Pope Francis arrives in Japan

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Sat, 23 Nov 2019 - 12:12 GMT

Pope Francis waves from his vehicle as he travels to the airport in Yangon, Myanmar November 30, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

Pope Francis waves from his vehicle as he travels to the airport in Yangon, Myanmar November 30, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

TOKYO, Nov 23 (MENA) - Pope Francis has arrived in Japan, marking the first visit to the country by a pontiff in 38 years, NHK news reported.

A special plane carrying the pope landed at Tokyo's Haneda Airport shortly before 5:30 p.m. on Saturday.

He was greeted by Japan's Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso, Catholic school students and others.

The pontiff will stay in Japan for four days. On Sunday, he will visit the atomic-bombed cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, where he is expected to call for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

On Monday, he will meet Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo.

He will also meet survivors of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that hit northeastern Japan, and Japanese youth. Later, the pope will hold a Mass at Tokyo Dome.

On Tuesday, he will deliver a speech at Tokyo's Sophia University before leaving Japan to return to the Vatican.

With about 1.3 billion Catholics worldwide, attention is focused on what messages the influential head of the Roman Catholic Church will deliver to the world.

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