October 3, 2019

Leaders Look Confidently Into the Future as Tokyo Adventist Hospital Turns 90

Atsushi Hirota, Northern Asia-Pacific Division, and Adventist Review

Tokyo Adventist Hospital (TAH) turned 90 years old in 2019. On June 30, more than 300 people attended the anniversary ceremony held at the place where the first church-based hospital in Tokyo, Japan, opened nine decades ago. The theme of the TAH 90th anniversary was “Hope and Move Forward.”

A select choir composed of hospital employees began the service with praise and thanksgiving. Then TAH president Toshihiro Nishino addressed the congregation.

“Please allow me to express my sincere appreciation for the staff, the patients, neighboring medical institutions, and, most of all, God for sustaining the hospital in support of His medical ministry as the right arm of the message,” Nishino said. “I encourage the staff to bring hope to patients as we move forward into the future.”

Among the visiting guests of honor who gave congratulatory addresses were Ryo Tanaka, mayor of Suginami Ward in Tokyo; Kiyoshi Kohda, president of Suginami Medical Association; and Masumi Shimada, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Japan.

TAH opened its doors on May 1, 1929. The hospital, along with its nursing school, was located next to the church office, the publishing house, and a women’s school.

During World War II, the Adventist Church and all of its entities, including TAH, were closed down by the Japanese government. Some church leaders were imprisoned, and church members endured hardships. The operation of the hospital was entrusted to the Salvation Army and then to the Japan Medical Consortium, a corporation run by the Japanese government.

Leaders said that by God’s grace, TAH reopened its doors on November 11, 1947, with 30 inpatient beds. The Amanuma Seventh-day Adventist Church also resumed its worship meetings on the same campus.

TAH has had a long history of promoting health. Vegetarian meals are served on the premises. Smoking cessation classes have been an integral part of the hospital ministry from the beginning.

Today, TAH is a 186-bed institution with more than 500 employees. The hospital is best known for its obstetric services. It is also well known for providing obstetric anesthesia for pain relief during labor and delivery. The hospital currently boasts one of the highest numbers of childbirths in the Metropolitan Tokyo area, having delivered more than 1,700 babies in 2018. The hospital has also operated an infertility clinic since 2017.

TAH is also known for opening the first inpatient hospice unit in the Metropolitan Tokyo area in 1996, and they have served more than 3,000 patients so far.

The short-term plans of the hospital are to open a new dental clinic, a home care clinic, and a care center for sick children.

Although TAH has grown in size, it has not lost sight of its mission, “To make man whole through Christ’s love.” “Through the love and power of Jesus, the hospital will be able to move forward and upward,” leaders said. “It is our hope and prayer that the Lord will lead and support this institution into the next decade.”

The original version of this story was posted on the Northern Asia-Pacific Division news site.