Nov. 25 (UPI) -- Pope Francis led a holy mass in Tokyo Monday and met with survivors of the 2011 earthquake and meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, using the occasion to urge caution for future decisions on energy.
The Roman Catholic pontiff, making the first papal visit to Japan in 38 years, visited with three survivors of the disaster, including a kindergarten teacher, Buddhist priest and a young woman who was eight years old when the earthquake and tsunami triggered a series of meltdowns at the plant.
The disaster resulted in extensive contamination around the plant. About 42,000 area residents remain displaced from their homes.
At Monday's mass, Francis cautioned against viewing technological progress as the sole measure of human success, saying it is "important to pause and reflect on who we are ... and who we want to be.
"Important decisions will have to be made about the use of natural resources, and future energy sources in particular," he said.
Francis also delivered an address Monday to Japanese government and civil authorities, saying it's imperative that diplomacy settle disputes rather than acts of mass destruction, such as the United States' use of atomic weapons on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 during World War II.
The pope said he traveled to Japan to "to implore God and invite all persons of good will to encourage and promote every necessary means of dissuasion so that the destruction generated by atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki will never take place again in human history".