Staff prepares for Pope Francis visit at the Atomic Bomb Hypocenter Park, Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019, in Nagasaki, Japan. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

Pope brings anti-nuclear message to Nagasaki, Hiroshima

November 23, 2019 - 8:10 pm

NAGASAKI, Japan (AP) — Pope Francis is bringing his peace message to Nagasaki and Hiroshima on his first full day in Japan, paying homage to the victims of the U.S. atomic bombings and demanding an end to the stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons.

Francis was arriving first in Nagasaki as a downpour Sunday drenched the terraced fields and rice paddies around town, where autumn has begun turning hills of green into shades of red, yellow and orange.

Japanese Catholics and others are braving the rain in plastic raincoats, some queuing up for hours to secure a spot for Francis’ Mass in the baseball stadium. Others gathered at the outdoor memorial to bombing victims at ground zero, where Francis was expected to deliver a strong appeal for complete nuclear disarmament.

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