Global Ministry Fields
Background on Japan
Government: parliamentary government with a constitutional monarchy
Population: 127 million – Japanese 98.5%, Koreans 0.5%, Chinese 0.4%, other 0.6% (Total adherents exceeds 100% because many people practice both Shintoism and Buddhism.)
Religion: Shintoism 83.9%, Buddhism 71.4%, Christianity 2%, other 7.8%
FEBC in Japan
While our Japanese team produces our broadcasts in Tokyo, programming is aired daily from our Korea station (1566 AM), since national Japanese networks do not air religious programming.
While Japan’s official policy on religion suggests freedom of choice, the truth is quite different: those who attend a church are oftentimes ostracized by family and friends.
This is especially acute in a group-oriented society like Japan’s, where people make decisions based on the good of the group, not the individual. If someone belongs to a group out of the norm, such as Christianity, he is often cut off from familial attachments. This makes FEBC’s role all the more important, as we try to be both a teaching ministry and a worship service for a large number of listeners fearful of attending a church.
In spite of this stance, religion does not play an active role in the lives of most Japanese. Instead, they practice a cultural-based faith, rooted in rituals passed down from generation to generation.
Religious ceremonies are typically attended at 3 events: births, marriages, and funerals. The two main religions, Buddhism and Shintoism, do not involve a regular worship service. While Buddhism views earthly existence as transient and all human attachments as cumbersome, Shintoism believes all people are fundamentally good; evil spirits are the cause of problems.
Christianity comprises only 2% of the 127 million who live in Japan, and that includes both Catholics and Protestants. Part of the prejudice against Christianity is based on the fact that it is a Western religion, which does not fit in with the tradition-based Japanese culture.
Japan Ministry Highlights
FEBC-Japan produces radio programs from its studios in Tokyo, Japan. These programs are aired 75 minutes a day from a high power 300 kw medium wave transmitter on the island of Jeju in South Korea, which is strong enough to reach all of Japan. The Jeju Station is owned and operated by FEBC-Korea. FEBC’s broadcast is the only Christian radio that can be heard in Japan. Daily broadcasts can also be heard on FEBC-Japan’s website.
Other Support Ministries
FEBC-Japan developed a church/pastor visitation project 13 years ago, which involves staff visiting churches all over Japan and encouraging people who tune into their broadcasts. For those unfamiliar with the radio program, literature and CDs are provided.
Most of FEBC-Japan’s programs are distributed by MP3 discs for sale; demand is high because the program content is good quality.
In 2012, 6263 listeners called, emailed, or texted our offices in Japan.