New primate elected for Japanese Orthodox Church

Tokyo, September 29, 2023

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A new primate was elected yesterday for the Japanese Orthodox Church—an autonomous body within the Moscow Patriarchate.

The previous primate, His Eminence Metropolitan Daniel, reposed on August 10 after 23 years at the helm of the Japanese Church. The sole remaining hierarch of the autonomous Church, His Eminence Archbishop Seraphim of Sendai, was then appointed Locum Tenens of the primatial throne.

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And at an Extraordinary Council of the Japanese Church held in Tokyo yesterday, Abp. Seraphim was formally elected as the next Metropolitan of Tokyo and primate, the press service of the Japanese Church reports.

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.

On August 11, 2023, he was elected Locum Tenens of the Metropolitan See of the Japanese Orthodox Church.

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