After all, two of the questions in the survey were “How can a more open attitude towards having children be fostered? How can an increase in births be promoted?”
The Japanese bishops, led by Archbishop Peter Takeo Okada of Tokyo, responded by saying that, “in order to improve the present situation the Church must work in various ways with government and civic organizations. In addition, marriage preparation must include both family planning and an understanding that bearing and nurturing children is a part of marriage.”
One hopes that the good bishops are successful in convincing their people, no less than the government, that the Church’s efforts are essential to Japan’s survival. And that, in referring to “family planning”, they meant to say Natural Family Planning.
Steven W. Mosheris the President of the Population Research Institute, an Asian expert, and has lived and worked in Japan.