'I Tell Them About Jesus' Love': As Japan's Suicide Rate Soars, Christians Offer a Reason to Live
- [Lucille] Aiko Kudou stillfinds it hard to believe
that her childhoodfriend committed suicide.
- [Translator] How canhe take his own life
and leave behind his family in misery?
He got depressed when hismother did not approve
the school of his choice.
He ran away from home.
After three days, he wasfound dead in a park restroom.
He cut his wrists and bled to death.
- The suicide rate among young Japanese
has risen to its highestlevel in three decades.
According to the Ministry of Education,
250 elementary and high school students
committed suicide last year.
Reports say that, based onthe notes left by these kids,
bullying is the main reason that push them
to end their life.
- [Translator] Being part of a group
is very important in our culture,
and that is why if the childis different physically,
he is always bullied.
- [Lucille] Pastor Miyahara says
people who take this routeoften lack purpose in life.
Throughout history, Japan haslacked a dominant religion.
Religion is perceived as tradition,
not a way to find purpose,
and religion is not a priority.
Japanese seek other ways for fulfillment.
Mina Kuboi give free hugs atthe Shibuya train station.
- I give free hugs becauseI want people to relax.
- [Lucille] When askedwhat she knows about Jesus.
- Jesus, um...
- Do you think religion is important?
- Yes, but for me, it's not important.
- [Lucille] Less than 1%of Japanese population
This is why Pastor Miyahara is committed
to share the gospel.
He preaches outside thetrain station each day
as people head home from work.
- [Translator] Jesus commandedme to share the gospel
and that's what I do.
Some stop and have a conversation with me.
That's when I tell them about Jesus' love
and sacrifice for them.
And I also get the opportunityto lead them to prayer.
- [Lucille] PastorMiyahara believes Christ
can solve the suicide problem
by helping desperate people find hope
and a reason to live.
Lucille Talusan, CBN News, Tokyo.