Pope Francis said Wednesday he wants to visit Japan next year, in what would be the first papal visit to the country in nearly 40 years, according to a local media report.
Pope Francis expressed his intention during an audience with representatives of a Japanese religious association, the Vatican News said.
(Pope Francis in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in December 2017)
The pope — who was invited to Japan by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe when they met at the Vatican in 2014 — has previously expressed his willingness to visit the country but has never mentioned a possible date.
The late Pope John Paul II became the first pontiff to visit the country in 1981.
All — Kyodo News+