Okinawa Japan Temple
On 7 April 2019, during the 189th annual general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Russell M. Nelson announced plans to construct Japan's fourth temple, the Okinawa Japan Temple. The Okinawa Japan Temple will be the fourth Latter-day Saint temple in that country. The three Latter-day Saint temples currently in operation in Japan are the Fukuoka Japan Temple (2000), the Sapporo Japan Temple (2016), and the Tokyo Japan Temple (1980) (currently under renovation).
On 25 May 2020, the location of the Okinawa Japan Temple was announced. The temple will be a two-story building of approximately 10,000 square feet and will be constructed in Okinawa City near the Kadena Air Base, adjacent to the meetinghouse for the Okinawa Ward. It will be located on a half-acre site at 7-11, Matsumoto, Okinawa Shi, in Okinawa-ken, Japan. A temple patron waiting area will also be added to an adjacent existing meetinghouse. Its location just off the Okinawa Expressway will make the temple easily accessible from locations throughout the island. Also on 25 May 2020, an official exterior rendering of the Okinawa Japan Temple was released.
The Church has had a presence in Japan since 1901. With a population of 127 million people, Japan is home to nearly 130,000 Latter-day Saints spread throughout 28 stakes and 261 congregations in the Asian island nation.
Okinawa is comprised of more than 150 islands in the East China Sea between Taiwan and mainland Japan. Okinawa Island is the largest of the Ryukyu Islands—an island group that stretches from Kyushu, the island where the Fukuoka Japan Temple is located, to Taiwan, the island where the Taipei Taiwan Temple is located. One stake and one military district operate in Okinawa, which is famous for having some of the longest living people in the world.
Groundbreaking Ceremony announced for the Okinawa Japan Temple
The Okinawa Japan Temple groundbreaking will take place in December 2020. Elder Takashi Wada, Asia North Area president, will preside at the event.
Due to local government social-distancing guidelines, attendance is by invitation only. Photos and video of the event will be available to the media and public on Newsroom after the groundbreaking services.
Groundbreaking Ceremony is Held for the Okinawa Japan Temple
A groundbreaking ceremony for the Okinawa Japan Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was held on Saturday, 5 December 2020. This signifies that construction has officially begun on the fourth temple of the Church on Japanese soil. Home to more than 130,000 Latter-day Saints in over 260 congregations, Japan will now have a temple on its island chain of Okinawa.
Due to local government COVID-19 restrictions only A small group of Latter-day Saint leaders and invited guests attended the ceremony. In his remarks, Elder Wada said, "Despite the small gathering, we are extremely grateful as we meet to consecrate this island for the building of a holy temple this day."
In the dedicatory prayer, Elder Wada asked the Lord to watch over the people on the island and that all may "recognize the eternal significance of this sacred project."
He prayed, "We pray that we, and all those who pass near this site, will feel thy presence. May the inspiring vista bless the entire community, including those not of our faith, and become a cherished landmark for all who live or visit here."
A video of the temple groundbreaking event will be posted as soon as it is available.