Introduction / History Few Japanese entered Belgium until the 1970s and 1980s. They are in various stages of enculturation. Some speak European languages fluently and interface with Europeans on a regular basis. Others prefer to remain in their Japanese communities.
Where are they located? Most Japanese in Belgium live in Auderghen, a section of Brussels. That is the location of a Japanese school called the Japanese School of Brussels, established in 1979. Families can make sure their children remain connected with Japan's deep culture. One street in Brussels is named "Avenue Nippone," roughly translated "Japanese Avenue." The Japanese community is also centered around Avenue Louise.
What are their lives like? There are a number of businesses in Brussels that cater to Japanese clients. There are four Japanese supermarkets and 10 Japanese restaurants near the Japanese School of Brussels.
Major Japanese companies like Toyota have a presence in Belgium. Though they usually don't expect to stay in Belgium for long periods of time, the Japanese make an attempt to learn either English or French, two key trade languages in Europe.
The Japanese in Belgium do not have a problem with poverty or unemployment. They highly value education.
What are their beliefs? In Japan, most people are pragmatic about spiritual matters. They often perform Buddhist rituals, especially at funerals, because they believe this will provide the departed with a better afterlife. Japanese spirituality is a blend of Buddhism and Shintoism. As a general rule, the Japanese are secular, and they do not seek a personal relationship with any deity or spirit being. They view the spirit world as something to be appeased in order to gain favor. Many Japanese do not take their spiritual lives very seriously.
What are their needs? The Japanese in Belgium are secure in regards to their physical needs, but they have spiritual needs that only Jesus can address. They need to humbly ask Jesus Christ to provide them with the abundant life, which they think they can enjoy through material goods.
Prayer Points * Pray that the Japanese in Belgium will find the need for a personal relationship with a holy, all-good God.
* Pray that those who stay in Belgium will have the chance to meet Christ-followers who love Him, and want His Name glorified among the Japanese.
* Pray for a church planting movement among the Japanese in Belgium that will spread to Japan.