Letter from Protestant Church in Netherlands

We received a letter of sympathy and encouragement from Dr. A.J. Plaisier, General Secretary of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands, on March 16th, just after the earthquake and tsunami happened.
We are really sorry for being so late to upload the letter on the blog.
The letter is as below.

Dear sisters and brothers in Jesus Christ,

On behalf of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands I want to share our perplexity and dimay cauesed by the unprecedented disaster that has struck the nation and people of Japan.
Living in the Low Countries close by the sea ourselves, we were overwhelmed byu the images of the sea flooding the land in a massive wave, wiping out and destroying evertything under it.
Our coungry was struck by a flood disaster in 1953 taking many human lives. In the collective memory of the older generation this flood, even after almost sixty years now, still is being called simply "The Disaster".
The earthquake, the tsumani and the threat of radiation by the damaged nuclear power plants the nation and the people of Japan have to cope with now are even much larger scale. We hardly can imagine the extent of this catastrophe.

I want to express our commiseration and to offer our condolences to the many people missing their beloved ones and grieving for what will never be as before, just a few days ago.

As churches we are connecred via the networks of the World Council of Churches, the Lutheran World Federation and the World Communion of the Reformed Churches. We may live seperated by distance and geography; nevertheless we are members of the one body of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.

From the Netherlands we with this letter want to encourage you as our sisters and brothers in the challenges you now face, taking up your responsibility in giving loving witness of the good news even in the darkest hours and in offering comfort to people.
Even when we face the vulnerability of our lives and our communities as never before, we know that God Himself shared and carried our sorrow at the cross of Jesus Christ. He is aware of our darkness and our pain and He will never abandon us.

I call upon our congregations and church members to continue remembering you in their prayers during this time of Lent. Our sisters and brothers in Japan should know that they are in our hearts and minds andthat we ask God to give them his strength and his light.

A few words from the final pages of our Bible come to our mind. In Chapter 21 of the book of Revelation we find the promise of a new heaven and a new earth. "And the sea was no more". We comt to a better understanding of this Bible passage now...

With Christian greeting
Yours sincerely

Dr. A. J. Plaisier
General Secretary of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands



今進められている最も大きな動きとしては、「日本キリスト教協議会エキュメニカル震災対策室」(英語名称:Japan Ecumenical Disaster Response Office 略称:JEDRO)が立ち上げられたことがあげられます。
発端は、5月6~7日に韓国NCCの呼びかけにより、ソウルで開かれたJapan Earthquake/Tsunami Relief Ecumenical Solidarity Meeting (略称リリーフ・フォーラム)です。ここにWCC(世界教会協議会)やCCA(アジアキリスト教協議会)のメンバーが集まり、日本への支援の具体策が話し合われました。






場所:Evangelische Kirche Essen-Werden、Germany
曲目:Johann Sebastian Bach
 Brandenburgisches Konzert Nr.5 D-Dur(ブランデンブルク協奏曲5番)
  Orchestersuite h-Moll
 Kantate BWV 82 Ich habe genug(カンタータ82番)
  Choralvorspiele aus dem Orgelbüchlein
演奏:ザイデル曜子(旧姓・林) 指揮・オルガン・チェンバロ

Möge Gottes Segen mit dir sein,
Sein Licht deinen Weg erhellen
und Seine allumfassende Liebe dein Herz
in schwierigen Zeiten wärmen
und ihm die Kraft für den nächsten
wichtigen Entwicklungsschritt geben!



Declaration on Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

We NCCJ published the declaration on the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant,
and sent it to the Prime Minister Naoto Kan.

April 11, 2011

His Excellency Naoto Kan
Prime Minister of Japan

National Christian Council in Japan’s Declaration on the
Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant

The Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami that occurred on March 11, 2011 resulted in an irreparable accident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant that remains on-going. Having been the first nation amongst humankind to suffer casualties due to atomic weapons and having experienced the ferocity of nuclear power, therefore, as Christians living in Japan who should be working toward the goal of a denuclearized society, the National Christian Council in Japan (a network of 31 Christian denominations and organizations) renews its policy of denuclearizing energy sources and reveals its stance of faith as follows:

We object:

We object to the government of Japan’s basing its nuclear power policy on “the myth of safety” in spite of the possibility of a nuclear disaster or accident. The primary responsibility for radiation exposure to both workers (including employees of Tokyo Electric) and citizens, as well as for radioactive contamination of the environment lies with the government of Japan. We additionally object to the lack of disclosure of essential and appropriate information and the arbitrary raising of safety standards on radiation levels for workers and food products.

We repent:

We have continually stated that nuclear power generation cannot be controlled by humans and that it is an act of environmental destruction. That is because this is an absolute idolatrization of science, a desecration of God’s creation. This policy of nuclear power has created a desire to consume and encourages expanded consumption, imposing a burden on those who have little spending power. In addition, it is a dehumanizing policy tied to military applications of nuclear power resulting in increased revenues for some enterprises. We have continually stated these facts. Regardless of this, we have been unable to prevent nuclear power plants and therefore confess our failure to God. As those who have been given the mission to “serve the Earth” (Genesis 3:23) by Our Creator, we now renew our efforts to abolish nuclear power plants. That is our responsibility to the next generation.

We demand:

・ That an immediate decision be made to totally abolish all domestic nuclear power plants and related facilities while as quickly as possible working toward their suspension and abolition. In addition, there must be no overseas exportation of nuclear power plants.
・ That the ongoing accident and resulting radioactive waste be cleaned up and a sincere investigation of the cause be performed, while at the same time the human rights of related workers be protected.
・ That there be no control of thoughts through the management of information. Rather, that there be disclosure of accurate information concerning the status of the accident, radioactive contamination and other issues.
・ That a mandatory evacuation of local citizens in areas with high levels of radiation contamination (based on accurate measurements) be carried out at the government’s responsibility. In addition, a sincere apology and compensation must be given to all those who suffered loss due to the accident.
“We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” -Romans 8:22


Rev. Isamu Koshiishi,
National Christian Council in Japan


Record of Japan Solidarity Meeting

Record of Japan Solidarity Meeting
Japan Earthquake/Tsunami Relief Ecumenical Solidarity Meeting
Academy House
Seoul, Korea
May 6-7, 2011
Moderator: Rev. Andrew Chang
NCCT President and Chair of Christian Conference of Asia North East Asia Churches Forum

May 6
Opening Formalities
Catherine Christie, mission co-worker from United Church, Canada, led the opening worship on behalf of the NCCK. Rev. Choi Young-woong of the Presbyterian Church in Korea preached on the theme of the Good Samaritan.

