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Japan: Locum tenens appointed for Japanese Orthodox Church

24. August 2023

A locum tenens for the autonomous Japanese Orthodox Church has been appointed following the repose of His Eminence Metropolitan Daniel on August 10. Met. Daniel had served as primate of the Japanese Church, an autonomous body within the Moscow Patriarchate, for 23 years. The day following his repose, His Eminence Archbishop Seraphim of Sendai and East Japan was elected the locum tenens of the metropolitan throne, reports the Synodal Department for External Church Relations.

In a letter to Abp. Seraphim, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia “called God’s blessing upon the labors of the newly elected locum tenens and assured him of his prayers for the God-loving Japanese Orthodox flock.” Abp. Seraphim is, in fact, the only hierarch of the Japanese Church after Met. Daniel’s repose. He has served as Bishop of Sendai since 2000.


His Eminence Abp. Seraphim was born on March 23, 1951, in Akita City, Akita Prefecture. He was baptized into holy Orthodoxy in 1987. From 1987 to 1990, he studied at the Tokyo Orthodox Seminary. He was ordained to the diaconate in October 1989, and to the priesthood in August 1991. He was appointed the inspector of the Tokyo Seminary.

He was tonsured as a monastic on August 20, 1999. He was elevated to the rank of Igumen on September 6, 1999, and to archimandrite on January 9, 2000. He was consecrated as the Bishop of Sendai on January 15, 2000. On July 8, 2012, he was elevated to the dignity of archbishop. The Council of the Japanese Orthodox Church held July 6-7, 2019, awarded him the title of Vicar of Tokyo. (Quelle:, 15. August 2023)