Japan is one of the most influential countries in the Far East. In Japan, the Kanto region is home to the most prominent people. The Kanto region is in the central geographical area of Honshu, the largest island of Japan, which includes the Metropolitan Tokyo Area and encompasses seven prefectures: Gunma, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Saitama, Tokyo, Chiba and Kanagawa. At the last official census, the population was 42,607,376, about one third of the total population of Japan. The Kantō region is the most highly developed, urbanized, and industrialized part of Japan, home to over 1,000 people per square kilometer. The seat of Japan’s political power as well as the home office of some of the most influential companies in the world, the Kanto region is by any estimation a world-wide powerhouse.
And yet, in spite of great freedom of religion and a 99% literacy rate, less than 3% of the population are evangelical Christians. The bible has been translated into Japanese and is available online as well as in some bookstores. Even so, most Japanese have never seen a bible, many have never met a Christian or heard the Good News of Jesus Christ in any form. There are few replacements for the aging pastors in existing churches and the numbers of missionaries are substantially down from years past. Although the present situation seems dark, the light of the gospel brings hope!
In many ways Japan is more open to the gospel than ever before. Japanese young people are heavily influenced by the west. Music, movies, and popular culture contain references to the bible and biblical themes that are natural open doors to the message of hope. The ABWE Japan team is prayerfully looking forward to using each missionaries’ gifts, talents, and abilities to the fullest as we creatively engage the people around us. Opportunities to meet new people and build relationships abound in sports, the arts, community activities. As Christians permeate their community, people are coming to know Jesus as Lord and Savior and we rejoice as HE uses us to build His church in Japan!
The number of missionaries working in Japan continues to dwindle, but the impact of each one is eternal as hearts turn to Jesus. In Japan, ABWE’s missions team accepts that progress comes one person at a time. You can encourage and strengthen Japan’s existing churches by helping train the leaders of tomorrow. The church of tomorrow in Japan is being built today, one relationship at a time. Will you join us in the urban heart of Japan to see the Good News shine bright?