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Critic of Christianity vies to become Japanese prime minister

Catholic World News - September 02, 2010

A critic of Christianity has announced he will run against Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan in the September 14 election for the leadership of the Democratic Party of Japan.

“I think that Christian civilization is extremely exclusive, that it’s a self-righteous religion,” Ichiro Ozawa said last November. “All you need to know about civilizations rooted in exclusive Christianity can be learned from the stagnating societies in Europe and America.”

“I wasn’t saying [Christianity] is good or bad as a religion,” he later clarified. “It was about how the Orient is different from Europe and America.”

“Mr. Ozawa is neither a believer nor a scholar of Christianity,” responded Archbishop Peter Takeo Okada of Tokyo. “I think his understanding of Christianity is pretty indicative of that of your average Japanese person’s. It means our practice of our faith isn’t as good as it should be.”

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