In 1895 a small group of British officers arrived in Yokohama, Japan, to start the work of The Salvation Army. In spite of great difficulties, the ministry germinated and grew. Today the JapanTerritory is headquartered in Tokyo and has more than 80 officers and nearly 3,000 soldiers serving in 47 corps and 12 outposts in four divisions.
With more than 1,100 employees, the Army also administers two hospitals, three children’s homes, five day nurseries, two working men’s residences, two women’s residences, two residential rehabilitation centers, three older adult residences, a hostel and apartments for retired officers.
Since the devastating earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, The Salvation Army in Japan has focused heavily on relief work and meeting long-term needs. It has had many opportunities to show God’s love and care to people in need through this extended period of recovery, offering practical help and pastoral care.
The Salvation Army also facilitated the building of temporary shops in villages to stimulate local economies, and it supplied 30 boats to a fishing village that had lost most of its 150-vessel fleet.
With 98 percent of Japan’s 127 million people having Shinto and Buddhist beliefs, Japanese Salvationists have been focusing on sharing the gospel with family members, encouraging them to seek God. During a hospital visit, a corps officer led a man to Christ and was privileged to enroll him as a soldier only weeks before the man’s death.
Source: The Salvation Army Year Book and the CIA World Factbook