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First female Bishop in Japan and South East Asia elected

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Maria Grace Tazu Sasamori, priest of the Diocese of Tokyo, has been elected as the first female Bishop in Japan and South East Asia. She was elected as the Bishop of Hokkaido at the 80th electoral Synod of the Diocese of Hokkaido

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Maria Grace Tazu Sasamori, priest of the Diocese of Tokyo, has been elected as the first female Bishop in Japan and South East Asia. She was elected as the Bishop of Hokkaido at the 80th electoral Synod of the Diocese of Hokkaido.

She was elected on the 10th ballot with two-thirds of the votes of the houses of clergy and laity on 3 November. She accepted the result on 26 November and became Bishop-elect of the Diocese of Hokkaido on the same day.

Mandy Marshall, Director for Gender Justice at the Anglican Communion Office, said: “I’m excited and pleased to hear the news of the first female Bishop. This is a real breakthrough for Japan and will be an encouragement to ordained women everywhere, but especially in Japan. Bishop-elect Tazu will need our prayers as she steps into a very male space and has the pressure and holds the hopes of Anglican Women in Japan.”

She will succeed Bishop Nathaniel Makoto Uematsu, former Primate of the Nippon Sei Ko Kei (The Anglican Communion in Japan).

The date of her consecration and installation is yet to be determined.

First published on the Anglican Communion News Service website on 7 December 2021.

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