Assemblies of God are opening the way to Japan’s 126 million people, of whom only one percent claim to be Christian. Through the universities, in which 3 million students study at 1,200 campuses, AG hopes to evangelize this land that is in need of the Gospel.
U.S. A/G missionary Joyce Kitano, stationed in Japan since 1989, believes that the “key to opening up Japan to the gospel” lies in the youth. The ages of 20-24 are statistically prime for Japanese to be evangelized, as almost half of all Japanese Christians are baptized at that age. Kitano comments that “the chance of [Japanese] becoming a Christian drops dramatically” after graduation.
In 1997, Kitano opened a Chi Alpha Bible study at the University of Tokyo, with the help of British AG missionary Jackie Brock and U.S. missionary associates. Using Bible studies, English language classes, "Book of Hope" distribution and outreaches, Chi Alpha has opened 21 ministries, and continues to grow.
“We were searching for something," says Minako Suehiro, a former university student who helped to start Chi Alpha at Keio University in Tokyo. Suehiro is currently preparing for full-time ministry at her local church. Progress of ministry is not as rapid in Japan as in other nations, but Japanese students have revealed interest in the Bible, and are committing to Christ in greater numbers than before.