our gratitude to him.

To evoke the spirit in which you wish to continue the work already undertaken in favour of an increasingly close and friendly understanding between the Holy See and your country, you had the delicate attention to quote some of the words that we addressed to your eminent predecessor in the month of February 1975. More than ever, in fact, the aspirations to justice, freedom and peace seem inseparable from the desire for truth about the meaning of life and the supreme values of which God is the source and the end that is the spiritual bread without which material prosperity is meaningless. All civilizations which have in common concern for real human development, can truly meet in the desire to encourage this pursuit. The Japanese Catholic communities – which are very dear to us – bear witness in their own way to this fruitful possibility.

That is why we are sure that, during your stay in Rome which so many of your compatriots like to visit, you will find everywhere a welcome inspired by this ideal. At the same time you will witness many testimonies evoked by the Gospel in the life of the Church yesterday and today. Receive, therefore, the fervent and cordial wishes we express for your person and for the accomplishment of your high mission, and be assured of our sentiments of esteem and sympathy for the Japanese people, on whom we invoke the assistance of the Almighty.

*ORa n.43 p.2.


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