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Tokyo Japan Temple

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File:Tokyo japan temple.jpg

The Tokyo Japan Temple is the 18th operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

On August 9, 1975 the First Presidency of the Mormon Church announced that a temple would be built in Tokyo, Japan. Spencer W. Kimball said at a conference in Tokyo,

And now we bring to you a matter of grave importance to all of the people of the Asian countries and the world. Yesterday, we held a meeting of the stake presidents and other leaders to consider this very serious matter. Brother Matthew Cowley, one of the Twelve Apostles, made a prediction that there would be temples in Asia and in Japan. And many of us have been almost holding our breath until the time could come when we could build a temple in this land. We, therefore, propose to you assembled here that we establish a temple in Tokyo, Japan, for all of Asia. [1]

With this announcement the audience broke out clapping and crying. With its completion the Tokyo Japan Temple became the first temple built in Asia. A second Japanese temple was later built in Fukuoka, Japan.

Mormon history is strong in Japan. The first Mormon missionaries were sent to Japan in 1901, by President Lorenzo Snow. For twenty years missionaries taught in Japan, but the work was slow, and there were still less than 200 members. With the beginning of World War I the mission in Japan was closed and remained closed until after World War II. Many of the Mormon military men stationed in Japan were some of the best missionaries in Japan following the war. They, along with the newly returned missionaries found members who had remained strong since the 1920's and others who were ready to accept the gospel. The Church in Japan grew slowly at first, but then began to grow more rapidly, and by the year 2000, there were 114,000 members in Japan.

The temple site is .46 acres in a beautiful residential area across from the historical Arisugawa Memorial Park. The site works well because it is near the embassy and is only a five-minute walk from the subway station. The site had previously been used by the Church as a mission headquarters, but it was demolished to make room for the temple. The temple was designed to go up instead of out, because land is scarce in the area. A parking garage is underneath the temple and an apartment for the temple president and matron is above the temple. The temple has a total floor area of 52,590 square feet, two ordinance rooms, five sealing rooms, a baptismal font, Celestial room, and facilities for offices, laundry, and other necessities of the temple. The exterior of the temple is reinforced concrete covered with 289 pre-made panels of stone, which looks like light gray granite.

An open house was held September 15th through October 18, 1980 to allow the public to see the interior of the new Mormon temple. Spencer W. Kimball dedicated the Tokyo Mormon temple October 27-29 1980. On December 10, 2004, a ceremony was held in which an angel Moroni statue was added to the spire of the temple. The Tokyo temple serves Mormon members in Northern Japan and Vladivostok, Russia.

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Notes

  1. Spencer W. Kimball, “We Propose That We Establish a Temple … ,” Tambuli, Oct. 1980, 2

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