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Bishops asks for forgiveness for Japan’s conquest of Korea: The Church of England Newspaper, July 9, 2010 p 6. July 16, 2010

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Korea, Church of England Newspaper, Nippon Sei Ko Kai.

The Most Rev. Nathaniel Makoto Uematsu, Bishop of Hokkaido and Archbishop of Japan

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

The Bishops of the Nippon Sei Ko Kai (NSKK), the Anglican Church in Japan, have agreed to issue a formal apology to their Korean brethren for their country’s conduct on the 100th anniversary of Japan’s annexation of Korea.

The decision came at the second joint meeting of the Korean and Japanese House of Bishops from June 28-29 on Jeju Island, South Korea.  The 11 bishops of the NSKK and the three bishops of the Anglican Church of Korea (SHK) discussed the lingering hostility many Koreans and other East Asians feel towards Japan for its conduct during the Second World War and in its annexation of Korea, Formosa and Manchuria.

The bishops agreed the Japanese church would issue an apology on the occasion of the 100th anniversary.  The Japanese bishops also agreed to make a pilgrimage in October to to South Korea’s Ganghwa Island in repentance for their country’s actions.

Japan occupied Korea in 1905 and formally annexed the province on Aug 29, 1910.  At the start of the Second World War, English missionaries in Korea were imprisoned by the Japanese and the SHK was incorporated into the NSKK.  A Japanese bishop was appointed by the government as Bishop of Chosun.

From 1945 to 1965 there was no communication between the two churches, but following the appointment of the first Korean Anglican bishop dialogue between the churches was opened, and formal relations were established in 1984.

Last year the Korean Mission Partnership, formally the Church of England Mission to Korea, reported that 19 Korean clergy were serving with the NSKK in Japan, both in expatriate Korean congregations and in Japanese Anglican congregations, helping the Japanese church respond to a growing clergy shortage.  Three Korean seminarians are currently training in Japan as well.

The first joint meeting of the House of Bishops took place in Paju, near the Demilitarized Zone with North Korea, in 2007.  The next meeting has been scheduled for October, 2011 in Okinawa.  A joint meeting of clergy and lay leaders from the two churches meet each April

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