About Japan

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The country of Japan

Japan is said to be one of the most unreached people groups in the world. The modern society of Japan is characterised by long working hours (average 9.2 hours per day for full time workers (Japan Labor Union 2012)), high suicide rate (30,000 per year (LifeLink 2014), WHO reports possibly 110,000 per year), rising divorce rate (35 % (Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare 2013))and ageing society (23.3 % of population above 65 years old (Cabinet Office, Government of Japan 2011)).

The main religions worshipped in Japan are Buddhism, Shintoism (Agency of Cultural Affairs 2011). Atheism is on the rise in the younger generation.

Christianity is barely 1 % including all of Catholic and Protestant(Agency of Cultural Affairs 2011). It is likely that the regular-church attending protestant Christians are 0.1 %. The average age of pastors in Japan are 62 years old, and 70 % of Christian churches has less than 30 people attending.

North-East Japan

Within the unreached country of Japan, North-East Japan is the least reached region. North-East Japan consists of 6 prefectures with much of it covered with mountains. Small towns and villages scatter through out the region, spread apart and keeping their own unique culture and network intact. New faces are not easily accepted, treated as outsider even after decades. The highest suicide rate in Japan is recorded in one of the North-East prefectures, due rapid ageing society and depopulation.

North-East Japan has the least number of churches in Japan and its referred to as the “grave-yard of missionaries”, being renowned for its hostility to Christianity.

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