Why Japan and Tohoku?

So why does Japan and Tohoku need missionaries? Isn’t it a developed country? Well, here are some reasons why we are here and why you may want to be involved in partnering with us.

  • Japan is one of the most unreached areas in the world by the gospel. The Tohoku region is particularly unreached.

  • Though the church is small, Japan is one of the few places in the world where the evangelical church is declining every year.

  • Japan has a very high suicide rate. In 2016, 21,897 people committed suicide; this is the equivalent of 60 people a day. 4 of the top 10 prefectures with highest suicide rate in Japan are in Tohoku.

  • Family breakdowns are very common. Due to long working hours and a broken family culture, Japan is known to be a “fatherless” nation. Many grow up without knowing the love of their father.

  • Many people are recovering and rebuilding their lives after the deadly earthquake and tsunami in 2011 that caused massive damage and took the lives of nearly 20,000 people along the coast of Tohoku.

  • Out of a population of 127 million, only around 1% know Jesus.

  • Though Japan is materially well off, it is spiritually very poor.

  • There are still many cities and towns where there is no church at all, especially in Tohoku.

  • Culturally, people follow Buddhism and Shintoism and worship their ancestors.

  • Many Christians tend not to share their faith with friends due to a strong culture of not wanting to offend.

  • Christians find it hard to attend church and focus on God because of pressure from society and long working hours.

  • It is said that an average “faith life-span” of a Christian in Japan is 3 years (meaning that, many leave church or stop actively following Christ).

  • New Christians can face the risk of being disowned by family due to the pressure of ancestor worship, a tradition that has been passed down through many generations.