A. THE COUNTRY
Japan is an East Asian country located in the NW Pacific comprising an
arc of over 3000 islands, four of them being large. Of the 127 million
people, close to 37 million live in the Greater Tokyo Area, Japan’s
capital and largest metropolitan area in the world. It is a
constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy. It maintains an
extensive modern military force in self-defence and peacekeeping roles.
Japan is a leading nation in scientific research. A major economic
power, it is a large exporter and importer. The public debt is very
high, but private savings are high, protecting many individuals from the
poor economic performance of recent years.
The March 2011 magnitude 9 earthquake and tsunami devastated lives and
country. Radiation from a damaged nuclear plant further threatens life,
health and ecology in Japan and contaminates the world by ocean and air.
B. THE PEOPLE
95.5% are Japanese, which includes 0.02% Ainu, the aboriginal people.
1.5% are Foreign (0.5% Korean, 0.3% Chinese, 0.3% Filipino and other
While having an extremely low homicide rate, Japan has a high suicide
rate of over 30,000 per year, a leading cause of death for people under
30. The declining birth rate and ageing population are challenges.
C. RELIGIONS AND CHRISTIANITY/PENTECOSTALISM
70% of Japanese claim no personal religion, but the majority follow
Buddhism. Historically, Japanese identity is deeply tied to Shintoism.
Many also follow some of the hundreds of newer religious movements that
are off-shoots of these. The main ones are: Sokka Gakkai (10m),
Risshokosekai (5.5m), Seicho no le (3.7m). Therefore, the following
figures cannot adequately show the multiple religious loyalties.
Buddhist ~69.59%, Other ~23.7%, Non-religious ~5%, Christian ~1.54%,
Muslim ~0.15%, Baha’i ~0.02%
Protestants are ~0.44%, Catholics ~0.4%, Independents ~0.25%, Anglican
~0.04%, Orthodox ~0.03%
Groups such as Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons have grown numbering
nearly as many as Protestants or Catholics.
Evangelicals are ~0.5% and charismatics are ~0.3% (~0.2% of those are
Operation World, Jason Mandryk. Colorado Springs: Biblica Publishing, 2010.