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Open letter No,1-3

Open letter 1

I have a specific requirement that I would like to request from the Emperor.

At present, His Majesty the Emperor has an important role in Shintoism and Buddhism. In addition to this, we would like the Emperor to become the founder of a new Christian organization in Japan, and to become the “ancestor of restoration.” In other words, we would like you to consider expressing traditional Christianity in a slightly different way. And we would like you to be the founder of it. As you know, the number of Christians in Japan is very small. The percentage of Christians in Japan is less than 1% of the total population. There are many reasons for the low number of Christians in Japan, but the most important reason is that the Emperor of Japan does not have a role in society with regard to Christianity. In other words, Christianity is not a subject of sufficient recognition in Japan.

Shinto and Buddhism have a long history and track record of playing an important role in all matters concerning the country of Japan or the Japanese people.

According to the book and original title “Fra All Lande” written by Eduard Suenson (a Danish naval officer) and translated into Japanese in his book “Edo Bakumatsu Taizaiki”(A Stay at the End of Edo Period), it reads as follows.”Shinto had been the state religion of Japan since olden times, but it spread quickly with the arrival of Buddhism in the mid-sixth century. The Mikado reigned as the supreme authority of these two religions. In Shinto, the Mikado is deified and worshipped as a god. In Buddhism, too, he is given the dignity of a deity.”

# Mikado is an old way of saying Emperor.

Thus, Shintoism and Buddhism are recognized in Japan in the presence of the Emperor, which gives them a social role in the religious sense. The people of Japan also recognize Shintoism and Buddhism as an integral part of the Japanese society.

Christianity, by the way, was introduced by the Jesuit Xavier in 1549, and missionary activities spread along with the trade with the Namban, and by the early 17th century, Christianity was propagated mainly in western Japan. Thereafter, the freedom of Christian faith in Japan was restricted for a long time by Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s “Decree of deportation of Christian missionaries,” Tokugawa Ieyasu’s “ban on Christianity,” and the “national isolation.” Finally, in 1873, the ban was repealed, restoring freedom of Christian faith in Japan for the first time in 262 years since Ieyasu’s 1612 “ban on Christianity in Edo shogunate territory.”

# “The “Nanban trade” refers to the trade that took place between Japan and Portugal/Spain in the late 16th century.

As you know, since the Meiji era (1868-1912), many achievements and contributions have already been made in the fields of science and culture, such as the introduction of Western military-related technologies and various machine-related technologies to Japan. I believe that these scientific, technological, and cultural contributions from the West were fostered in the Japanese way and paved the way for the Japanese to go abroad.

Looking around the world, Christianity is a recognized religion. The population ratio of Christians in the world is about 33% (according to a 2016 survey by Tokyo Christian University, Faith and Culture Center), and the numbers really show it. In Japan, it is less than 1% (according to a 2016 survey by Tokyo Christian University, Faith and Culture Center). As for whether Christianity is the right religion for Japan, it is difficult to be objective. Religions are entitled to freedom of religion and should not be forced by others. I believe the same is true for His Majesty the Emperor. There is no necessity to choose Christianity based on objective conditions. For this reason, I, as a citizen of Japan, would like to ask His Majesty the Emperor I would like Christianity to take root in Japan.

There are already a great number of Christian churches in Japan, including Catholic, Protestant, Eastern, and others. I do not want you to belong to one of the many organizations that already exist in Japan, but rather to be the founder of a new Christian organization created uniquely in Japan. In other words, we would like you to become the “restorer of Christianity” in Japan.

Galileo Galilei, the Italian “father of modern science,” was a devout Catholic, but he left behind great achievements in the fields of astronomy and physics. He said, “Religion and science are not enemies, they are different languages that speak the same thing.” (quoted from the movie “Angels and Demons”) I believe that these two things can be treated on the same level.

What we want to insist on in this new denomination is to clearly communicate that science and religion (Christianity) are inseparable. Science and religion are one and indivisible, and we encourage you to judge them holistically in light of all these conditions. I believe this is the true value of Christianity, “taking everything at once.” And this leads to the leap to the concept of “self-salvation”: “Can I save myself? I do not know if this can be established as a religion, but it is my belief that this is a request from “God Almighty”.

What is important for Japanese people today is not whether there really is an “Almighty God” or not. It is not whether “Almighty God” is worthy of belief or not. It is extremely important to recognize again the fact that there are already many people in the world who believe in the existence of “Almighty God,” and that they have achieved a great number of concrete results by believing in Him. In this day and age, it is already nonsense to think about “God Almighty” as true or false. In order for Japan to become an officially recognized Christian nation, it is important for Japanese people to understand what “Almighty God” is, which is already believed by people all over the world. And I think it is necessary to be able to explain how we understand it to many people around the world.

To be continued