Area: 377,801 sq km
A 3,000 km arc of four large islands (Honshu, Hokkaido, Shikoku, Kyushu) and 3,000 small islands in NW Pacific. Mountainous; only 13% can be cultivated.
Population: 126,995,411 Annual Growth: -0.07%
Official language: Japanese Languages: 16 All languages
Largest Religion: Buddhist
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Young people are becoming a rare breed due to Japans low birth rate. The bonds that once held Japanese society together have rapidly dissolved, and the youngest generation are the most obvious casualties. Fully 85% of Japanese teens wonder why they exist at all, and 11% wish they had never been born. Those aged 18 to 23 are the most open to the gospel; the previously mentioned troubles that Japanese youth face explain their openness, but few actually become active believers. Student witness is one of the most strategic for the future of the Church. There are more than 3 million tertiary students in over 1,200 campuses. KGK(IFES) works on 250 of these. CCCI has 90 missionaries and 47 national staff, Navigators has 65 workers. YWAM and AoG are also involved in student ministry.
The greying of Japan is a serious demographic challenge, now and in the future. But it also makes for a greater opportunity to share Jesus, as many search for spiritual peace. Christian nursing homes and hospices will be strategic; pray for more to be opened. Christian care workers are also going to be in high demand, creating a clear tentmaking/mission opportunity for believers from other nations, such as the Philippines.
For an additional 12 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.
The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Japan.