We are mostly working in the Kinki area (Kansai – central part of Japan), which has Osaka, Kyoto, Shiga, Nara, Hyogo, Wakayama and Mie prefectures. This area is the second most populated area in Japan after Kanto (Area around Tokyo and Yokohama), and is a very historical area in Japan. Wec Japan started the work in the Shiga prefecture and moved to Kyoto and Nara. Recently we have started to work in Osaka and Hyogo as well. We want to focus on planting new churches in the areas that are both strategic and under-churched, while we also supporting the churches that are in need through a health way of partnering.
Shiga has the third largest Buddhist population in Japan. It was originally an agricultural industry area, but agriculture has been decreasing, and other business and industries have starting growing. However, the southern part of Shiga is becoming a suburb for commuting to Kyoto and Osaka. We are working closely with the SFDK (churches` group Wec missionaries planted) in a partnership. We have workers engaged in both planting churches and supporting other churches as needed. The SFDK currently has 10 churches. Wec Japan has a HQ and retreat center in Shiga.
Kyoto prefecture includes both rural areas and cities. Since Kyoto city was the capital city in Japan for a thousand years, it is a very traditional area and has a lot of temples and shrines, including more than 40 headquarters of various Buddhist sects. Kyoto has a lot of universities so it is good field for reaching university students. We have one recent church plant in Yamashina. Our new workers usually stay in Kyoto while they are learning Japanese. We are now praying for a new office in Kyoto for mobilization and for accommodating guests.
Osaka city is the third largest city in Japan. As it was built on commerce, it has a merchant mentality, strongly looking towards benefits and realism. Osaka prefecture has 32 other cities as well. Our workers are starting new church planting in the North-East part of the Osaka prefecture – in cities such as Takatsuki, Hirakata and Ibaraki. We also have one worker in Hyogo, partnering with a Japanese church.