I read that websites in China that had put up the full text of the Pope’s letter to China were quickly asked to take it down. That kind of thing would not happen in Japan these days since the Japanese government is so out of touch they sent an ex foreign minister to Pope John Paul II’S funeral. Yes it ha been a couple of years but it still irks me that ever other country, except Bangladesh (they sent their Food and Disaster Management Minister) and Japan, sent presidents, prime ministers, princes and the like. Japan sends Yoriko Kawaguchi ex foreign minister and at that time advisor to the PM. For the whole list see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_dignitaries_at_the_funeral_of_Pope_John_Paul_II#J
Back in the early 80s JP2 visited Japan and spent 45 minutes meeting with the then Emperor Showa a man who if he had not passed away before the Pope would have probably insisted someone higher ranking attend the funeral. My point of all of this is that while China does not allow the entire letter to be on websites, appoints its own bishops and so on, Japan is the opposite where people have basically no real idea of what a Catholic or Protestant is, and not because the government stops them from knowing but they have just never heard.
Ive had dear friends who are well educated and well traveled not know that there is a difference between Catholic and Protestant Bibles. One of these friends, a very bright person, was completely unaware that St. Francis Xavier was Catholic. There is a painting of St Francis Xavier that most Japanese recognise when it is aired on quiz shows as a question, or recognise his name but surprisingly a bunch of people I know don’t know his religion.
‘Til I ramble again…