Reconciliation with Asian Countries
Mr. Weizsacker, the first President of the unified Germany, said, "Those who close their eyes to the past will become blind to the present". We agree and believe we must not close our eyes to what happened in the 20th century if we are not to become blind to what is occurring in the 21st century. As Rev. Furukawa has said, "The 21st century ought to be the dawn of reverence for life", we hold his deep wishes as our own and will spare no effort to end war forever on this Earth.
Rev. Furukawa shed tears for the War time victims with his remark, "Grief transcending national boundaries". He undertook the first pilgrimage of reconciliation and peace to China in 1984, commemorating the victims of Nanjing Massacre perpetrated by the Japanese Imperial Army. Yearly pilgrimages have been conducted since then. In order that the light of friendship especially between Japan and China continues to burn brightly, we will carry on our annual memorial services both here in Japan and in China to convey the truth of the horrors of war to future generations.
Rev. Furukawa also built a monument in Arao (Kumamoto Prefecture) in 1984 in memory of the Chinese forced laborers who died in the coal mines during the Second World War.