Displaying items by tag: Japan

Thursday, 13 October 2022 20:18

USA / Philippines / Japan: military drills

2,500 US stealth fighters and Philippine marines have blasted imaginary enemies in combat drills, mock amphibious assaults, and other coastal tactics. These drills were the first joint large-scale military exercise under the newly elected president. His predecessor was an outspoken critic who threatened to cut ties with Washington and was against military exercises which could offend Beijing. Held simultaneously with these drills were exercises between US and Japanese forces around Hokkaido island, involving 3,000 military personnel. The USA said the drills ensured that it was ‘prepared to respond rapidly to crises throughout the Indo-Pacific’. Japan’s Ground Self-Defence Force said they would strengthen response capabilities. These drills came as Washington and Beijing engage in heated rhetoric over the status of Taiwan and claims to islands and waters in the South China Sea. See the next article, Taiwan billionaire.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 28 July 2022 22:14

Japan: economically rich but gospel-poor

127 million Japanese enjoy low crime and great wealth but face changes due to population decline and ageing. By 2060 there could be 40 million fewer Japanese, and 40% of them will be over 65. Buddhism and Shintoism are soaked into the culture with widely practised rituals. But few identify as Shinto or Buddhist, preferring to be non-religious or atheist. As the population shrinks, faddish religious trends have started. Everything is mixed: Santa Claus, gospel-music choirs, Shinto shrines. Christianity is followed by 0.5% of the population; it was established by missionaries 500 years ago. The church has known 17th-century persecution and post-WW2 Protestant growth, but struggles to make an impact and battles internally with formalism and cultural relevance. But we can praise God for the Japanese Christians and pastors who persevere despite all their discouragements.

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 01 July 2022 15:07

Japan: Worst heatwave since 1875

Japan is sweltering under its worst heatwave for almost 150 years. The city of Isesaki, northwest of the capital, saw a record 40.2C - the highest temperature ever recorded for Japan. There are official warnings of a looming power shortage and calls for people to conserve energy where possible. But the government is still advising people to use air conditioning to avoid heatstroke as cases of hospitalisation rise with the heat. Meteorologists warn the heat will continue in the coming days. Pray for the elderly and those with heart disease. In the heat blood vessels open up, leading to lower blood pressure. The heart works harder to push the blood around the body which could lead to a heart attack. Weather officials warn the heat is likely to continue in the coming days. See also

Published in Worldwide

On 25 May North Korea test-fired at least two ballistic missiles, just a day after Joe Biden left the region. One flew about 300 km, the other 750 km: they were the latest in a flurry of such launches in 2022. Japan’s defence minister said they were ‘unacceptable’, and South Korea called them ‘a grave provocation’.' Mr Biden visited both those countries, and agreed with the South Korean president to hold bigger military drills and deploy more US strategic assets if necessary, to deter North Korea’s intensifying weapons test.' He said that the USA was ‘prepared for anything North Korea does’.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 16 September 2021 21:19

North Korea fires more missiles

North Korea launched two ballistic missiles into waters off its eastern coast on 15 September. South Korea and US intelligence are analysing details about the launches. The missiles landed outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone, in the waters between Japan and the Korean peninsula. Prime minister Yoshihide Suga called the firings absolutely outrageous, threatening the peace and safety of Japan and the region. He said, ‘Our government is determined to step up our vigilance and surveillance to be prepared for any contingencies.’ The firings came just two days after North Korea tested a newly developed missile capable of hitting targets 930 miles away. North Korea has ignored Washington’s offers to resume negotiations to abandon its nuclear programme.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 02 September 2021 21:38

Japan: huge army of under-employed ex-housewives

There are many smart, educated women who could drive Japan out of its economic slump to a stunning economic recovery, but the rigid hiring system and male-dominated leadership block women from the best-paid jobs. Japan risks becoming a nation of bored housewives with university degrees. Parliament declared it would significantly increase the number of women in leadership by 2020, but the deadline quietly came and went without getting close to its target. Critics believe the aim had little to do with women thriving at work and more to do with an acute need for workers. The working-age population has been rapidly shrinking since the 1990s. Many women are stuck in part-time or dead-end roles which pay 40% lower than men. Companies are reluctant to have more women in their workforces, but the drive for change could come from international companies hiring graduates with gender equality.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 19 August 2021 22:00

Honouring Christ at the Olympics

For Christians there were many precious moments at the Olympics that were little reported by mainstream media. Olympians from across the nations were committed Christians and quick to publicly give glory to the King of Kings. When the Fiji rugby team won a gold medal, they formed a circle in the centre of the field and burst forth in a rendition of a gospel hymn; ‘We have overcome by the blood of the lamb in the Word of the Lord, we have overcome’. Also, British swimmer Daniel Jervis, who came fifth in the men’s 1500m freestyle, was quick to praise God: ‘The thing I’m most proud of in my life is that I’m a Christian, and obviously God was with me tonight, and I’m just really grateful to be representing Him’.

Published in Praise Reports
Thursday, 19 August 2021 21:19

Japan: can the Paralympics bring lasting change?

The Paralympic Games open in Tokyo on 24 August, with over 4,000 disabled athletes from around the world. Ahead of the event, the International Paralympic Committee is launching a campaign called 'Wethe15'. Wethe15 is sport’s biggest ever human rights movement to end discrimination. It aims to transform the lives of 1.2 billion persons with disabilities, representing 15% of the global population. Figures show that many disabled people live in poverty, struggling to access education and employment. Wethe15 plans to initiate change by bringing together the biggest ever coalition of international organisations from sport, human rights, policy, communications, business, arts and entertainment. It will build greater knowledge of the barriers and discrimination persons with disabilities face daily at all levels of society. By doing so it wants to break down these barriers so that all persons with disabilities can fulfil their potential and be active and visible members of an inclusive society.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 05 August 2021 21:33

Japan: Tokyo’s hidden homeless

When a country holds the Olympic Games, there is often a redevelopment of parts of the host city. Hundreds of homeless people in Tokyo were given eviction notices even though they have nowhere to go. Metropolitan officials cleared the area of homeless people before the Olympics, and are still doing it during the games. A 62-year-old homeless man said an official approached him on 8 July to tell him, ‘Remove your belongings by 21 July; they are creating obstacles for the Olympics’. According to a Tokyo-based support group, authorities have taken tougher approaches against homeless people since Tokyo was named the host city of 2020 Olympics. Parks are now locked and lit up at night to discourage the homeless from sleeping there. There were 1,126 homeless living in parks in Tokyo in January 2019, but only 862 in 2020. The whereabouts of the 264 is unknown. Tokyo's homeless are experiencing extreme pressure to hide.

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 23 July 2021 09:42

Japan: Olympic Games - state of emergency

The director of the Olympics opening ceremony was dismissed for making jokes in the 1990s about the Holocaust. Earlier this week, a composer quit the ceremony team after it emerged he had bullied classmates with disabilities at school. In March the Olympics' creative chief quit after suggesting that plus-size comedian Naomi Watanabe could appear as an ‘Olympig’. In February the head of the organising committee had to step down after he made inappropriate remarks about women. The scandals have increased massive unease about the Games. A recent poll found 55% of Japanese were opposed to holding the Games, fearing it could become a coronavirus super-spreader event. Already, organisers are dealing with rising Covid cases. Dozens involved in the Games, including officials and athletes, have tested positive. An increase in cases among Japan's population - only a third of whom have been vaccinated - has led to a state of emergency being declared for the duration of the Games.

Published in Worldwide
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