Following the worship the four convenors warmly welcomed the participants. They explained the genesis of this meeting when they met as the Christian Conference of Asia NE Asia Churches Forum in April. The four convenors are Rev. Andrew Chang, President of NCC-Taiwan, Rev. Kim Young Ju, General Secretary of NCC-Korea, Rev. Po Kam-Cheong, General Secretary of the Hong Kong Christian Council and Rev. Hiroko Ueda, Acting General Office Secretary of NCC-Japan. At that meeting they requested Victor Hsu to be the coordinator for this meeting.
After the welcome, the participants introduced themselves and agreed to follow the draft agenda as presented.

Purpose of the Solidarity Meeting
The coordinator, Victor Hsu, explained the objectives of the meeting. He said that the primary objective was to review the activities of the churches in Japan and by the ecumenical movement. After the review it would then be possible to identify the gaps and lay out the tasks facing the ecumenical movement as a whole. He made a presentation that highlighted the best practices in relief, rehab and reconstruction and urged the meeting to plan for an engagement that would take into account quality of the intervention, the sustainability of the proposed activity and the need to provide for the recovery and restoration of the lives of the affected people.
He appealed to the meeting to be prepared for a long journey in accompanying the affected people and the NCC-Japan.

Japan Situation Update
Rev. Hiroko Ueda presented a detailed update about the current situation in Tohoku and in Miyagi and Fukushima Prefectures. Her presentation included a detailed proposal for over US$ 2 million. She also indicated that the NCCJ was most grateful to sign an agreement with Church World Service, a member of ACT Alliance. Church World Service was in Japan soon after March 11 and had offered to provide trauma counseling services. After her presentation she invited Yoko Ito to show a video of the CWS visit to the affected area.

Report of Visit to Affected Area in April
The moderator of the meeting, Rev. Andrew Chang, showed slides taken during the visit of the four principles of this ecumenical initiative to support the NCC-J.
He entitled his report, “When Jesus Cries” to show both the poignancy of their visit as well as the devastation they witnessed. Rev. Po Kam Cheong and Rev. Kim Young Ju attested to the enormous tragedy that has visited the Japanese people, many of whom fact an uncertain future about their livelihood. Many more feel helpless and are awaiting effective relief. They also spoke of their fear of the Fukushima nuclear threat, citing lack of transparency from the authorities about the real damage to the reactors. They underlined the timeliness of the solidarity meeting and prayed for an effective response.

Presentations by the Churches in Japan
Rev. Makoto Kato shared the plans of the UCC-Japan. He highlighted KYODAN’s plans to rebuild several churches that had been totally or partially destroyed. He indicated that the planning has proceeded smoothly and that KYODAN was already receiving funds from its partners around the world.
Rev. Jeffrey Mensendiek talked about the work of the Emmaus Student Center in Sendai. He talked about the number of volunteers who had arrived at the Center as promised by the KYODAN congregations in Tokyo. They included both pastors and non- Christians. They have primarily been involved in removing the dirt from the houses that withstood the earthquake and the tsunami.
Rev. Takashi Yoshida spoke about the work of the Christian Alliance Disaster Relief Network in Sendai of which he is the director. This has been a very significant manifestation of Christian cooperation in the midst of unbelievable destruction, extensive suffering and sadness.
Rev. Yoshida Fujimori spoke of what he termed as the modest effort of his small denomination, the Church of Christ in Japan.
Ms. Yoko Ito spoke about the activities of Church World Service, especially in the area of trauma counseling. She also mentioned a bilateral agreement that had been signed between CWS and NCCJ.

Churches Disaster Relief Experience
Rev. Herman Shastri said that he would encourage the churches to work together and to begin to develop their own disaster response preparedness and expertise. He noted that the disasters are increasing in both magnitude and frequency and the ability of the churches to respond continued to be wanting. As for the Japan disaster, he said that his Council has been a able to raise a modest amount of money and is ready to contribute to the ecumenical initiative.
Rev. Andrew Chang showed a slide presentation of the relief efforts by the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan following the Marokot landslide in southern Taiwan. He also mentioned how generous the Taiwan people had been in responding to the PCT fundraising. He already sent a large amount of money to KYODAN and 200 motorised bikes for the volunteers in Sendai.

Discussion and Clarification of Presentations
The discussion on the presentation was substantial. Participants sought clarification about
• Nature of the existing response.
• Information on the actors e.g. were they NGOs or churches?
• Potential local partners.
• Amount of aid that had been distributed by the churches and the NGOs.
• Problems encountered on the ground.
• Role of the government at national, prefecture and local community levels.
• Role and response of international NGOs.
• Role and response of the ecumenical movement.
• Which ecumenical partners had offered assistance to NCCJ?
• Role of Church World Service.
• NCCJ capacity.
• NCCJ plans.

May 7
The NCCJ led the opening worship.
Hiroko Ueda shared a brief reflection, based on Psalm 46: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” She said that these words assure us that God is there for us -- whenever we are in need, whenever we are in trouble. She has now been twice to the Tohoku region with two delegations. As she walked around Ishinomaki, she felt the presence of God in the silence. God had never left. God suffered along with us. She expressed her conviction that as the NCCJ work together for relief in this disaster with all ecumenical partners and churches, we would hear God’s voice.

Moving from Emergency to Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction
John Nduna introduced ACT Alliance to the meeting and spoke about the key issues in the transition from relief to rehab and reconstruction.
He also made a commitment to NCCJ to dispatch 2 ACT professionals to the affected area to assess the situation and to help formulate a cohesive program. He said that this team could be on the ground by mid-July.

