Japanese emperor’s letters discovered

hirohitoDoor Joost Evers / Anefo - Nationaal Archief, CC0 via Wikimedia Commons

A Japanese scholar has discovered letters written by Emperor Showa and Pope Pius XII that provide a unique insight into post-war relations between Japan and the Vatican.

Professor Matsumoto Saho of Nihon University found the letters in Vatican Apostolic Archives among documents made public in 2020. It’s four letters in total.

In October 1952, the Pope sent congratulations to Japan for regaining their sovereignty and the age of majority of then Crown Prince Akihito. The Emperor sent back that Japan wanted to express their deepest gratitude for the congratulations.

It was already assumed that there had been a personal exchange of letters after the war and these newly found letters confirm this.

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