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Japan Holds 4th Annual March for Life

Theresa Smith
By Theresa Smith | July 24, 2017 | 1:26 PM EDT

People participate in Japan's 4th

Annual March for Life.

(Screenshot: Churchmilitant.com)

On July 17, the Fourth Annual March for Life in Japan took place in Tokyo, a country where an estimated 38,499,348 babies have been murdered by abortion since 1949.

According to Dayly Knightly, Japan’s March for Life was organized by a private restaurant owner, Masaki Ikeda. The march itself lasted one hour, beginning at 4:00 p.m. following Mass at the Tsukiji Catholic Church. The march route went from the church to Hibiya Park, while passing Ginza and Nihonbashi along the way.

The first ever March For Life in Japan, four years ago, consisted of only 33 people. The 2017 March nearly tripled that number, assembling150 people, reported Dayly Knightly. During the March, participants prayed, sang hymns, and carried a statue of the Blessed Mother with them.

This year, the march included not only Japanese citizens, but also some “foreigners living in Japan” from the United States, Ireland, France, and others, said Dayly Knightly. Among the marchers were a city council member from Kashiwa and three priests from Tokyo and Yokohama.

Participants in Japan's 4th Annual March for Life. (Screenshot: Churchmilitant.com) 

The marchers were mostly Catholics, according to Dayly Knightly, but other groups attended. A representative of a pro-life multi-denominational Christian group from Taiwan came to the March in Tokyo. Dayly Knightly also mentioned that “there is great interest” from other Christian and even Buddhist groups to take part in future marches.

Dayly Knightly reported that support for the pro-life movement is low but growing in Japan. The March for Life has been organized Masaki Ikeda since it began in 2014. Although the Archdiocese of Tokyo released an announcement for the 2017 March for Life, the Japanese Catholic Bishops have not shown support for the movement, according to Dayly Knightly.

The newspaper reported that the march had a flyer made for the first time, which was funded by a private donation. They also said the Japanese government is becoming “more pro-life” due to the decreasing population of the country. However, Dayly Knightly said that this support apparently was “more for economic reasons.”

According to the publication, abortion became legal in Japan in 1948, when the government adopted the Eugenic Protection Law. In 1949, an amendment to this law allowed abortion for “economic reasons.” Between then and 2015, 38,499,348 babies have been aborted in Japan, reported Dayly Knightly.

“We need to build the culture of life all over the world internationally,” said Lila Rose, founder of Live Action in the United States, in a video posted on Prolife.jp. “And Japan especially, because of the legacy you have to build the culture of life in Japan, and fighting for the right to life for all people including the smallest Japanese.”

“So, God bless you in your fight, and we hope to partner with you in America,” said Rose. “God bless.”