“Temple to Be Built in Tokyo,” Ensign, Oct. 1975, 86–87
At the opening session of the area general conference in Tokyo, Japan, President Spencer W. Kimball made a proposal to the assembled Saints. “We propose,” he said, “that we build and establish a temple in this great land.”
Cherie Campbell, who was present at the conference, described the congregation’s reaction: “The few young people who understood English grasped their chests and held their breath waiting for the translation to affirm what they had heard.
“A few of the older Saints had been listening to the prophet’s address with their eyes closed. When they heard the translation of the prophet’s announcement, they slowly opened their eyes and then, as if suddenly realizing what they had heard was true, folded their arms, bowed their heads and cried.
“The sudden hope in the eyes of a young Japanese couple who clutched each other’s hands, the love in a young mother’s sobs as she pulled her children to her breast and the peacefulness in the manner of an old one gave testimony to the inspiration of God in the prophet’s proposal.”
The building of the 18th temple in the Church will begin early next year on a half-acre site now occupied by the mission offices at 5-8-10 Minami Azabu in the Minato-Ku section of Tokyo. The location is easily accessible by the Tokyo mass transit system. Work is expected to take about two years.
The structure, designed by Church Architect Emil B. Fetzer, will have one basement level and four levels above ground. The ground floor will be 76 feet wide and 130 feet long and will include foyers, offices for the temple presidency, matron, recorder, and office personnel, a dining room, kitchen, laundry, clothing issue area, and youth center and nursery. Also on the ground floor, but accessible only through a separate outside entrance, will be a temple clothing distribution center.
The second floor will have locker rooms, brides’ dressing rooms, and bride and groom instruction rooms in addition to an apartment for the temple president and his wife.
Five sealing rooms and a small chapel that will seat 120 will be on the third floor, as well as locker and lounge rooms for temple personnel. The fourth floor will include two ordinance rooms, each seating 100, and the celestial room.
In the basement will be the baptismal font, storage rooms, and a garage. The small grounds will be landscaped in traditional Japanese style and surrounded by a stone and wrought-iron wall.
The building will be constructed of reinforced concrete and steel to meet rigid Tokyo building codes for earthquake protection. It will rise 65 feet above ground, with a tower 184 feet high, accented by a narrow stained-glass window.
President Kimball also announced the Tokyo temple at the other conferences, emphasizing its importance to the Saints in the entire area who will all participate in its construction and use. He also informed the Church members that they too can have temples in their countries when conditions are ready.