I disagree with Archbishop Ikenaga interviewed in this article on the Bishops of Japan site.
I read an article several days ago I am unable to find again about involvement in cults in Japan and how the numbers are steady or increasing. There is a hunger for God but as the Bible says the work is great but the labourers are few. Many people Ive broached the subject of religion with in Japan have a good impression of Catholics but what they lack for one are practicing Catholic friends who can live out the example of a Catholic life. Many people have almost zero knowledge about Catholicism but to teach it to them I think it must taught without dumbing it down or changing anything.
The Archbishop talks with an us versus them attitude, I feel, meaning Asian versus Caucasian or the Catholic church in Asia versus elsewhere. I say we are all sons and daughters of God and skin color has nothing to do with desire for God or ability to understand the Catholic faith. As stated on another site I was reading about the Eucharist but applies to this Archbishop’s thinking ”
The Holy Father had stressed a similar limitation applied to bishops in Ecclesia de Eucharistia,quoting his Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Asia: “such cooperation [among bishops] is essential because the Sacred Liturgy expresses and celebrates the one faith professed by all and, being the heritage of the whole Church, cannot be determined by local Churches in isolation from the universal Church”. (EE 51)
The Archbishop also uses the words old and tired often in his replies. I would say maybe he feels old and tired and instead Japan is more like a field in spring ready to be planted but lacks enough people with the enegry and enthusiasum to plow the ground and plant the seeds. I say to anyone who comes to Japan don’t hide your faith instead know it and live it. You are less likely to get a harsh reaction discussing religion here then you are back home. Plant seeds.