Group Task
On the basis of the reports and presentations, Victor Hsu highlighted the urgent tasks of the ecumenical response. He urged that the activities and the response program take into account the best practices in the disaster response industry. He appealed to the meeting to avoid taking convenient measures in terms of activities and staffing because they would not be cost effective and could waste precious resources and time.
Groups Reports are appended.
Their respective agenda was:
Group A: Ecumenical Response to Current Emergency Relief Needs
1. Review of current initiatives by NCCJ partners and members
2. Evaluate existing needs against current relief response
3. Recommend priorities to address gaps
4. Budget and infrastructure requirements
Group B: Ecumenical Response to Long Term Reconstruction Needs
1. Select priorities
2. Identify partners
3. Recommend appropriate strategies e.g. budget and management
Group C: Ecumenical Support NCC-Japan Relief and Reconstruction
1. Setting priorities
2. Identify potential partners within Japan and outside
3. Structure
4. Management, budget and staffing

Victor Hsu was requested to summarise the three group reports and highlighting especially the recommendations.
On the basis of his summation, the participants requested the NCCK General Secretary, Rev. Kim Young Ju, to send a letter to the NCCJ members to express the hope of the meeting to continue to be in solidarity with the people of Japan and to urge the churches in Japan to work together and to explore the possibility of an ecumenical disaster relief consortium.

Melissa Crutchfield led closing worship. In her moving reflection, she spoke about how through her work with UMCOR, responding to other disasters across the globe, what had always struck her was the cycle of renewal and hope that abounds after every crisis. Especially working with and through the church, she said we could witness first-hand how faith in action inspires, restores, revives. She reminded the participants of the beautiful cherry blossoms that grow for all to see in Japan in the spring, an iconic image of spring, renewal, rebirth, hope… after a long winter – or, after an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster. She said that the land will be restored to life, will flourish as before. As the Gospel reminded us about the Resurrection –we just need to believe that life which we thought had ended, had in fact, begun again.


The heads of North East Asia Churches Forum of the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) convened an ecumenical solidarity meeting to discuss coordination and cooperation to carry out relief, recovery and reconstruction in Japan in the face of the ‘triple disaster’ of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear plant failure that took place of March 11, 2011 in the North East Japan. The meeting was hosted by the National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK) on May 6 and 7 and brought together representatives of around 40 Christian partner organizations gathered at Academy House Hotel, in Seoul, Korea including experienced ecumenical relief and reconstruction organizations such as ACT Alliance, Church World Service, United Methodist Committee on Relief. Others present were church and church agency representatives from Asia, Europe, Japan, Korea, United States, Christian Conference of Asia, and a cross section of local partners from Japan involved in current relief efforts.
The consultation heard updates about Japan’s situation including the rich variety of relief activities carried out by the Church of Christ in Japan, the Emmaus Center in Sendai, the Korean Christian in Japan, Church World Service, the Sendai Christian Alliance Disaster Relief Network and the United Church of Christ in Japan. The proposed activities are continued relief through provision of necessities, giving care to orphans and trauma counseling, organizing debris removal work teams, rebuilding of infrastructure including church buildings, schools, support for farmers, radiation effect studies, advocacy for social services and alternative source of energy to nuclear power. The response of NCC-Japan (NCCJ) partners amounted to about US$ 66 million. The NCCJ’s own ecumenical proposal is about US$ 2 million while the budget proposed by the United Church of Christ in Japan (Kyodan) is US$ 15 million.
The meeting recommends that current and future ongoing relief, recovery and reconstruction activities should be based on the following:
1. The humanitarian imperative must be operative throughout the process.
2. An ecumenical organization should coordinate the ongoing response.
3. Churches in Japan should formulate a clear ecumenical response mechanism.
4. Humanitarian aid best practices should be the gold standard for intervention.
5. The ecumenical family will continue to be involved in supporting the efforts of the Japanese churches and the NCCJ in the next phases of the disaster response.
In this connection, pending the finalization of the ecumenical response mechanism, all the church agencies should keep the NCCJ and the CCA North East Asia Forum Coordinator, Victor Hsu, informed of their activities including financial assistance.
The meeting recommends that all churches and ecumenical institutions:
1. Strengthen the staffing and capacity of NCCJ.
2. Consider capacity building for all church and ecumenical response programme.
3. Invite the involvement of ACT International to provide technical assistance both at local and national levels.
4. Urge the NCCJ to convene a forum of all the Japanese partners to facilitate the exchange of information and activities and explore avenues of cooperation.
5. Urge the NCCJ and the Japanese churches to consider the establishment of a consortium to respond to the response. This should be done in cooperation with ecumenical church organizations such as the CCA NE Asia Churches Forum, the WCC and ACT Alliance.
6. Continue psychological trauma counseling and recovery programme.
7. Ensure advocacy for adequate social services.
8. Ensure advocacy for reliance on alternative source of energy.
At this time when the natural disaster of earthquake and tsunami has been exponentially compounded by disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, Christians and ecumenical bodies from around the world share a deep concern over the heavy reliance on nuclear power to meet increasing energy needs. The very real threat of nuclear power is plain for all to witness in Japan. However strong the construction guidelines, these plants cannot withstand the onslaught of nature or problems of human failure and arrogance. Chernobyl was a warning that the international community chose to ignore. The problems at Fukushima should not be repeated again for the sake of human life and the integrity of God’s creation. Future generations should not be saddled with this generation’s inability or refusal to confront the difficult issues of our time.
We call to mind that in 1990, a World Convocation of the World Council of Churches was also held in Seoul. At that meeting Christians affirmed creation as beloved of God and committed themselves to building a culture that can live in harmony with creation’s integrity and preserving the gift of the earth’s atmosphere to nurture and sustain the world’s life. These words are ever more pertinent today.
As members of the Earthquake/Tsunami Relief Ecumenical Solidarity Meeting, taking place in Academy House Hotel, Seoul, Korea, May 6 and 7, 2011:
We call on our governments:
1. To stop the building of new nuclear power generating plants
2. To commit to the reduction of dependence on nuclear energy for society’s use
3. To seek alternatives to the use of nuclear energy, through a commitment to develop ‘clean’ and ‘sustainable’ technologies, such as wind, solar, etc.
We call on our own Christian communities in our nations, and on all people of goodwill:
1. Be aware that each one of us bears responsibility for our governments’ use of nuclear energy to generate power because of our insatiable desire for more and more electricity.
2. Let us each explore ways to reduce consumption and reduce our dependence on electricity.
3. Let us affirm the whole world as beloved of God and commit ourselves to build a culture that can live in harmony with creation’s integrity.
May 7, 2011

