LDS Church News
Week ending March 7, 1970
2 New Missions, Stake To Be Created In Japan
Two new missions will be created in Japan and the first stake in that country will be organized later this month, the First Presidency announced this week. The two new missions, tentatively name the Japan East and Japan West missions, will be formed through division of the Japan and Japan-Okinawa Missions. The changes will be effected by Elder Ezra Taft Benson and Elder Gordon B. Hinckley of the Council of Twelve. Called as a mission president to serve in one of the two new missions in Japan is Russell N. Horiuchi, 1167 S. Main St., Orem, Utah. He will be accompanied to his field of labor by Mrs. Horiuchi. The new Tokyo Stake will be created March 15. The new missions will be formed during the following week.
An indication of the growth of the Church also is the announcement that a stake will be created in the South African Mission. Elder Marion G. Romney of the Council of the Twelve is scheduled to officiate at that action on the same day as the creation of the Tokyo Stake.
The present Japan Mission is presided over by Pres. Walter R. Bills with headquarters in Tokyo. This mission will retain its present name and headquarters. The new Japan East Mission will come from a division of the Japan Mission and will be headquartered in either Sapporo or Sendai. The two mission contain a population of about 50 million persons with almost 6,500 church members. The other new mission will be called the Japan West Mission and it will be taken from the Japan-Okinawa Mission, presided over by Pres. Edward Y. Okazaki. The Japan-Okinawa Mission will be renamed the Japan Central Mission. Japan Central Mission will retain its headquarters in Kobe, while Japan West Mission will operate from the city of Fukuoka. Japan West will contain the Kyushu and Okinawa Districts with a population of 13,251,000 and a Church membership of 1,077, plus about 900 servicemen. The mission area in the Japan Central Mission includes the Chubu, Kinki and Shikoku districts. There are 3,453 members now living in the mission and among 37,392,000 Japanese.
In addition to Elder Benson and Elder Hinckley, two other General Authorities will be in Japan this month. They are Elder Hugh B. Brown, of the Council of the Twelve, and Elder Bernard P. Brockbank, an Assistant to the Twelve. Elder Brockbank is already in Osaka overseeing completion of the Church Pavilion in Expo 70. The pavilion will be dedicated March 13 and the fair will be formally opened March 14. Elder Benson, who supervises the Far East missions with Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the First Council of the Seventy, said that hundreds of thousands of visitors are expected to visit the Church pavilion at Expo 70. He foresees many thousands of referrals coming from the visitors and with the missions set up this will accomplish the maximum in proselyting and the prospects for growth of the Church in Japan will be greatly increased because of the fair in Osaka. A minimum of 2,500 baptisms have been forecast for 1970 in Japan and Okinawa. A seminar for mission presidents in the Orient already has been set up for Sept. 22 and 23 in Osaka.
Besides Pres. Horiuchi, another president will be named to preside over the other new mission. Pres. Horiuchi is an assistant professor of geography at Brigham Young University and is a native of Hawaii. He was born in Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii, Jan. 25, 1923 to the late Mitsutaka Horiuchi and Mrs. Kikuyo Koyama Horiuchi. Pres. Horiuchi has been serving in the bishopric of the BYU 14th Ward as well as teaching on the campus. He has been a member of the Church for about 25 years. He has been active in all aspects of Church work. He met Annette Aiko Mori of Tokyo while he was serving with the U.S. Army on the staff of Gen. Douglas MacArthur. They were married Aug. 6, 1947, after Pres. Horiuchi was discharged from the Army and was working in Tokyo as a civilian translator for the Army. They have one daughter, Ellen, 21, a school teacher. Mrs. Horiuchi was born in Tokyo, Dec. 27, 1925 and part of her family still lives there. She was converted and baptized by her husband in 1950. They later were sealed in the Los Angeles Temple. Pres. Horiuchi received his bachelor's degree in 1953 from BYU, his masters at the University of California in 1958 and recently received his Ph.D. degree. He was valedictorian of the BYU graduating class in 1953. He joined the BYU faculty in 1961 after teaching and doing research at the University of California at Berkeley, and also at the College of San Mateo, Calif.
© 2001 LDS Church News Archives