Japan is a 1st world country with many luxuries

The nation of Japan is full of people who are successful, intelligent, creative, healthy, and influential. The country is renowned for its education standards and practice and has one of the longest average lifespans. They have access to incredible technology that leads the world, and we in the US rely on their advancements a great deal. The country's mentality is very group focused (the needs of the many outweigh the few), and respect is paramount. 

One google image search away and you can see some of what makes Japan such a beautiful and incredible country. From mountaintops that break through the clouds and bamboo forests, the imagery is enough to make anyone awe. It is also home to one of the largest cities in the world, Tokyo, boasting a population of over 32 million people. To give perspective, the entire country of Japan has about 130 million people and is about the size of California, Arizona, and Oregon put together.

What then could a country that is so well off ever need?

The greatest lie is that all we need is money, success, or anything else of this earth. Yet the truth is just the opposite: all we ever need is faith in Christ, and everything else is just a poor and temporary substitute. Japan has bought this lie and it shows every 15 minutes. From about 15 years old to their mid-40s, the number one cause of death is by taking their own lives in suicide.

While Japan is indeed materialistically well off, spiritually it is very poor. The Japanese people are hard to reach due to their emotional disconnect, which creates a barrier in relationships and opportunities to share in the Gospel.  There is a flight from human intimacy built into this shame based culture where people are valued by their success. When they don’t measure up, there is no hope, only a void. With no support from others, the pressure often leads to a risk of suicide. With only 0.3% of any Christian faith, there is no one to reach out to. 

The Japanese people are within a dying population.  Not only are people taking their own lives, but the birth rate is also an issue.  The rate  is 1.3 children per woman, which is well below the replacement rate of 2.1.  The emotional disconnect followed with the Japanese negative mindset towards women, especially those who become pregnant, discourages marriage and starting families. Life is simply not appreciated as something that was given by and belongs to God.