The General Secretary's Diary

he General Secretary’s Diary
The 43rd meeting of the Kyodan Commission on Cooperative Mission and the
Korean Christian Church in Japan was held June 8-9 at the Itoyanagi
Hotel in Isawa, Yamanashi Prefecture. Discussion centered on the fact
that this year is the KCCJ’s 100th anniversary of mission.. The theme
was “The Two Churches’ Mission Issues and Cooperation in Mission.” In
addition to the three administrative officers namely, the moderator,
vice-moderator, and secretary of both churches and the chair of the
Commission on Mission, the general administrative secretary and mission
administrative secretaries of both churches, presentations were made by
the chairs of the Committee on Social Concerns and the Committee on
Education of the Korean Christian Church in Japan and the chair of the
Kyodan’s Special Committee on Solidarity with Citizens of the Republic
of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Living in Japan,
making a total of 14 persons in attendance.

The presentations of the two members of the Korean Christian Church
naturally dealt with the problems of Korean people in Japan; and those
concerns, particularly the protection of human rights, were the primary
focus of the conference. These are issues of mission and important
issues that must be dealt with cooperatively. Historically speaking,
most of the Korean people now living Japan are second- and
third-generation descendants of people who were forcibly brought to
Japan as a policy of the Japanese government after the “annezation,”
which was in fact an invasion of Korea. Also, a considerable number have
come of their own volition in recent years, primarily for the purpose of
mission. The situation of Korean people in Japan is severe, and the
church not only must work to stop their fingerprinting but also must
seek basic solutions to support their existence and human rights and
enable them to live freely.

Few of us Japanese know well the history of North Korea and South Korea,
which are our neighboring countries. The history of China is taught to
some extent in junior and senior high school, but the history of the two
Koreas has hardly been taught at all. The misunderstanding that results
from this ignorance causes ethnic and cross-national conflict and can be
seen as the cause of the friction in our relationships. In light of
this, we strongly feel that the churches of both countries, which share
the same Christian faith, specifically the Korean Christian Church in
Japan and the Kyodan, must deal with this problem as an important issue
for cooperative mission and seek breakthroughs.

Below are three points discussed and agreed upon at this meeting of the
Commission on Cooperative Mission.
1) A 2009 Peace Message will be issued in the names of the moderators of
both churches.
2) The Korean Christian Church in Japan will erect a five-story Mission
Centennial Hall near the Nishi Waseda Center, with an   estimated cost
of 270 million yen. The Kyodan will cooperate in raising funds.
3) A joint historical study committee will be established. The committee
will gather material concerning relationships of
contact between the two churches to study that history. Based on that, a
history will be compiled. The committee will consist
of six persons, three from each church. (Tr. WE)
–Naito Tomeyuki
Kyodan General Secretary