Pope Francis is due to arrive in Thailand and Japan this week, both mainly Buddhist countries with tiny numbers of Catholics, where he will honour the faithful and call for the elimination of nuclear weapons. [Sakchai Lalit/AP Photo]

Nagasaki, Japan – Japan may have few Catholics, but the pacifist message of Pope Francis resonates keenly in the only country in the world to have suffered a nuclear attack.

And as he prepares to make is first journey to the country this week, expectations are high the pontiff will make strong anti-war statements in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where the United States dropped atomic bombs in the closing days of World War II.

“When John Paul II came the first thing he said in his

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