BANGKOK (AP) — The Latest on Pope Francis' visit to Thailand and Japan in November (all times local):
Pope Francis will meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Emperor Naruhito when he visits Japan in November.
Government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said Pope Francis will visit Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki during his Nov. 23-26 visit. He said Abe invited Francis to visit Japan when he went to the Vatican in 2014.
Suga said, "We welcome the visit as a way to gain understanding of the international community about atomic bombing."
Japan has not had such a visit since St. John Paul II was the first pope to visit Japan, in 1981. Japan, where the main religions are Buddhism and Shintoism, has about 441,000 Catholics, many in Nagasaki.
Nagasaki, in southwestern Japan, is rich in the legacy of Christian missionaries dating back to the samurai era, including 26 martyrs killed in 1597.
Francis has repeatedly called for a world without nuclear weapons.
Representatives of the Roman Catholic Church in Thailand have announced the upcoming visit of Pope Francis in late November
The Vatican's diplomatic representative in Thailand, Archbishop Paul Tschang In-Nam, announced Friday at a press conference that Francis will visit on Nov. 20-23.
The announcement, which was confirmed by the Vatican, said he will also visit Japan.
There has not been a papal visit to Thailand since the late Pope John Paul II came in 1984.