Japanese bishops publish call to abolish nuclear power plants

Publication studies atomic power generation from an ethical Catholic perspective

October 31, 2016
The Japanese bishops have published a 290-page technical, ethical and theological call for the abolition of nuclear power generation.

Abolition of Nuclear Power: An Appeal from the Catholic Church in Japan was prepared by an editorial committee of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Japan (CBCJ), which is headed by Jesuit Father Ichiro Mitsunobu.

The book expands upon "Abolish Nuclear Plants Immediately: Facing the Tragedy of the Fukushima Dai'ichi Nuclear Plant Disaster," a Nov. 8, 2011, statement by the CBCJ made six months after a nuclear power plant disaster in Fukushima.

The new commentary draws upon a further five years of reflection as well as Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato si'.

The book is in three sections.

The first part presents a nuclear history of Japan, including in addition to the Fukushima disaster the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as well as the exposure of Japanese fishermen to radioactive fallout following atomic testing in Bikini Atoll.

The second section explains scientific and technical problems connected with nuclear power plants.

The main part is the third, which looks at the problem of atomic power generation from the point of view of Catholic ethical teaching.

The book calls for solidarity among the churches and religions of the region in abolishing atomic power plants.

An English-language translation is in preparation.

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