【February 2017 No.391】Comment on the Incident of Multiple Knife Attacks at the Care Facility for Disabled Persons in Sagamihara by Yoshizawa Shin, chair Kyodan Committee on Social Concerns

On July 26, 2016, a knife attack incident took place in Sagamihara City in Kanagawa Prefecture at a residential care facility for persons with disabilities operated by the prefecture. An intruder with a knife entered the facility and attacked sleeping residents, one after another. Within a day it was confirmed that the perpetrator, who killed 19 people and injured 26, was a former employee. Of all the murder cases that have happened in Japan since the end of World War II, this one involved the largest number of victims. Acquaintances say the attacker had been repeating misguided and prejudiced statements that were based on eugenic thinking, and the media reported that he continued to make such statements even after his arrest. The incident has spread waves of sadness and distress to many people. The chair of the Kyodanfs Committee on Social Concerns issued a statement on this incident, as translated below. (KNL Editorial Committee)




Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

(Psalm 150:6)

Be fruitful and multiply… (Genesis 1:22)


All beings with life are born with God’s blessing, for it is within God’s blessing that all life is interconnected. Within the linkages between life and life, human beings can live. This is why we sing, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.” A society that does not place life first will collapse. In a world where economy, not life, comes first, where life is disregarded, relationship is destroyed, human dignity is put at risk, and hatred and anger is spread to the world. Today the world is in the midst of such pain.

We have become completely accustomed to evaluating people according to scores, grades, and degrees of accomplishment. In this climate there is a danger that we will lose the ability to recognize life’s value. As human beings we are not in a position to decide who should be allowed to live and who should not.


The Bible teaches that every person is alive by the will of God, the Creator of all things in heaven and earth. If God chose to use God’s own abilities as the standard for judging us, none of us would be worthy of life before God. We are alive by God’s forgiveness and mercy. All people in this world are under God’s love, equally. People cannot be the judge of whether one lives or dies, including oneself.


God gives to each person a unique life. Within that unique life, everyone experiences times of joy, times of sadness, times of hardship. I believe God gives meaning to each of our lives.

In the very early hours of July 26, 2016, a multiple stabbing incident took place at Tsukui Yamayuri En, a welfare facility for persons with disabilities located in Sagamihara City in Kanagawa Prefecture. Within a day it was confirmed that 19 people had died, and a further 26 had suffered injuries of varying degrees.

The people who were attacked in this incident are victims of a society poisoned by an economy-first value system. It is a distressing incident that demands repentance from us, who have created such a society.


I pray from my heart for God’s deep comfort upon the people who suddenly lost a beloved family member and remain in deep sorrow and grief and also for God’s healing upon those who were injured.

One welfare caregiver who visited Tsukui Yamayuri En to lay flowers said, with teary eyes, “It’s regrettable that something so terrible happened at a facility with such a cheerful atmosphere. We interact with them not as ‘disabled,’ but as people.” This tragedy, which turned a cheerful facility into a picture of hell and produced many victims, has caused shock not just in Japan but also around the world.

Let us pray together for the families of victims, who are still in deep shock and pain, and for the staff and other persons associated with Tsukui Yamayuri En.


I hope that all people may come to know correctly the God of Jesus Christ so that through this, they may know that every person is in God’s love, learn to love and pray for one another, and aim toward an inclusive society in which all people encourage each other as we walk together. (Tr. DM)

—Yoshizawa Shin, chair

Kyodan Committee on Social Concerns

August 9, 2016

2016年7月26日、神奈川県相模原市にある県立の障害者福祉施設で大量の殺人事件が起こった。刃物を持った侵入者が、次々に入居者達を 襲ったの である。元職員の犯行で、同日中に19人の死亡が確認され、26人が重軽傷を負った。 第二次世界大戦後の日本において発生した殺人事件の中で、犠牲者の数が最も多い事件となった。職員であった頃の犯人は、優 性思想に基づいた、誤ちと偏見のある発言を繰り返していたと言われ、逮捕されてからも同様のことを発言していると、 報道されている。 この事件は、多くの人々に悲しみと嘆きの波紋を投げかけた。教団社会委員会は、 以下のようにコメントを出した。(KNL編集部)




日本基督教団社会委員会委員長 芳澤  信

「息あるものはこぞって主を賛美せよ。」(旧約聖書 詩編150篇6節)「産めよ、増えよ」 (旧約聖書 創世記1章22節)

