German-Speaking Church Relations Committee
The purpose of the committee is to identify common interests through mutual exchanges between churches in Japan and the German-speaking world and to promote mutual awareness and learning. The committee started in 1966 based on the result of the 1st Japan-German Church Council held in 1965. In 1979, the committee split into the East and West German Committees and got united again as one committee in 1991.
We dispatch a few students on the Germany Protestant Church Scholarship to Germany each year. The application guidelines are announced in October, the application deadline is mid-January, and the screening examination is conducted in late-January.
We hold regular meetings between Protestant churches in Japan and Germany. In recent years, the 5th Japan-German Church Council has been held in Ranzan, Saitama Prefecture in 2003, and the 6th Council in Hamburg in February 2013. The 7th council was held in Tokyo in April 2016, under the theme “Listening and Participation -500 years of Reformation.”
In addition to these activities, we also hold occasional lectures given by German theologians and church leaders as lecturers. In the past, from 1995, in cooperation with the Japanese Christian Church Kyoto Diocese, we were promoting the exchange of the people of the German minority Sinti Loma with the discriminated people of the Buraku.
Peace and Reconciliation Committee on East Asia
The aim is to contribute to the realization of reconciliation and peace by promoting ecumenical exchange and cooperation in East Asia. The main areas of activity are peace and reunification on the Korean Peninsula, humanitarian assistance to North Korea, and relations with China, Taiwan, and Okinawa.
* While almost all international programs of the other committees of international divisions and committees of the Mission and Service division are all based on bilateral relations, we promote multilateral relations.
We give presentations actively to WCC, CCA, and to churches in neighboring Asian countries.
We embody our approaches in a framework of the themes cited as important issues in the past efforts such as Article 9 of the Constitution, non-violent behavior in Okinawa, memories of the history of violence and pain, reconciliation and co-existence.
We hold meetings three or four times a year to promote activities.
We work on the issue of reunification of the Korean peninsula through the WCC and Tozanso Process.
We establish relations with Taiwan and Okinawa in particular and construct sub-regional initiatives through the CCA “Peace and People’s Security in Northeast Asia” Working Group.
We promote participation in the initiative “PfL = Peace for Life” aimed at solidarity with the people of the world exposed to violence in the “anti-terrorism” war with those who wish for peace in other religions.
With regard to North Korea, we continue dispatching visit groups and humanitarian assistance as well.
We set up opportunities to exchange information and coordinate activities among NCC committees that have a relationship with South Korea.