[Nippon Sei Ko Kai ] The Japanese and Korean Anglican Churches, which began official partnership in 1984, celebrated their 30th anniversary from Oct. 20-23 on Jeju Island, Korea.
The Most Rev. Nathaniel Makoto Uematsu, primate of the Nippon Sei Ko Kai (the Anglican Church in Japan), and the Most Rev. Paul Keun Sang Kim, presiding bishop of the Anglican Church of Korea, convened the meeting of bishops, clergy and lay participants (including representatives of shared missions, women’s and youth groups) from the three Korean and 11 Japanese dioceses.
Both churches have been addressing various aspects of cooperation, such as the implementation of bilateral youth seminars, social study tours in Korea, the organizing of the World Anglican Peace Council and offering positions for Korean mission partners in Japan, as well as mutual attendance at several bishops’ consecrations since 2004’s 20th anniversary of the Korea-Japan Anglican Mission Partnership Conference.
There do remain, however, various challenges that must be overcome between the two countries at large, including differing interpretations of history, the issue of “comfort women,” and territorial disputes. Recently and especially, the problem of “Hate Speech” and rising anti-Korean sentiment in Japan have even drawn some serious attention from the United Nations’ Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. They have warned that a result of such anti-social activities is the increased risk of criminal acts against the Korean minority.
In this 30th anniversary year of the partnership, both churches discussed their roles within the East Asian region, under the banner theme of “Life, Justice, and Peace,” and declared that the Korea-Japan Anglican Mission Partnership should reinforce its alliance and good relationship. The conference adopted a statement laying out 11 key issues to aid this including various activities such as the continuing exchange of youth and women’s groups and defending the human rights of those in the minority.
The complete statement is due to be available on the NSKK homepage.