As tensions between China, Taiwan, and the US increase, Japan is engaging in a massive military expansion. Since 2016 three military bases have been built on a string of islands spread across the Eastern China Sea from the southern tip of Japan’s main islands all the way to Taiwan. Construction of a fourth base on another island is underway. Pray for wisdom for the Japanese military and government in the face of rising regional tensions. Speak out over this nation that God loves Japan (and all its neighboring nations) so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to bring salvation. Pray that this Gospel message will take root in Japan (The Bible, John 3:16).
An archipelago of 6,852 islands, Japan has the world’s third-largest economy and is a major donor to world crises. Three-quarters of the nation’s population lives in big cities, together with one of the world’s most aging populations has resulted in specific needs in rural areas as young people all move to the cities in search of work. A strong traditional core has been flanked by a progressive younger generation valuing Western culture and ideas. Japan suffers from a high suicide rate, the leading cause of death for those under 30. Fewer than two percent are Christian; it is still one of the world’s most secular nations. Seventy percent of Japanese identify with no personal religion, although most adhere to Shinto and Buddhist customs. This year Japan was rocked by the assassination of former prime minister, Shinzo Abe, during a campaign speech. The election was won by the new prime minister, Fumio Kishida.
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), received the President of Guinea Bissau, Umaro Embalo, at the State House, Abuja. The Bissau-Guinean leader was received by the President amidst ceremonial performances by the Presidential Brigade of Guards after which both leaders proceeded into a closed-door session. The leader’s visit comes one year after his administration was almost toppled in a foiled coup. Last year’s attempt was part of a resurging trend in West Africa. Pray that the meeting will strengthen the existing bilateral ties between the sisterly nations and the defense and promotion of democracy and its values throughout the sub-region, and the entire continent. Pray the oppressed will find shelter in God and protection in times of trouble and be saved (The Bible, Psalm 9:8-10).
Guinea-Bissau is one of the world’s poorest countries. It relies on revenues from raising a cashew crop to feed most families, and its economy depends greatly on foreign aid. Umaro Sissoco Embalo is the President of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau since 27 February 2020. Nuno Gomes Nabiam is the Prime Minister since 28 February 2020. Outside of the agricultural sector, the government struggles to pay its workers. There are suspicions that the country aids the Latin American cocaine trade as the narcotic reaches Europe. Freedom of religion exists in Guinea-Bissau; however, an animistic Islam dominates the greater culture, particularly in the north and east. Christianity sees greater success in the south and coastal regions. The country has the sixth highest mortality rate in the world. Illicit drug trafficking has grown almost unchecked, as the government has no coast guard, police have no cars available, and the navy has no boats for patrolling the North Atlantic shores.