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2017 Japan Union Conference Annual Council
December 28, 2017

The 2017 Annual Council of Japan Union Conference (JUC) was held from November 19 to 21, 2017, at the JUC Tachikawa office. Some leaders of the Northern Asia-Pacific Division (NSD), including president Kim SiYoung, executive secretary Yutaka Inada, treasurer German Lust, assistant to the president Joo MinHo, associate treasurer Lyu DongJin, education and Sabbath School and Personal Ministries director Richard Sabuin, youth ministries director Kim NakHyung, and Sabbath School and Personal Ministries honorary associate director Akeri Suzuki joined the meeting. The morning worship talks given by the NSD leaders were spiritually encouraging and motivating for the attendees. During the council, we were able to hear evangelism reports of the past year from each of the conferences, its departments, and institutions.

All Japan 2018 Maranatha

There was a report regarding next year’s All Japan 2018 Maranatha evangelistic meetings scheduled for May 2018. Currently Japan has 94 organized churches nationwide, and JUC plans to have more than 160 simultaneous evangelistic series, which is more than 1.5 times the number of organized churches in Japan! In other words, the evangelistic series will be held not just at churches, but at companies, small groups, and institutions.

Rha Myunghoon, associate pastor at Amanuma Church, the biggest church of all the Adventist churches in Japan, gave a report regarding the evangelism field school that was conducted this past year at the church. At the Amanuma Church, NSD ministerial association director Ron Clouzet conducted field school training from January of this past year. From September to October, 29 evangelistic meetings were conducted, and 10 baptisms were given as a result. The last time Japan conducted this many consecutive evangelistic meetings in such a short span of time has been at least decades ago. Through the Amanuma Church experience, we were able to confirm that holding consecutive evangelistic meetings is still an effective method of evangelism even in this modern Japanese culture. It was a good preparation and confirmation for JUC, which is expected to hold the Maranatha meetings in 2018.

International Mission Congress

NSD youth ministries director Kim NakHyung shared plans regarding the International Mission Congress that will be held in August 2018. From Japan, we plan to have all of the JUC workers and all of the pastors nationwide attend the program. As Japan gets involved with intense mission efforts, we hope that many more people will decide to attend the program and be inspired to do more mission work.

2020 Tokyo Olympics

In less than 3 years, Japan will host the August 2020 Tokyo Olympics with many visitors from around the world. The JUC would like to use this great opportunity to promote the Seventh-day Adventist Church and share the hope that is in Jesus Christ our Lord. At the JUC meeting, we have officially voted to seriously think and prepare for special evangelistic plans to execute in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.

At the JUC Annual Council, we have many business-like reports and agenda items to cover as well, but we do our best to emphasize evangelism reports and prayer throughout the meetings. Japan has a population of about 120 million and fewer than 1% are Christians. Of the 1% who are Christians, only about 15,000 are Seventh-day Adventists. Please continue to pray that the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ will speedily be shared throughout the country of Japan.

Toshio Shibata

Executive Secretary of Japan Union Conference