Japanese in Indonesia

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

Before World War II, few Japanese lived in Indonesia. When Japan invaded and took over Indonesia in 1942, the Japanese military and workers from Japanese companies came to Malaysia. After the war most of these Japanese returned to Japan, though some remained to help the Indonesians fight off the Dutch colonialists who tried to re-establish control.

The Japanese in Indonesia speak Japanese at home and English and Bahasa Indonesian at work. Many resources are available in Japanese including a complete Bible, the Jesus Film and internet programs.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Today some Japanese people retire in Indonesia due to the low cost and warm weather. Also, Japanese businesspersons live in dozens of nations throughout the world. Japanese work in the manufacturing of electronics, banking and international trade. Many are managers and are among the most prosperous members of the countries of where they live. The poor in Indonesia sometimes resent the wealth and status of the Japanese living in their country.

The Japanese like to keep to themselves rather than mix with the Indonesians. Japanese parents strongly prefer than their children marry other Japanese, though there is some intermarriage. Today most Japanese young people choose their own spouses with the blessing of their parents. Monogamy is the norm for the Japanese. Most couples have a small number of children compared to Indonesian couples.

Most Japanese are Shinto Buddhists while most Indonesians are Muslims, creating a religious divide.

Most Japanese in Indonesia live in the major cities. Japanese day schools exist in several cities including Jakarta, the capital. Japanese parents want their children to attend top universities in Japan, Europe or the USA. The Japanese like to live in high rise flats near Japanese or international schools.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Most Japanese are followers of Buddhism and Shintoism. Other Japanese are secular and claim no religion at all. Shintoism is the native religion of Japan. It is rooted in animism (belief that non-living objects have spirits). Its many gods or spirits are known as kami. Buddhism was introduced to Japan in the sixth century. Today, most Japanese claim to be both Shinto and Buddhist. Traditions of Shintoism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism have all contributed to Japanese religious principles: a reverence for ancestors; a belief in religious continuity of the family; a close tie between the nation and religion; a free exchange of ideas among religious systems; and religious practices centered on the use of prayer meditation, amulets, and purification. Unlike many Asian peoples, there has been only a minimal movement to Christ among the Japanese. Many Japanese are proud of their wealth and traditions, and see little need for the forgiveness from sins that Christ offers.

What Are Their Needs?

Japanese in Japan and Indonesia must see themselves as sinners. They must understand that pursuit of money and materialism will not bring them the peace and personal meaning they seek. Many Japanese are indifferent to and skeptical of established religions. On the outside, they seem to have few needs. However, many have become obsessed with materialistic pleasures, careers, and possessions. Their greatest need is to be introduced to the Father through His Son, Jesus.

Materialism is a poor substitute for spiritual needs. Many Japanese have lost sight of their true spiritual needs, which can only be met by Jesus Christ.

Prayer Points

Ask the Lord to call laborers to go to Indonesia and share Christ with the Japanese there.

Pray that Christian businessmen will have open doors to share the Gospel with the Japanese.

Pray the Lord leads the Japanese in Indonesia to read the Bible and listen to Christian radio programs.

Ask the Lord to raise up a church among the Japanese in Indonesia in the decade.

Scripture Prayers for the Japanese in Indonesia.



Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Japanese
People Name in Country Japanese
Pronunciation jae-puh-NEEZ
Alternate Names Ko; Nihonjin; Nikkei; Wa; Wajin; Yamato; जपानीस
Population this Country 14,000
Population all Countries 119,242,000
Total Countries 48
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 12322
ROP3 Code 104189
ROP25 Code 303334
ROP25 Name Japanese
Country Indonesia
Region Asia, Southeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 42  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Country Indonesia
Region Asia, Southeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 42  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)

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Ethnolinguistic map or other map

Primary Religion: Buddhism
Major Religion Percent
60.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.50 %)
2.30 %
Ethnic Religions
37.70 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Japanese (14,000 speakers)
Language Code jpn   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Japanese (14,000 speakers)
Language Code jpn   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Japanese

Primary Language:  Japanese

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1837-1992)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1879-1993)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1883-2018)
FCBH NT (www.bible.is) Online
YouVersion NT (www.bible.com) Online
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio Jesus Film Project
Film / Video God's Story video God's Story
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Japanese Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Love letter to you from scripture Father's Love Letter
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels Bible Media Group/LUMO
Film / Video Magdalena video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video My Last Day video, anime Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Rock International: King of Glory Rock International
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children Jesus Film Project
Film / Video The Hope Video Mars Hill Media
Film / Video World Christian Videos World Christian Videos
General Bible for Children Bible for Children
General Biblical answers to your questions Got Questions Ministry
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Four Spiritual Laws Campus Crusade for Christ
General Scripture Earth Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
General YouVersion Bible versions in text and/or audio YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App Android Bible app direct APK download SIL
Mobile App Android Bible app: Japanese YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App iOS Bible app: Japanese YouVersion Bibles
Text / Printed Matter Bible Gateway scripture Bible Gateway
Text / Printed Matter Cartoon Gospel tract General / Other
Photo Source N-Y-C - Pixabay 
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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