TOKYO, Japan A statue of Angel Moroni was placed on the Tokyo Japan Temple on Dec. 10, 2004, as hundreds of spectators looked on from across the street in Arisugawa Park. Elder Yoshihiko Kikuchi of the Seventy and president of the Asia North Area attended the event with his counselors, Elder William R. Walker and Elder Won Yong Ko.
The Tokyo Japan Temple was Asia's first and the 18th operating at the time of its dedication on Oct. 27, 1980, by President Spencer W. Kimball. The temple includes a parking garage in the basement and an upstairs apartment for the temple president and matron. With the new statue of Moroni facing east, the distance from the ground to the top of the statue is about 180 feet.
When President Kimball announced at the start of the Tokyo Area Conference on August 9, 1975, that a temple would be built in Japan, the congregation burst into applause, then tears.
President Walker said, "The weather forecast for the morning of the 10th was for rain. However, it was a beautiful clear day. Members standing on the ground broke into spontaneous applause as the statue settled into place atop the steeple."
The scaffolding was removed over the next week and the steeple and the Angel Moroni statue now stand very clearly atop the temple.
President Walker said, "It is magnificent. It is much more dramatic and beautiful than before."
The Tokyo Japan Temple district covers membership in 26 stakes and 15 districts. The temple was designed to extend upward instead of outward. Many visitors commented on how the lines of the temple give a feeling of elevation and of drawing the heart and soul toward God.