Chang, Andrew (Rev.)
General Secretary, NCC-Taiwan; Moderator, Churches' Forum

Christie, Catherine (Rev.)
Ecumenical Mission Coworker from United Church of Canada with NCCK

Choi, Young Woong (Rev.)
PCK Representative

Chung, Ju Jin (Dr.)
Lecturer, Hanshin University; Translator

Crutchfield, Melissa
Assistant General Secretary, International Disaster Relief UMCOR

Eduarte, Asuncion
Director, UMCOR Phillipines

Fujimori, Yoshi (Rev.)
Secretary for International Affairs, United Church of Christ in Japan

Grohs, Doris
Programme Officer, East Asia Mission 21
Representing also EMS Germany

Genung, Claudia (Rev.)
United Methodist Church Missionary co-worker at NCCJ

Heo, Baekki (Rev.)
NCCJ Clerk, Minister, Korean Christian Church in Japan

Hong, Song Wan (Rev.)
General Secretary, Korean Christian Church in Japan

Hong, Bong Shik (Major)
Secretary for Public relations of Korea Salvation Army

Hsu, Victor
Coordinator, Consultant to NCC-Korea

Ito, Yoko
Church World Service (Japan Office)

Kato, Makoto (Rev.)
Executive Secretary, Ecumenical Ministry, United Church of Christ in Japan

Kim, Dong Sung (Rev.)
WCC Asia Regional Relations

Kim, Il Whan (Rev.)
General Secretary, Korea Christian Service

Kim, Hyeon Ho(Rev.)
Anglican Ecumenical Officer

Kim, Kyung In (Rev.)
CWMEAR Representative

Kim, Young Ju (Rev.)
General Secretary, National Council of Churches in Korea

Lee, Kil Soo (Rev.)
Executive Secretary of Justice and Peace, PROK

Lee, Hun Sam (Rev.)
Director, Department of Justice and Peace, NCCK

Lee, Seung Youl (Rev.)
Executive Secretary of Social Service Ministry, PCK

Managbana, Emmeline
Senior Program Advisor, Church World Service/Pakistan-Afghanistan

Mensendiek, Jeffrey
Sendai Emmaus Centre

Nduna, John (Rev. Dr.)
General Secretary ACT Alliance

Ng, Peter (Rev.)
Partnership Officer, Asia, Episcopal Church USA

Noegroho, Darsono Eko (Rev.)
Communion of Churches, Indonesia

Noh, Jong Sun (Rev.)
Professor emeritus Yonsei Univ.; member Reunification Cmt.; Translator
Po, Kam Cheong (Rev.)

General Secretary, Hong Kong Christian Council
Representing also Christian Conference of Asia

Roh, Hye Min (Rev.)
Staff, NCCK

Shastri, Herman (Rev. Dr.)
General Secretary, Malaysia Council of Churches

Shin, Bog Hyun (Rev.)
KMC Ecumenical Officer

Shin, Seung Min (Rev.)
PROK Ecumenical Officer

Sun, Choul Kyu
Acting General Secretary of the Board of Laity & Social Responsibility, KMC

Ueda, Hiroko (Rev.)
Acting General Office Secretary, NCC JAPAN

Yoshida, Takashi
Sendai Christian Alliance Disaster Relief Network

Yukimoto, Hisashi
Correspondent, Ecumenical News International

Zhu, Xiaoling (Rev.)
Area Executive for East Asia and the Pacific, Common Global Ministries Board of Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ
Representing also NCCCUSA



4月19日(火)、NCCとChrurch World Service は大震災被災地支援活動を協力して行う契約を結びました。
Church World Service は、世界の飢餓や貧困の救済活動を行っている団体で、東日本大震災では日本のNGO、NPOと連携して支援活動を行っています。



Visit to Disaster Area

CCA Northeast Partner Church
Schedule of Visit to Japan Earthquake Disaster Area
April 11-13, 2011
April 11 (Mon) Narita Airport
12:10 Delegates of NCCK(6)arrive
Lunch at Airport
14:35 NCCH Rev. Po arrives
15:30 To Sendai 
April 12 (Tues)   
8:00 To Mastusima
9:30 Meeting at Uchiumi-Ryokan regarding workcamps
12:00 Lunch at Ishinomaki –Eiko Church http://tohoku.uccj.jp/i-eikou/
13:00 Visit to Volunteer work, Emmaus Team of Kyodan (UCCJ) Tohoku District Center
15:00 Meeting at Higashi-Mastushima at Social Welfare Society
With Mr.Chiba
    18:00 Meeting (and Dinner) with Sendai Christian Alliance in Sendai

April 13 (Wed)
7:00 To Narita (Take Lunch on the Tohoku Highway)
14:00 Narita Airport

Report of CCA Northeast Partner Delegation to Earthquake Disaster Area
On April 11, the one month anniversary of the quake while waiting at the airport for the arrival of the Korean, Hong Kong, and Taiwan delegations:
Narita was not as crowded as usual since so many flights had been cancelled with the decrease of travelers to Japan.
Delegation: NCC Korea General Secretary Rev. Kim Young Ju, NCC Hong Kong General Secretary Rev. Po Kam-Cheong, General Secretary of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan Rev. Andrew T.C. Chang, General Secretary of the Korean Christian Service Rev. Kim Il-Whan, Korean Methodist Church Ecumenical Desk Rev. Shim Bog Hyun, NCCK Director of Department of Justice and Peace Lee Hunsam, Presbyterian Church in Korea Executive Secretary of Justice and Peace Rev. Lee Gil-Soo, General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Korea Dept. of Social Service Ministry Rev. Seung Youl Lee, Taiwan Church Press reporter Alice Chen. From Japan: the Acting General Office Secretary of NCC Japan Rev. Hiroko Ueda (UCCJ) and NCCJ International Churches in Japan Liaison and Japan Christian Activity Newsletter editor Rev. Claudia Genung-Yamamoto (UMC missionary). After all had gathered, we loaded up into the chartered bus and late at 3:30 to go to Sendai. We hoped it would be a five-hour trip, but a quake (6.1) hit Fukushima around 5:15 p.m. and we could not use the freeway anymore. So we slowly crept along side roads. A little after 9:00 p.m., we stopped for dinner on a side road at a small ramen shop which also served kimchee making our Korean guests happy although we would have enjoyed anything.
After our late dinner, we got back on the road and traveled for some time, Rev. Po led us in prayer and soon after, we found the freeways had once again opened. Our arrival time at the ryokan hotel was around 11:45 p.m.
The next day we had a simple breakfast of rice balls and tea, as the hotel was not prepared to make elaborate meals.
Our first visit was to another ryokan hotel which has agreed to accept volunteer teams. We met Rev. Shouei Abe of the Nazarene Church and Korean missionary Rev. Keun Bae Lee who was to be the translator. As we waited for our Korean translator, we saw a small number of local residents coming to take baths, as many places still haven't had running water since the quake

