The 15th Korean-Japanese Bishops’ Exchange Meeting was held at the Bishop's Residence of the Archdiocese of Osaka, Japan from November, 17 to 19, 2009.
Along with the Most Rev. Peter Kang U-il, President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea and Bishop of Cheju, and the Most Rev. Peter Okada Takeo, President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Japan (CBCJ) and Archbishop of Tokyo, 31 Bishops in all attended the meeting. At the reception, held at the Akebono Hall of KKR Hotel in Osaka, Japan, Bishop Kang, on behalf of the Korean Bishops, expressed his condolences to the Japanese victims of fire accident which was happened in Busan, Korea on November 14, 2009. In the evening of the first day of the meeting, the Bishops watched together a documentary film on DVD entitled 'Thank you all, I love you all', an homage with images for the loving memory of the late Stephen Cardinal Kim Su-hwan, Archbishop emeritus of Seoul, who was passed away on February 16, 2009.
On the second day of the meeting, Bishop Kang gave a special lecture with the theme 'Life and Vision of the late Stephen Cardinal Kim Sou-hwan', presenting him as a Jonah the Prophet and a Good Pastor of our age. On the part of the CBCJ, Fr. Honda Tetsuro made a report on the situation of the homeless in Japan and the activities of the Catholic Church in Japan for them in Kamagasaki, where there is the largest slum populated with the best number of day laborers in Japan, reminding the meaning of the justice and peace in the Bible. Then, the Bishops celebrated together a Commemoration Mass for the late Cardinal Kim. In his homily, Most Rev. John Chang Yik, Bishop of Chuncheon, said, "We have to communicate the Gospel to people of the world with our humble life as the late Cardinal Kim showed us."
In the afternoon, the Bishops visited Ikuno where the Korean residents in Japan still live, the site of the Kobe Earthquake (alias the Great Hanshin Earthquake) which claimed death toll over 6,000 people in 1995, and Dotonbori where Burakumin, one of the minority groups of Japanese society, once lived, teaming up in three parties. In the evening the Bishops exchanged their impressions of the visitation.
On the last day of the meeting, the Bishops celebrated the Closing Mass together. In his homily, the Most Rev. Joseph Lee Han-taek, S.J., Bishop of Uijeongbu, said that the Church should not hesitate to voice her discontent on social matters on behalf of the poor neighbors. After the Mass the Bishops gave their word that they would share with their faithful what they had learned and felt during this meeting.
The next meeting is scheduled for November 16 to 18, 2010, in Korea.