Special Ministry to the Japanese



Since Japan carries on extensive international trade, many Japanese nationals go abroad on short or extended term business assignments. Many such Japanese have made the Greater New York Area their temporary home. They live and work in high pressure situations, and often without any extensive command of English or experience living abroad. Further, the prospects of readjusting to their life back in Japan once their assignment is completed are always in the back of their minds during the time they must try to adjust to life here. So they are torn between two lives.


The communities, schools and companies have shown little or no concern for the problems these people face. SMJ is the special effort of a group of concerned Christians in the Greater New York Area to share the burden of these Japanese people who are making the New York area their home on a short-term basis. SMJ encourages them to start a new life here which includes spiritual values that they can take back with them to Japan and enrich their life there. The quality of their experience here contributes to a growing global perspective in Japanese industry, education, and culture.



A number of Christians concerned about the problems of Japanese-speaking people in the Greater New York Area began by sponsoring a Christian radio program in Japanese. In 1976 this effort was organized into SMJ. The Rev. Justin Haruyama, a United Methodist pastor of the Japanese American United Church in Manhattan, enlisted the support of five denominations for SMJ — the United Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA), the Reformed Church in America, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and the United Church of Christ.

ニューヨーク地区の日本語を話す人々が直面する問題を心配していた多くのクリスチャンは、まず日本語でキリスト教のラジオ番組を始めました。この取り組みが、1976年のSMJの編成へとつながりました。マンハッタンにある日米合同教会のジャスティン・春山牧師は、SMJの活動のために5つの教団・教派の支持を得ました。それらは、合同メソジスト教会、米国長老教会(USA)、米国改革派教会、 ディサイプル派教会と日本基督教団(教団)です。

Rev. Arthur Kamitsuka, a missionary returned from Japan, became the interim director. In 1977 the United Church of Christ in Japan (Kyodan), which includes the five sponsoring denominations, appointed Rev. Haruyoshi Fujimoto as the first director of SMJ and as a missionary from Japan. Since this time, SMJ has been a joint mission project with the United Church of Christ in Japan (Kyodan).

まず、日本から帰国した宣教師のアーサー・カミツカ牧師が暫定のSMJディレクターとして就任しました。 それから1977年に協賛団体のひとつである日本基督教団(教団)が、SMJの初代ディレクターとして藤本ハルヨシ牧師を任命し、日本から宣教師として派遣しました。 この時以来、SMJは日本基督教団(教団)と合同で活動を行っています。