Statement of Confession and Apology
Our responsibility in World War II
Nippon Revival Association (NRA)
We, Nippon Revival Association (NRA), founded in May 1996, confess our responsibility in World War II under the name of Jesus Christ, the one and only Lord and Head of the Church.
We, the church of Japan, followed the national Shintoism and committed the sin of idolatry by worshiping the Emperor as a living deity and the sin of forcing Asian churches to bow at shrines. We, the church of Japan, failed to fulfill our role of “watchman” warning all the evils of our government’s colonial policies and war of invasion. On the contrary, we participated in the colonization and invasion of Asian countries. We, Nippon Revival Association (NRA), confess our idolatry, and responsibility in the war. We repent from our hearts and apologize to God and the people of the countries we violated.
We, Nippon Revival Association (NRA), admit to Japan’s thirty-six years of colonial grievance of the Korean Peninsula, the invasion of Asian countries during World War II, the massacre at Jeamu Lee Church in Korea, the massacre of the Korean people following the Great Kanto earthquake, the Nanjing Massacre, the Skeleton Incident in West Kalimantan of Indonesia, the vivisections by the Unit 731, the comfort of warrior affairs, the bringing of Korean people to Japan and other places against their will, living in Japan, and other villainous atrocities committed by Japan. We deeply repent of them before God, and wholeheartedly apologize to the connected nations and their people.We apologize to the Republic of China, Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Kingdom of Thailand, Kingdom of Cambodia, Union of Myanmar, Republic of Singapore, Republic of Indonesia, Republic of the Philippines, the United States and all other nations Japan has harmed.
These awful sins were the outgrowth of arrogance on the part of us Japanese. During the war, we called our country, “Deity’s Country.” We forced people to visit Shinto shrines and to commit idolatry by worshiping the Emperor, and worst of all we persecuted many Christians. We apologize for these sins that we committed without fearing men or God. In order that we will not repeat the same sins again, seeking God’s mercy, we apologize to the people of those countries we harmed and make compensation.
We take the following two concrete steps:
1)We will fast and repent on August 15 (the day of Japan’s defeat) and December 8 (the day of Japan's declaration of war), declaring them as “Days of Fasting and Repentance” for clergy and lay people who are members of Nippon Revival Association (NRA), first of all, and for all churches and Christians in Japan.
2)So that our apology be accepted by the countries we harmed and their people, we send this statement to the governments, members of the press and mass communication network, and churches and their representative organizations. In addition, we will dispatch as many representatives as possible to offer our apologies.
“If my people who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins and heal their land.”
(2 Chronicles 7:14, KJV)
Nippon Revival Association (NRA)
Chairperson Minoru Okuyama
Vice-Chairperson Tsugumichi Okawa
The Whole Staff of the Council