Pope Francis departs for Japan

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Thailand bids a fond farewell to His Holiness Pope Francis.
Thailand bids a fond farewell to His Holiness Pope Francis.

BANGKOK  – Government officials saw His Holiness Pope Francis off on his departure for Japan at Air Wing 6 in Don Mueang, Bangkok.

As representatives of the government, Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak, Foreign Affairs Minister Don Pramudwinai and Culture Minister Ittiphol Khunpluem, as well as representatives of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Thailand, those of religious networks and Christian Thais, today attended the departure of His Holiness Pope Francis.

The Pontiff has completed an official visit to Thailand as the guest of the government and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Thailand which began on from November 20th. The Papal visit marked the 350th anniversary of the Siam Mission and 50th anniversary of Thailand-Vatican relations.

His Holiness took a special Thai Airways flight, on a plane named Srianocha, from Air Wing 6 in Don Mueang heading to Haneda airport in Tokyo, Japan for a four day official visit.

Pope Francis is the first Pontiff to visit Japan for 38 years. His Holiness Pope John Paul II was the last pope to visit Japan, in 1981. During his Japan tour, Pope Francis will visit Nagasaki and Hiroshima, destroyed by American nuclear bombs in the Second World War, and will meet with Japanese Emperor Naruhito and attend a Messianic ceremony at the Tokyo Dome on November 25.