We continued our journey to Ishonomaki .
Leaving the bus, we smelled an interesting mixture of sea air, ash, and trash. Many workers had masks on as the air was not good to breathe. There was also concern about the news that the radiation leak at Fukushima No.1 nuclear plant is now officially designated as a "7" on the international nuclear-events scale.
At the church we met to the Eiko church (UCCJ) where we met the pastor, Rev. Minoru Kobuna.

A Korean Christian news station came to the church. Rev. Hiroko Ueda shared her words of thank to Korean for all their aid to Japan.

Next, we viewed the devastation. The mud consisted partially of pulp, as there had been a paper factory nearby. The church showed us the water marks from the tsunami. We toured the neighborhood and saw volunteers sent from Emmaus Center around the neighborhood. Many volunteers were using bicycles to get around.

One group was busy shoveling mud out of homes, clearing debris around homes, and trying to make a path for an abandoned car which had been washed between he two homes by the tsunami. Their goal was to clear enough debris to remove and discard the useless car.

There were many abandoned cars which had flyers taped on the outside saying the car had been officially inspected and no one was inside.

The church had just opened the kindergarten the day before and had around 50 children, although some had not returned. The church membership was around 21, but one member had died in the tsunami. Walking around the area was like a war zone. A few aftershocks occurred as we continued to walk around. Running water had only been restored a few days beforehand.
We boarded the bus and ate our bentos on the bus as we went an hour away to Higashi-Matsushima to the Social Welfare Society at City Hall. Without the support of the government, it would be hard to do relief work. However, Higashi Matsushima City was prepared to take foreign volunteer teams later if a translator came with the team. The city official appreciated the prayers and support from Taiwan, Korea, and Hong Kong. Behind us was a banner from the children in Shokoku with messages like "let’s work together for a bright future” and “our hearts are one” and “lets work hard together to recover.”

Sendai to the Emmaus Center: The Emmaus Center was started 60 years ago by missionaries in Sendai. 10 years ago the ministry was handed to the Japanese church. At the Emmaus Center, there is a Christian book store, the Tohoku Kyodan (UCCJ) office,

(Rev. Takahashi is the director), and youth ministries led by Jeffrey Mensendiek. We were warmly welcomed by the Acting Director, Rev. Yoshiya Matsumoto, UCC missionary, Rev. Jeffrey Mensendiek who is the director of the Sendai Youth Center and translated for the delegation from English to Japanese and Japanese to English. (Jeffrey grew up as a missionary kid in Sendai.) There were other staff members and volunteers in the office so it was a hub of activity. The quake happened over Spring Break and four days alter relief efforts began. Jeffrey said; “None of us are experts, but we have gathered volunteers and have been reaching out to the community.” The Tohoku Office has approved activities and made a Committee for Church Relief.

The newly formed Sendai Alliance of Churches now is working with the Emmaus Center. (The S.A.C. includes the United Church of Christ in Japan (Kyodan), The Evangelical Alliance Mission (TEAM), various other Protestant bodies including small independent churches, and the Roman Catholic Church. The Sendai Alliance sent out a team of volunteers whom we saw at Ishonomaki Church where the volunteers have been helping the families of the kindergarten, church members, and other neighbors in the community. Every Thursday night, 70-80 representatives from various churches gather to pray and discuss activities.
One such activity has been “praying for the dead” since so many people had to be buried so quickly. Buddhist priest and Christian ministers work together to say prayers beforehand.

Churches from Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong have sent much money, prayers, and support and in the future wish to send work teams through the Emmaus Center. The churches in Taiwan also sent bicycles which are badly needed as sometimes the volunteers had to bike 40 minutes out to the ocean area.

Although Sendai City Hall and the government do provide many services, the Emmaus Center finds the gap and begin their ministry there.

We had dinner with Rev. Yoshida and Rev. Kawakami with the Sendai Alliance of Churches and learned more about their relief work ministry and needs. Donations are the primary need now and later work camps will be helpful.

Returning late to the hotel, we were exhausted but woke up early the next morning to go back to Narita praying that no aftershocks would occur. On the long ride back to Tokyo, the four general secretaries had a meeting at the back of the bus to discuss the upcoming meeting in Korea on May 5,6,7 where aid to Japan will be the topic. NCCJ looks forward to future partnership from ecumenical friends as we work together in relief work ministry.

Website for Emmaus Center: http://ameblo.jp/jishin-support-uccj-en/

Website for Second Harvest Japan: http://tohokuhelp.com/

Website for Sendai Christian Alliance: http://www.2hj.org/index.php/eng_home




3月末に特定非営利活動法人シャプラニール(=市民による海外協力の会)に、韓国の救世軍(Salvation Army)から送られた水(1.8リットル)35000本を寄付しました。シャプラニールの救援活動の様子はこちらでレポートされています。






Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, WCC General Secretary April 5, 2011
Dear Rev. Tveit and friends at WCC,

We are deeply grateful for the many expressions of support we have received from churches around the world for those suffering from the recent earthquakes, tsunami and now the breakdown of the nuclear plants in Japan. The member churches and organizations of the National Christian Council in Japan (NCCJ) have been working overtime in making an initial response to the overwhelming humanitarian needs, as well as consulting with all our partners in planning for the next stages of relief and recovery.

