Pope Benedict said nuclear weapons remain a threat to humanity, and he urged steps to curb their proliferation.
Addressing Japan's new ambassador to the Vatican Nov. 27, the pope recalled that this year marks the 65th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
"This tragedy strongly reminds us how necessary it is to persevere in the efforts toward nonproliferation of nuclear weapons and toward disarmament," he said.
"Nuclear weapons remain a source of great worry.
Their possession and the risk of their eventual use generate tension and mistrust in numerous regions of the world."
The pope suggested that nations reallocate a part of their normal military spending to economic and social development, education and health care.