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Ian and Chihiro Nagata

Tokyo, Japan

(2021 - Present)

Ian and Chihiro Nagata
Our Story

Born and raised in Southern California, Ian came to faith his senior year in high school at Evergreen Baptist Church SGV. As a fourth generation Japanese American, he neither spoke Japanese nor had ever been to Japan. But the Lord soon gave him a burden for the country of his ancestry as he learned how few Christians there were. After serving as a worship pastor for seven years at Evergreen SGV, he moved to Tokyo in 2012 to attend language school, then work for a Japanese company.

Born in Hyogo but raised in New York, Sydney, and Nara, Chihiro grew up bilingual and bicultural. She was baptized in middle school, but it was during her freshman year in college at USC when her faith became real to her. Returning to Japan in 2011, she began working for an international bank in Tokyo.

It was there at our small local church (not in SoCal, though our time overlapped there!) where we met and got married in 2016. We have two daughters, and live in Toyosu.


Our Ministry

Church Planting:

Toyosu is one of the few places in Japan where you wouldn't sense Japan's aging population crisis. Most of the 35,000 residents in this 1 sq. km city are young families, who moved to Tokyo from all over Japan. Until recently however, no church existed. In 2017, we, along with another family, planted Toyosu Community Church with a vision to see at least 2% of this burgeoning city come to Christ. Chihiro serves as the church's accountant, and Ian serves as one of the pastors.


UNISON Songwriting Community:

Worship music is a gift from God, reaching our hearts and minds with the beauty of the gospel. Unfortunately, many churches in Japan rely on translated songs from the west, with only a few sources of new original Japanese worship music. In 2019, we began a songwriting community (UNISON), devoted not only to writing new worship songs, but developing worship songwriters. Our vision is to see a movement of songwriting communities, resourcing the Japanese church to "sing to the LORD a new song!" (Ps. 96:1) (Website: unisonworship.com)


How can you help?

Give online here or if you prefer to give by check, make the check out to “JEMS” and write my name on the memo line. Mail the check to P.O. Box 86047, Los Angeles, CA 90086-0047.

If you have any questions please call the JEMS office at 213-613-0022 or email info@jems.org.

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