When parents of students at St. Mary's International School in Tokyo received a letter earlier this year informing them of an allegation of sexual abuse against a former teacher and elementary school principal at the Catholic boys school, shock waves rippled through the tight-knit school community.

The letter, dated Jan. 31 and signed by the current headmaster, Saburo Kagei, says: "In recent days, it has come to the attention of the school administration that an allegation of sexual misconduct has been made against Brother Lawrence Lambert by a former student. The misconduct allegedly occurred in 1965 when Br. Lawrence was a teacher at the first St. Mary's campus in Sengakuji.

"After the school administration learned of the situation, we notified the local Japanese police authority and the Archdiocese of the Catholic Church in Tokyo. Both agencies are conducting investigations with the school's full cooperation. While the investigation is ongoing, Br. Lawrence Lambert is prohibited from having any contact with students, staff or parents at SMIS."