Japanese Anglicans commit to becoming ‘symbols of peace’

By ACNS staff
Posted May 28, 2015

[Anglican Communion News Service] The House of Bishops of the Nippon Sei Ko Kai (NSKK – The Anglican Communion in Japan) has renewed commitments to put peace and reconciliation at the core of the church’s mission in a message concerning the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in the Pacific.

The anniversary was a time to renew efforts for peace because the wounds of the war had not healed even after 70 years, the message stated.

The bishops affirmed as cornerstones in this reconciliation journey the NSKK’s Statement on War Responsibility of 1995, which pledged to walk with those persecuted during the war and those still suffering discrimination, and the 1996 General Synod’s decision to send an apology to the churches in the countries which Japan had invaded.

The NSKK would continue to strengthen its relationships with Asian churches, especially the Anglican Church of Korea and the Episcopal Church in the Philippines, and support peace and reconciliation efforts in the entire East Asian region, the bishops said.

“A peaceful reunion of North and South Korea and the establishment of a more peaceful Okinawa will continuously be important issues in the missionary work of Nippon Sei Ko Kai,” they noted.

Domestic problems such as the increased push for remilitarization in Japan, ongoing radioactive contamination from the explosion of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, widening economic disparity, and an increase in hate speech called the church to renew “hearts and minds … by learning from the history and the Gospel of our Lord Jesus.”

Although only a small group within Japanese society, all NSKK members could be “symbols of peace,” the bishops affirmed.

They vowed to continue putting into practice the commitments of the Statement on War Responsibility and the 2012 mission consultation, “Life: Unlimited Dignity – Seeking a New Communal Way to Proclaim the Gospel”.

“We will let [Jesus’] life shine in us, help break down dividing walls wherever we can, gather the separated into one, and walk as instruments of his peace.”

The message from the NSKK House of Bishops is available on the NSKK website.