 すべて命あるものは神の祝福の 中に生まれます。神の祝福の中 で「命はつながりにおいて生きる」ことができます。命と命の つながりの中で人間は生きることができます。それ故「息あるものはこぞって主を賛美せよ」と歌われます。 命が第一にされない社会は破綻します。命ではなく、経済が第 一にされ、命が軽んぜられる世界は、このつながりを破壊し、 人間の尊厳が冒され、憎しみと怒りが世界に広がります。今世 界はその痛みの中にあります。

私たちは普段、点数や成績や能力、その成果の大小などによっ て人 を評価することに慣れ切っています。そのような中でいつの間 にか人の命の価値が見えなくなる危険性があります。誰が生きていていいのかと、誰が生きていてはいけないのかということについてま で、人は決めることはできません。

聖書は、人は皆、天地万物を創造された神の御心によって生きていると言ってい ます。もし私たちが、自分の能力を基準にされて神から見られるとしたら、誰も神の前に生きることはできないでありま しょう。神の赦しと慈愛により私たちは生きています。世の全ての人が等しくその神の愛の 下にあります。人は、自分自身を含めて、命の可否について判断を下すことはできないのです。

神は一人ひとりに固有な命を与えておられます。誰もがその固 有な 命の中で、時には喜び、時には悲しみ、時には苦しむのです。 その一つひとつの命に、神は意味を与えておられると信じます。

2016年7月26日未明、神奈川県相模原市緑区 千木良にある障がい者福祉施設「津久井やまゆり 園」で、刃物による殺傷事件が発生いたしました。同日中に19人の死亡が確認され、26人 が重軽傷を負いました。

今回の事件は経済 優先社会の価値観に毒された社会の犠牲者であり、このような社会にしてしまった私たちの悔い改めが求められる痛ましい事 件です。

突然にして愛する ご家族を失い、大きな悲しみと嘆きの中にある方々に神の深い慰めを祈ると共に、けがを負われた方々の癒しを心よりお祈り いたします。

津久井やまゆり園 に献花におとずれたある介護福祉士は、「明るい雰囲気の施設がこんなことになって残念です。私たちは障がい者ではなく人 として接しているのに」と目に涙を浮かべて話しました。明る い雰囲気の施設が地獄図となり、多くの犠牲者を出した悲劇は、日本のみならず世界に衝撃を与えています。

癒しがたいい衝撃 の痛みの中にある犠牲者のご家族、津久井やまゆり園の職員関係者の方々のために祈りを合わせたい。

願わくは、全ての人々が主イエス・キリストの神を正しく知る こと によって、神の愛の中に一人ひとりが置かれていることを知 り、互いに愛し合い、祈り合い、励まし合いながら歩む共生社会を目 指したいと願います。


【February 2017 No.391】Acting General Secretary’s Report: Administrative Changes Anticipated in 2017

There is still no one in the general secretary’s office. Following the resignation of former General Secretary Nagasaki Tetsuo at the end of his term, which coincided with the 40th (2016) Kyodan General Assembly, no one has been selected yet to fill the position. Moderator Ishibashi Hideo gave a formal apology to the assembly for being unable to select a replacement and then proposed that Executive Secretary of General Affairs Dohke Norikazu serve as acting general secretary. After various opinions were voiced, that resolution passed. In the two months since then, the general secretary’s office has quietly been awaiting its next occupant. When discussion of the situation arose at the recent Executive Council meeting, the first of the 40th Biennial General Assembly (GA) period, Moderator Ishibashi replied, “Not yet.” Therefore, unless a special Executive Council is called, the position will remain open until at least the next meeting of the council, scheduled for July.


Even though the position of general secretary remains unfilled, the everyday operations of the Kyodan headquarters, the Board of Publications, and the Board of Pensions continue. Of the various things that would be done by the general secretary, those that can be accomplished at the office level are first discussed in the joint meeting of the various secretaries. Important decisions are then passed on to the core leadership of the Kyodan (moderator, vice-moderator and secretary) for final resolution. This is particularly so in areas involving relationships with non-Kyodan entities both domestically and abroad. When it comes to the operations of the other two boards, the Board of Publications and the Board of Pensions, as executive secretary of general affairs, I (Dohke) work with each of their boards of directors by attending their meetings to insure their smooth operation. However, it is our hope that the next person to serve as general secretary will be found soon.


