Pope Francis has expressed his wish for a nuclear-free world in a video message for the people of Japan. It comes ahead of his four-day visit to the country starting Saturday.
On Sunday, the Pope is expected to call for the abolition of nuclear weapons during visits to the atomic-bombed cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
On Monday, he will meet Emperor Naruhito and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo.
The Pope spoke in Spanish for about three minutes in the video message released on Monday. He said Japan knows very well the suffering caused by wars.
He added, "Together with all of you, I pray that the destructive power of nuclear weapons is never used again in human history."
The Pope also said he will have the opportunity to appreciate Japan's natural beauty, while expressing the shared desire to protect life and the earth.