For a combination of pragmatic and cultural factors, many UCCJ pastors remain in congregations long after they reach the age of sixty-five.
The aging of the pastorate is mirrored by an even faster pattern of aging among lay members in the UCCJ. (See table 2.) In 1996 about 41 percent of UCCJ communicant members were over sixty.
Between 1984 and 2001 the number of graduates from UCCJ pastoral training schools remained fairly consistent.
In addition, the number of students enrolling in UCCJ seminaries and theological departments for the purpose of seeking ordination has recently been declining.
In the 1920s the Presbyterian Church in Japan (Kyu Nikki), one of the major predecessor denominations to the UCCJ, became the first Reformed denomination in the world to ordain women.
The struggle of TUTS, the UCCJ's largest seminary, to survive as an institution throws further light on the leadership crisis in the UCCJ.
One specific issue facing the UCCJ is a dramatic decline in attendance in its church schools (i.e., Sunday schools).
The decline in church school attendance within the UCCJ has been dramatic.
The shrinking number of children casts a huge question mark on the future leadership of UCCJ congregations.
A second, related issue involves the relationship between UCCJ congregations and affiliated schools, which has become more distant.
While some point to the "bitter dispute" as the cause of the disjunction between the schools and UCCJ congregations, other factors include reliance of the schools on government subsidies and control, the decline in the number of qualified Christian teachers, widespread distrust of established religions among youth, and the increasingly materialistic ethos of Japanese society.
This means that quite a number of the Japanese are baptized in the name of Jesus Christ but after less than three years they lose their Christian commitment and perhaps their faith in Jesus Christ." He criticized UCCJ congregations for paying too much attention to evangelism and too little attention to nurturing the faith of their lay membership.