As NCCJ acting general office secretary, I have just returned from a meeting with colleagues from CCA who gathered in Korea for a roundtable with members of the Churches’ Forum on Peace and Peoples’ Security in North East Asia. Much of the time was spent in consultations on formulating a joint ecumenical response to the current crisis in Japan.

It was proposed that we request space for a booth at the upcoming International Ecumenical Peace Convention (IEPC) in Kingston, Jamaica, this coming May, to present the urgent Japan crisis. There was also the suggestion that there would be enough interest to hold a workshop session on the immediate relief and recovery efforts as well as the broader global concern for dealing with the long-term effects of the nuclear crisis which demands urgent international ecumenical action.

We will be holding an emergency consultation with our partners in Japan on April 12, so it would be helpful to have some indication before that date of the possibility for providing booth space as well as holding a workshop session on these concerns at the upcoming IEPC in Jamaica.

Your guidance and support will be most helpful. You can respond at our email listed above, and/or call our office phone during Tokyo office hours between 10 am to 6 pm. At other times, you can reach me by cell phone at: 81-80-3095-1717.

(Rev.) Hiroko Ueda, Acting General Office Secretary

世界教会協議会総幹事 オラフ・フィクセ=トゥヴェイト牧師から励ましのお便り

今回の大震災に際して、世界の教会が祈りと支援に大きな力を注いでいます。そのことを覚えて、世界教会協議会(WCC)のオラフ・フィクセ=トゥヴェイト総幹事から手紙が寄せられていますので、紹介します。 (訳・岸本和世)

10日前の地震とそれに続く津波による惨害にみまわれた日本の方々が受けられた 痛みと苦難の報に接し続けている、わたしたちの心にあふれる驚きと悲しみは言葉になりません。

このキリスト・ イエ スはヘブライ人への手紙4章14節から16節にある知識によって強くされたのです、すなわち:(聖句引用省略)わたしたちは、日本の方々が失われたいのちや暮らしの故におかれている悲嘆に思 いを合わせると共に、神の恵みと憐れみを求めつつ目を天に向けます。人々を救助するためにそのいのちを危険にさらしている方々に、神の恵みと守りがあるようにと祈りま す。特に、原発の崩壊を回避するために働いておられる方々への神の守りを祈ります。救援活動に当たっている方々や、消息不明のいのちを瓦礫の中に探し求め続けておられる方々に、わたしたちのお慰めの手を差し伸べます、キリストにあって。

世界教会協議会(WCC)は、震災直後から今回の日本の厳しい災害状況を追い続けています。わたしはWCC事務所での世界のさまざまな教会やエキュメニカルな関係機関、特に救援事業機関に関わる担当者たちの会議を招集しました。WCC参加の諸教会は日本の人々のために祈り、また日本における姉妹・兄弟を支えるための可能な限りの方途を活用 しようとしていることは、とても心強いです。わたしはこの時にあたり、世界中のキリスト者たちがあなた方を祈りと行動で支え続けるように奨めています。




Geneva, 23 March 2011
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Words cannot express the dismay and sorrow filling our hearts as we continue to see the pain and suffering of the Japanese people attempting to rebuild lives and restore communities that had been ravaged by the earthquake and ensuing tsunami ten days ago. As the danger of a nuclear catastrophe continues to loom the safety and health of future generations pose serious concerns. The more recent news of radioactive contamination in food has heightened the apprehension and concern as the fragile web of life in which we live is endangered. Indeed, the crisis and challenge before the people of Japan is one that threatens all of humankind as we are all deeply connected in the oikoumene of God’s creation.

This inter-connectedness of our being co-habitants of one planet and our being created in the image of the one God compels us to enter into the pain and suffering of the people of Japan with the sympathy of our Lord, Christ Jesus empowered in the knowledge that

… since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

(Hebrews 4:14-16)

While we share the grief of the people of Japan for the lives that have been lost, the loss of livelihoods, we turn our eyes toward heaven seeking God’s grace and mercy. We pray for God’s grace and divine protection for those who are risking their own lives in order to save others, especially those working at the nuclear reactors and trying to avert a nuclear meltdown. With Christ our hands reach out to comfort those who are engaged in rescue operations and wander through the debris in search for lives.

The World Council of Churches has been following the disastrous situation unfolding in Japan from the very beginning. I have convened a meeting of various colleagues in WCC headquarters who are in liaison with churches and ecumenical partners in different parts of the world, especially the emergency relief and humanitarian aid arm of the ecumenical family the ACT Alliance. It is heartening that several member churches of the WCC have been praying for the people of Japan and trying to mobilise resources to extend all possible supports to our sisters and brothers in Japan through the churches in Japan. I take this opportunity to encourage Christians around the world to continue to support you in prayer and action.

As you seek to comfort and help the many neighbours in need throughout Japan I have no doubt that your commitment to the gospel message of love, sacrifice and service will be a powerful witness to God’s love for the nation and people of Japan. May the Spirit of God continue to empower and sustain you with His abundant grace.

Yours in Christ,

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit
General secretary
World Council of Churches






問い合わせと励ましのお便り 2


Dear Rev. Ueda,
I write on behalf of the staff of CCA along with the Members of the General Committee which just met here in Chiang Mai.
We got the shocking news that an 8.9 magnitude earthquake followed by aTsunami hit northern Japan at 1446 local time 0546 GMT today.
BBC news described the area hit to be about 250 miles (400 kilometers) north of Tokyo with a depth of 20 miles, with the tsunami followed hitting the Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures.
Initially, 20 people were reported to be injured in Tokyo. CCA would like to express our sympathy for the victims and our prayers and solidarity support for the entire Japanese people, especially the churches and NCCJ.
Please give us advise on how CCA and the Asian churches can offer practical support.We pray that God's love and protection will be with the people of Japan at this critical time.
Yours in faith and solidarity,
General Secretary

Dear Rev. Ueda,
I'm very sad to hear about the earthquake and the stunami hit Japan this afternoon. I pray that God gives you, NCCJ and churches in Japan strength in this difficult time.
Prawate Khid


Dear Reverend Ueda,
We watched helplessly and with deep concern and horror as your country reeled following the strong earthquake and the tsunami.
The devastation is terrifying and the loss to life and property indeed grievous.
Even as we continue to keep watch, let me convey our most sincere solidarity with you and to all the sisters and brothers in Japan at this time.
We reach out to you in prayer and we share the pain of loss. We pray that God in Jesus Christ will cast the comforting hand to you especially at this time and that we shall remain steadfast in hope.
May those who work to rescue, clear the debris and rebuild remain strong. We will sustain our prayers and support for you all and will be very interested in updates.
May your people rise from this sad state and soon.



