•  Country Summary
  • The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod began work in Japan in 1948. In 1976, the Japan Lutheran Church (JLC), or Nihon Ruteru Kyodan (NRK), became a sister/partner church of the LCMS. It is also a member of the International Lutheran Council. LCMS missionaries support the work of the Japan Lutheran Church in the areas of Lutheran school education and theological education at the seminary. Since 1965, the LCMS Volunteer Youth Ministry (VYM) program (originally Prince of Peace Volunteers) brought 300 lay missionaries to serve in three Japanese church districts, supporting the evangelistic efforts of Japan Lutheran Church congregations by building relationships through English-as-a-Second-Language classes and other ministries. The VYM Program officially drew to a close in March 2011 due to recruiting challenges. However, the JLC and the LCMS continue to explore ways of walking together in God’s mission and partnering in Gospel proclamation in Japan.

    With a baptized membership of approximately 3,000, the Japan Lutheran Church (JLC) has 37 congregations and preaching stations and a national staff of 29 ordained pastors. The JLC operates a program of theological education (referred to as Japan Lutheran Church Seminary), in West Tokyo, in cooperation with the theological education program of the Japan Evangelical Lutheran Church (JELC). The two programs together make up the seminary proper, Japan Lutheran Theological Seminary.

    In addition to the seminary, the JLC operates a college in cooperation with the JELC, known as Japan Lutheran College. Several members of the JLC sit on the college's Board of Regents. The percentage of Christian students ranges between 15 and 20 percent and currently, three members of JLC congregations are students at Japan Lutheran College. Daily college chapel services serve as an important means for evangelism. The college often becomes a "doorway" to the seminary as students of Christian Studies sometimes decide to pursue careers in full-time church work.

    The JLC also operates 11 kindergartens, four preschools, an elementary school, two middle schools and two secondary schools.

    The LCMS first supported mercy ministry in Japan in 1995 by providing earthquake relief, including seminary dormitory repair. Following the March 2011 earthquake, the LCMS provided funds to the Japan Lutheran Church for use in post-earthquake ministry and relief efforts.


  •  Partner Churches
  • A partner church is a church body with whom the LCMS has full altar and pulpit fellowship. Many LCMS partner churches are also members of the International Lutheran council, a worldwide association of confessional Lutheran church bodies. Some LCMS partner churches came into existence through LCMS-supported mission efforts while others have historic roots that pre-date the LCMS or that are sourced in the mission efforts of other Lutheran church bodies.

  •  Contact Information
  • Address for the LCMS Asia Region Field Office:
    No. 165 Gongyuan Street
    East District, Chiayi City
    Taiwan (Republic of China)


    Partner Church:
    Japan Lutheran Church

    1-2-32 Fujimi
    Tokyo 102-0071

    Website: jlc.or.jp

    Japan Lutheran College
    Japan Lutheran Theological Seminary

    3-10-20 Osawa Mitaki-shi
    Tokyo 181-0015

    Website: luther.ac.jp


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