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Asian Access addressing Japan's crisis

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JAPAN ( MNN ) ― Japan's debt crisis could mirror that of Greece. For the last two decades, the government has been spending more and borrowing more from its citizens to compensate. As a result, Japan's debt-to-GDP ratio is the largest in the world.

A new report shows that the financial distress is having an impact on mental health and well-being. It reveals a 2.9 percent increase in suicides in 2007, which means Japan is the most suicide-prone country in the developed world.   

The new trend: adults in the prime of their lives are most at risk of suicide. Why? Work-related depression is emerging as a significant factor, among others.

A failing economy is pushing up the suicide rate to epidemic proportions. Couple this with a latch-key/shut-in children problem and a disintegrating family unit, and the future for this nation is grim. 

Joe Handley with Asian Access says God has called them to respond specifically. "Ultimately, our vision is to expand the ministry, collaborate broadly with other churches throughout Japan, identify Japanese churches that have a vision for church multiplication, send more missionaries to the country, and finally, work in holistic ministries throughout the land." 

Now that they've defined a problem and have a plan, there's a lot of excitement and hope. Handley says they're still working out the details. "We're just on the verge of launching a whole new effort, but we're not quite ready to announce our plan. That will be coming out over the next few months."

It's a big endeavor that needs prayer. "Pray that God will provide the resources necessary to do this kind of expansion."

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