Japanese bishop explains why Catholicism doesn't work in Japan
Bishop Berard Toshio Oshikawa of Okinawa told Vatican Radio that there are only 447,000 Catholics in Japan's population of 130 million because it is regarded as a 'Western product'.
Bishop Toshio and other Japanese bishops are in Rome for their "ad limina" visit to the Pope.
He said: "About 70% of Japanese express great appreciation for it, but it is very difficult to convert people. The Church is still regarded in Japan as a Western product."
"The missionaries have worked hard to create a local Church," he added, "but we are always speaking about a Church based on a theological foundation of European matrix and, therefore, culturally remote from Japan."
Because of this, the bishops are promoting the inculturation of the Christian faith. However, in this process, especially as regards the liturgy, "there is still much confusion today," he said. "It is not totally clear how this task of inculturation must be implemented specifically. It is something very difficult and a problem that affects us all, as missionaries and Christians."