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No. 37 • July - December 2003 • Page 79
 •  Initiatives

Ashiya (Japan) -- Revitalizing the family and customs

Under the title of “Revitalizing the family and customs,” a series of conferences on current topics was held at Seido Cultural Center in Ashiya, Japan. The emphasis in the talks was on the importance of human virtues and moral behavior as indispensable foundations for the building up of a society where justice and peace reign.

Dr. Ichiro Mukoyama, author of a thesis on bioethics at the University of Navarre, spoke on the topic of “Light and Darkness in Modern Bioethics.” He insisted on the need for basic ethical norms, so that biomedical science might always be at the service of mankind.

Jose Vicente de los Mozos, director of an automobile company, emphasized the importance of human virtues in professional life: “Work is a means and not an end for the integral development of the person.” When asked what he considered the most influential factor in his life, he replied that it was his decision to marry and form a family: “Before this, whenever I had to make a decision I thought first of ‘me.’ But since I married, I always think of ‘us,’ my wife and my four children.”

Dr. Kunio Hirata, advisor to a pro-life group, spoke on the problem of education in Japanese emotional life, and called on those present to construct a new “Noah’s ark” to help the greatest possible number of persons escape the crisis in which they are immersed. In the final conference held on November 3, which in Japan is the day for the celebration of culture, the address was given by the historian and journalist Gregorio Gonzalez Roldan. Roldan stressed the importance of human virtues in sports, both for those who take part as well as for the spectators. If sport is to foster understanding and cooperation between persons of different cultures and social environments, and if athletes are to be a model and stimulus for youth, “the cultivation of the virtues,” said the speaker, “is absolutely necessary.”

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