A letter of concern to brothers and sisters in Japan
With great alarm and sorrow we have been listening to the news about the severe tsunami that struck the northwest coast of Japan today, following the strong earthquake that took place off the coast.
This tsunami is a great tragedy, causing much destruction, but even worse, fear and heartache within your people, many who will suffer grief and shock throughout this time and in the days ahead.
The members of the PROK send our sincere condolence and assurances of prayers to sustain you throughout this period. Our ancestors in the faith endured such tragedies.
Psalm 46 describes a situation when, “the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.” But the people of faith were still able to say, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”
We pray for community courage and faith for the people of Japan and particularly those communities in the path of these terrific and terrifying forces, that you will all know the strengthening presence of God surrounding you.
As our two countries are very close neighbours, we take this opportunity to reach out our hands to you in support.
If we can be of assistance in practical ways, please allow us to do so.

Rev. Bae Tae Jin
General Secretary
Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea


To Our Brothers and Sisters of the National Christian Council in Japan:
Peace and grace in the name of Jesus Christ. We are shocked and greatly saddened as we watch the news from Japan. You and your ministries are in our fervent prayers in the wake of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. We are also in prayer for Japan as a people in this time of crisis. The General Board of Global Ministries has long and highly valued mission partnerships in Japan and a deep affection for its people.
Please keep Global Ministries informed on your situations and tell us about the impact of the disaster on your programs.
We hope you have experienced no loss of staff or constituents, and little or minor property damage.
Our United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is working with partner agencies to determine a course of response in keeping with the relief priorities and our capacity. We have set up a Pacific Emergency Advance, #3021317 as a conduit of contributions toward relief and rehabilitation.
We made it broad since we do not yet know about tsunami damage in the larger region. May God strengthen your faith in this time of uncertainty and fear.
May you also gain strength from the awareness that you are part of a global mission family, that we are united in God’s love, lovingly serving God’s people.
Together in mission,

Thomas Kemper
General Secretary
The General Board of Global Ministries


Dear Rev. Hiroko Ueda,
We are following the events in Japan in great shock and dismay.
Atthis time of difficulty, distressed, confusion, and loss we would liketo assure you that our thoughts and minds are with you. The churches in Asia are praying for the churches and the people of Japan. As a token of solidarity of Asian churches, we intend to send you USD10.000 for supporting the ecumenical response of Japanese churches to the devastation brought about by the very poweful tsunami. Please advice and let us know the bank information of NCC Japan so that wecan transfer the fund as soon as possible.
May God strengthen you and the churches in Japan, and grant you all faith and hope to cope with this very difficult situation.
Sincerely yours,
Ery Rev. Dr. Henriette Hutabarat Lebang
General Secretary
Christian Conference of Asia


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
At this tragic and heartbreaking time in Japan, the Hong Kong Christian Council sends its deepest condolence and prayers to your nation and its people.
The magnitude of the destruction from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami is overwhelming with the devastating loss of precious lives and even whole cities.
It is difficult for us to comprehend the pain and suffering that you are experiencing, yet as one body in Jesus Christ, please know that we weep with those who weep (Rom. 12:15).
As Hong Kong and Japan have many links and relationships, we are ready to assist you in any way we can help during this crisis. We are sure that NCCJ and its partner churches are responding with full force to minister to the nation.
We stand with you in faith, hope and love as you face the days ahead, and pray that God will give you all safety and the peace that passes understanding as you recover and rebuild your lives.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Po Kam-Cheong
General Secretary


Our hearts are sore and our minds troubled with thenews coming from Japan. We have many United Church people in Canada whowant to express their concern. Let us know as know as soon as you beginyour fundraising.
Take good care.
Pat Elson Partners in MissionUnited Church of Canada


Our hearts and prayers go out to you and your people. At difficult times likes these Japan and the world needs God's strength more than ever. We pray that God will place his hand on you and give you strength and courage and that he will unite his people to aid and comfort the people of Japan. As brothers in Christ our hearts are with you, but we cannot imagine the suffering that your people are going through.
We make our financial donation through our local Red Cross but I feel empty and wish I could do more. I offer my Love and if I could be of any assistance please feel free to contact me.
I pray that the Lord will guide you in ministering to the suffering people of Japan and want you to know that God's people everywhere are praying for you. For those that have lost their lives, I pray that they be with Jesus in Heaven and I pray for the families left behind.
Get God's word to the people and let them know he loves them.
God Bless!
Jim & Lilly Denney


Present Action

Dear Friends and Ecumenical Partners in Christ,

Your generous gifts and prayerful support in response to the enormous humanitarian needs following the devastating destruction brought on by the earthquake and tsunami that struck the entire northeastern coast of Japan nearly two weeks ago have been received with much gratitude. Now we are confronted with the additional specter of the worst nuclear disaster in Japan since the end of WWII.

This week we have been successful in holding consultations with our national church partners and member organizations to determine our mutual priorities for a cooperative relief effort. We will be coordinating both the distribution of relief materials to the areas suffering the worst damage and locating temporary housing for those who lost homes due to the earthquake and tsunami as well as those now displaced from the area most exposed to radiation from the damaged nuclear plants.

