At a meeting of the Japan Mission, an agreement in principle was reached to reaffirm the purpose of the Japan Mission in strategic alliance with Presbyterian World Mission and Yodogawa Christian Hospital of Osaka, Japan, to serve as a mission society that will contribute to the mission of Jesus Christ in Asia and beyond.

Presbyterian mission co-worker Simon Park drafted the “Mission Partnership” concept paper that was adopted by the Board of the Japan Mission. The adopted paper includes a focus on Presbyterian World Mission’s three Critical Global Issues which will help guide its future work. These critical global issues, identified by World Mission’s global and U.S. partners, include: addressing the root causes of poverty, especially as it impacts women and children; sharing the good news of God’s love in Christ, together with global partners; and working for reconciliation in cultures of violence, including our own.

Japan Mission previously served as the legal base in Japan for ministries of the Presbyterian Church in the United States (PCUS). As the number of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) missionaries was reduced to a bare minimum, so were the mission activities of the Japan Mission. One bright exception to this trend was the Whole Person Healing ministry of the Yodogawa Christian Hospital in Osaka, which still remains a part of Japan Mission. Yodogawa Christian Hospital has been consistently ranked in the highest tier of private hospitals in Japan for their quality of care and soundness of administration. Yodogawa Christian Hospital was founded by Presbyterian mission workers in 1955, thanks to a gift made possible through the Presbyterian Women’s Birthday Offering. Yodogawa Christian Hospital recently completed the construction of a new complex, at a cost of $200 million, and will shift to the new hospital on July 16, 2012.

During the past 30 months, the Japan Mission has endeavored to transition into a vibrant mission society rooted in Japan and governed by a board representing both the PC(USA) and the Japanese Christian Community, as well as supporting ministries in Japan and throughout Asia. Japan Mission will manage and deploy the ample financial resources from past gifts of the PC(USA) and contributions from Yodogawa Christian Hospital in partnership with Presbyterian World Mission and other strategic partners for sharing the Good News in words and deeds in Japan and beyond. The meeting that adopted this new agreement was attended by Presbyterian mission co-workers Barbara Easton (chair), William Moore, Yukiko Altman, and Simon Park, as well as representatives of the Yodogawa Christian Hospital Masaaki Mukubo, Kimiaki Fukushima, and Takeshi Ishida. Presbyterian World Mission Asia/Pacific Coordinator Mienda Uriarte and World Mission Director Hunter Farrell were in attendance as invited guests.

“Japan Mission looks forward to facilitating joint mission efforts between Presbyterian World Mission and various local and international mission partners in Japan and Asia for the glory of Jesus Christ,” said the Japan Mission chair Barbara Easton.

“As World Mission implements new strategies for effective mission in Asia, it is encouraging to know that we move forward with a strong partner as we have in Japan Mission,” Uriarte said. “Our future together is exciting as we pursue faithful ministry in and from Japan. “

“In the founding spirit of Japan Mission and Yodogawa Christian Hospital, I believe it is a joint mission of Presbyterian World Mission, Japan Mission and Yodogawa Christian Hospital to serve the people of Japan and all of Asia under the raised flag of Christian mission,” said Dr. Mukubo, President/Superintendent of Yodogawa Christian Hospital.

“The new strategic alliance will leverage Japan Mission and Yodogawa Christian Hospital’s solid management experience and World Mission’s global connections and missional expertise for a powerful multiplier effect in many Asian countries,” added Farrell. “We’re thankful to our partners in Japan and to Simon Park for his leadership in this process. Most of all, we are humbled to be able to build on the missionary legacy of our church, to the glory of God.”