Of the items related to Kyodan operations decided at the first Executive Council meeting of this GA period, held Dec. 12-13, 2016, Chief Financial Officer Kera Yuji, who has served in this position for three terms (12 years), will be stepping down at the end of March 2017. He was instrumental in computerizing the finances of the Kyodan during a period of turmoil in the handling of finances. Thus, we are all very grateful to God for his faithful service. Momose Kazunari, a layman who has served for more than 30 years as an accountant in the Board of Publications, will be his successor and will begin his four-year term on April 1. We are thankful to have such an appropriate successor.

During this present GA period, there are a total of ten task force committees operating under the Executive Council. The “Task Force on the Future of the Kyodan,” which was established during the previous (39th) GA period, was replaced by a new one entitled the “Committee on Evangelism Strategy.” It, however, is not simply a committee designed to think about evangelistic strategies but one that considers these with structural and financial reforms in mind. As the average age of Kyodan membership increases due to the aging population, the overall strength of the church in terms of numbers and finances weakens. Thus, there is a need to consider how evangelistic outreach can be most efficiently accomplished within this present context. The work of the three boards that make up the Kyodan headquarters, the branch office in Osaka (the Buraku Liberation Center), and the various agencies, such as Christian centers, are critical to this task. The operations of the Kyodan offices are, of course, different from the business world, which focuses on profits. We are, after all, a faith community, and so the Kyodan offices operate within that context as we engage in and support evangelism. For instance, the staff of all three boards meets together each morning, with each person taking turns in leading the morning prayers and worship. It is so important to begin each workday with prayer and to end it with thanksgiving. (Tr. TB)


—Dohke Norikazu,

executive secretary of general affairs,

acting general secretary



“がらん”とした総幹事室が続いています。日本基 督教団第40回教団総会において前の総幹事、長崎哲 夫が任期満了で退任した後、後任の人選が行えませんでした。総会議長石橋秀雄は、人選に至らなかったことを議場に謝罪し、総務幹事道 家紀一を「事務取扱」として選任することを議場に問いかけ、様々な意見がなされる中で、決議しました。それから約2ヶ月、総幹事室 は、次の住人を、静かに待っています。先の40総会期第1回常議員会では、議事日程で質問が出たものの、「未だ人選に至らず」と石橋議長は答えました。 直近の常議員会は7月ですから、少なくとも、臨時常議員会でも開かない限り、総幹事は不在となります。

総幹事は不在ですが、事務局、出版局、年金局は、それぞれの日常業務を行っています。これまで総幹事が 決裁して来た事項の内、比較的事務局レベルで決済できる案件は幹事会で協議しています。重要な決済については、幹事会で協議した後 に、三役(総会議長、総会副議長 総会書記)に諮っています。とくに、教団以外の国内外の諸教会(教派)や諸団体との関係について は、三役に決済を依頼しています。事務取扱を担っている総務幹事道家は、他の二つ部局(出版局・年金局)の理事会に出席して、三局の 業務が円滑に行われるように努めています。しかし、一日も早く、次期総幹事が人選されることを祈っています。

2016年12月12-13日に行われた第1回常議員会で決議されたことで執務機関に関連することは、3期12年に亘って財務幹事を務めて来た計良祐時幹事が、2017年3月末をもって退任することです。教団の財務処理が混乱する中、コンピューター化の導入に大きな力を尽 くした幹事です。これまでの働きを主にあって感謝したいと思います。財務幹事の後任には、出版局で30年以上に亘って長く経理の職務を担って来た百瀬一成氏を、2017年4月1日より4年任期で任用することが決まりました。信徒の財務幹事となります。相応しい方を迎えられ 感謝しています。


今総会期は、常議員会の下に10ヶの特設委員会が設置されましたが、39総会期に設置された「教団将来構想検討委員会」を引き継ぐ仕方で、新たに「教団伝道対策検討委員会」が設 置されました。単に「伝道方策」を考える委員会ではなく、教団の機構改正や財務について検討する委員会になると考えています。少子高 齢化の影響で教会の教勢が落ちて行く中にあって、どのように効率的に教団全体の伝道体制を整えてゆけるか。事務局を中心とした教団三 局、大阪分室(部落解放センター)、各センターの働きが求められます。教団の事務執行体制は、合理性と利潤を追い求める企業とは異なりま す。信仰共同体としての教会の働き(伝道の業としての事務執行)です。毎朝、三局の職員は、幹事と職員とがローテーションによる司会 を務め、日毎の糧にしたがって、朝の礼拝をささげています。祈りをもって始業し、感謝をもって終業する一日を大切にしています。