Land of the rising sun

So why Japan?

According to the Joshua Project, about 0.5% of the Japanese are evangelical Christians.  Some say only 0.2%.  At 120 million people that makes the Japanese the single largest unreached people group in the entire world despite total freedom of religion for over 60 years.  But if those facts don’t convince you that Japan is a dark place, read on…

Although one of the richest countries in the world, Japan’s economy has been in a recession for nearly 20 years.  Continued deflation makes it even harder for the economy to recover to its former strength.

Japan has one of the highest rates of suicide in the developed world.  Nearly 100 people are estimated to commit suicide every day.  Depression is also extremely high, but to talk of depression and suicide is considered taboo.  There is little support from friends or family.  Even psychiatry as a profession is looked down upon.

Juvenile prostitution is on the rise, with some studies reporting 9% of high school girls and 4% of middle school girls having participated in enjo kosai or “compensated dating”.  The possession of child pornography is legal.

Infidelity is common.  Some estimates show 40% of marriages in Japan being sexless.  But again, any such problems are considered personal and profoundly shameful, and so broken relationships and lives are hidden behind closed doors and polite smiles.

Not to say that Japan has more issues than any other country.  Darkness is everywhere.  But I want to point out how economic, academic, and technological successes say little about the darkness and depression in a country.  And there is MUCH darkness and depression in this country.  And yet, this is the land of the rising sun.  The Son has risen – and He will certainly show Himself in Japan as well.

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