[Anglican Communion News Service] Maria Grace Tazu Sasamori, priest of the Diocese of Tokyo in the Nippon Sei Ko Kei (the Anglican Church in Japan), has been elected as the first female bishop in Japan. She was elected as the bishop of Hokkaido at the 80th electoral synod of the Diocese of Hokkaido.
She was elected on the 10th ballot with two-thirds of the votes of the houses of clergy and laity on Nov. 3. She accepted the result on Nov. 26 and became bishop-elect of the Diocese of Hokkaido on the same day.
Mandy Marshall, director for gender justice at the Anglican Communion Office, said: “I’m excited and pleased to hear the news of the first female bishop. This is a real breakthrough for Japan and will be an encouragement to ordained women everywhere but especially in Japan. Bishop-elect Tazu will need our prayers as she steps into a very male space and has the pressure and holds the hopes of Anglican women in Japan.”
She will succeed Bishop Nathaniel Makoto Uematsu, former primate of the Nippon Sei Ko Kei.
The date of her consecration and installation is yet to be determined.