As one of the recent added cities to World Missions’ Send the Light to the Cities emphasis, Tokyo, Japan, was a challenge in earlier days to gain ground for the Church of God in this large metropolis where the population exceeds 13 million—an area where strategically the light needs to shine the most.
Yet, God always has His plan and a man to fulfill His purpose. Such a man was Kazumoto Yatsuzuka. Born in 1940, he was the first person in his family to convert from Buddhism and Shintoism to Christianity.
A gifted student, Kazumoto studied law at Kyoto University, preparing to be either a lawyer or a judge. He then attended Yokohama Bible Institute. Kazumoto did further graduate work at the Church of God Pentecostal Theological Seminary and after completing his Bible training, entered the ministry.
Yatsuzuka pastored two churches; one the Tokyo Lighthouse congregation for over 40 years. Kazumoto was a role model for ministers worldwide, and his administrative leadership in Japan included 30 years as national overseer and education director. Having been known across the city as a man of humility and integrity, Yatsuzuka led by example and witnessed above-average church growth. The six-story Tokyo Lighthouse Center is an impressive landmark on a prominent corner of the city. On November 15, 2007, Kazumoto was inducted into the Hall of Prophets at the Church of God Pentecostal Theological Seminary.
Kazumoto Yatsuzuka went to his heavenly reward in March 2011. Without the presence of U.S. missionaries, he worked tirelessly in his country where any success is bound tightly by its exorbitant standard of living. Though small in number, the Church of God in Japan is generous in giving and has given thousands of dollars to missions over the years.