We have become an indispensable hub for sharing information and dispatching goods and personnel to the worst-hit areas in coordination with the newly established Christian Coalition in Sendai which includes the United Church of Christ in Japan (Kyodan), The Evangelical Alliance Mission (TEAM), various other Protestant bodies and the Roman Catholic Church. The Sendai coalition is using the Emmaus Center which also serves as the Tohoku (NE) District office and Student Center of the Kyodan as its base of operations. As NCCJ Acting General Secretary, Rev. Hiroko Ueda will be making a personal visit tomorrow to consult with the coalition in order to determine the most crucial needs. In principle, NCCJ is seeking to make the most effective use of gifts from overseas ecumenical partners in providing relief for those who are marginalized and have no other channel of support as we continue to consult with our member churches to determine priorities and avoid needless duplication.

Our office is now in the process of finding available housing for internally displaced persons through our national network of churches and organizations. Our home page will be providing regular updates (mostly in Japanese) with occasional English messages. Please contact us if you have any questions or need for further information.
You can use the addresses on this letterhead or email directly to: relief@ncc-j.org
Our home page is simply: http://ncc-j.org

In Christian love, Rev. Isamu Koshiishi, Moderator
Rev. Hiroko Ueda, Acting General Office Secretary


問い合わせとお励ましのお便り 1






Dear colleagues,

Since today morning we have been hearing the news on the terrible earthquake in Japan, followed by the tsunami. We hope, that all the colleagues of your organizations, based in Japan, are safe along with their families.
We shall be grateful to hear from you with a situation report.
Best regards

Sudhanshu S. Singh
Regional Programme Officer- Asia & the PacificACT Alliance Secretariat


Dear Sir/Madam,
Let me introduce my self. I work for Christian Aid in London( the relief and development agency of the Churches in the UK and Ireland).
We are a member of the ACT Alliance. After hearing the devastating news of the Tsunami and earthquake, first of all, I would like to express my heartfelt condolences and sympathy.
In this time of distress, I am aware that how challenging this would be for your organisation and the communities in Japan, especially for the Tsunami and earthquake affected communities.
Please, could you let me know how NCC Japan is planning to respond to this crisis? I am fully aware that your team members will be extremely busy now.
Christian Aid works in more than 50 countries (developing countries) for relief and development. We had bid relief and rehabilitation programme after the Asian Tsunami in 2004.
Any updates from your organsation will be much appreciated and this will help Christian Aid to understand the situation and to explore possibilities of future engagement with NCC Japan, if required. Thanks.
With Best Regards

Dr. Michael Paratharayil
Regional Emergency Manager
Central and South East Asia and Middle East
Humanitarian Division


Greetings from New Zealand.
At this time of a major disaster in your country I write to assure our prayers and support to you and the church in Japan. We are with the people of Japan in our thoughts and Spirit.
We continue to remember the people of Japan in our prayers. We have just experienced a disaster due to an earthquake in Christchurch. We know the magnitude of the pain and suffering of the people.
Please let us know if we could be of help in any way.
I have also written to Rev. Hiroko Ueda who was in Chiang Mai last week attending the General Committee Meeting of the CCA with me.
I am the New Zealand member in the General Committee of the CCA.Our church wishes to send a small donation towards the relief work in Japan.
Please write to the Rev. David Bush, the General Secretary of the Methodist Church of New Zealand on davidb@methodist.org.nz to make contact with him.
With our prayers and kind regards,

Rev. Prince Devanandan
Superintendent -
Manukau District Synod
Methodist Church of New Zealand


Dear friends in Japan,
I have been shocked by evey news about the 8.8 magnitude quake and the aftereffects.
Attached you will find the NCCK word of Consolation on Japan stucked by magnitude quake.
We are with you suffering from this calamity, and pray for that God's peace be with you and you will recover from the bitterness.
In God's peace.

Heawon Chae

"Comfort, comfort my people’, says your God"(Isaiah 40:1)
We have been very shocked with heartbreaking by the news that the 8.9-magnitude quake struck off northeastern Japan and many people lost their lives as well as uncountable damages have been spreaded due to after-quakes followed for hours.
We express deep consolation for people in Japan in confusion with deaths and damages caused by massive earthquake which human being only cannot be escapable, and pray that God's consolation and guidance be with the victimized suffering in pain and fear.
We know that despite of many cases of earthquake in the past in Japan, the people in Japan have well overcome those dangerous threats with the presence of mind and wise measurement. We are sure that even for this time your people will gather to win against this tremendous disaster.
All Christians in Korea express our deep solidarity with people in Japan suffering from this disaster, and hope that you take this calamity as the developing opportunity for the future. During the Lent which we celebrate God's Grace who bears all the suffering of the world for the sake of lives, Korean Christians join in the suffering experienced by Japan and pray that the risen Christ brings a miracle of a new life to all in Japan.

March 11th, 2011
Rev. Kim Young Ju
General Secretary
Rev. Lee Hae-
Chair of Justice and Peace Committee

Dear Reverends Koshiishi, Naito, and Songwan,
It is with deep sorrow and sadness to hear the loss of lives and enormous damage to properties caused by earthquake and tsunami that struck the Northeastern coast of Japan.
We will hold you and the entire Japanese people in our thoughts and prayers as you go through this difficult time in Japan's history.
As the United Church and churches in Japan has a long history of partnership, please be assured of our continuing solidarity and accompaniment and as a partner, we would like to know the kind of support we can extend to our brothers and sisters and how best we can respond to this difficulty.
Also, we would like to request for a more detailed information as to the extent of devastation, the need on the ground and how our brothers and sisters are coping, so we can write a story that we can put up on our website to update our members who are holding the Japanese people in their hearts and prayers. May God give you strength and courage to deal with this profound situation.
Peace and blessings,

Josie Forcadilla
Program Assistant
Asia Pacific Partnerships
Partners in Mission
The United Church of Canada


韓国教会から支援 Support from Korean Diakonia

3月17日(木)に韓国希望奉仕団(Korean Diakonia)のキム・ジョンセン総務とイ・インス海外担当幹事がNCC本部を訪問してくださいました。
On March 17th, Rev. Kim Jong Saeng and Rev. Lee In Su of Korean Diakonia visited NCCJ.
Receiving their cordial prayers and supports, we conferred on future's earthquake disaster reconstruction.
From left, Rev. Kim Jong Saeng, Korean Diakonia Secretary-General, Rev. Hiroko Ueda, NCCJ Acting General Office Secretary, Rev. George Gish, NCCJ Vice Moderator.