By Alessandro Di Bussolo
The Pope’s embrace with Matsuki Kamoshita was one of the most moving moments of his meeting with victims of the so-called "triple disaster". Matsuki was 8 years old in 2011, when the earthquake, tsunami and Fukushima nuclear disaster shook Japan. Today he is 16 and still lives as a displaced person.
During his testimony in Tokyo’s Bellesalle Hanzomon Auditorium, he described being bullied for the fact of being a victim, claiming that people had “given up being concerned” about those displaced by the disasters. Eight years after the Fukushima accident, people are still feeling the effect of radioactive contamination, he said. Matsuki asked the Pope to pray that those in power “may find the courage to follow another path".
Before delivering his address, Pope Francis invited those present to spend a moment in silence, “so that our first word will be one of prayer for the more than 18,000 people who lost their lives, for their families, and for those who are still missing.”
Eight years after the triple disaster, Japan has shown how a people can unite in solidarity, patience, perseverance and resilience. The path to a full recovery may still be long, but it can always be undertaken if it counts on the spirit of people capable of mobilizing in order to help one another.
One of the greatest ills has to do with a culture of indifference. We need to work together to foster awareness that if one member of our family suffers, we all suffer. Real interconnectedness will not come about unless we cultivate the wisdom of togetherness, the only wisdom capable of facing problems and solutions in a global way. We are part of one another.