Japanese in Malaysia

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

Before World War II, few Japanese lived in Malaysia. When Japan invaded and took over Malaysia in 1941, the Japanese military and workers from Japanese companies came to Malaysia. After the war most of these Japanese returned to Japan.

The Japanese in Malaysia speak Japanese at home and English and Malaysian at work. Many resources are available in Japanese including a complete Bible, the JESUS Film and radio programs.

Most Japanese live in or near Kuala Lumpur and in Selangor.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Today some Japanese people retire in Malaysia due to the low cost and warm weather. Also, Japanese businesspersons live in dozens of nations throughout the world. Many Japanese are managers in manufacturing (eg, the electronics industry) and are among the most prosperous members of the host countries. Often the poor resent their wealth and status. Wages are lower in Malaysia than in Japan.

The Japanese like to keep to themselves rather than mix with the Malaysians. There are Japanese day schools in several cities including Kuala Lumpur, the capital. Japanese parents want their children to attend top universities in Japan, Europe or the USA. The Japanese like to live in high rise flats near Japanese or international schools.

Japanese parents prefer than their children marry other Japanese. Today most Japanese young people choose their own spouses with the blessing of their parents. Monogamy is the norm for Japanese. Most Japanese couples have a small number of children compared to Malaysians.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Shintoism is the native religion of Japan. It is rooted in animism (belief that non-living objects have spirits). Its many gods or spirits are known as kami. Buddhism was introduced to Japan in the sixth century. Today, most Japanese claim to be both Shinto and Buddhist.

Traditions of Shintoism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism have all contributed to Japanese religious principles: a reverence for ancestors; a belief in religious continuity of the family; a close tie between the nation and religion; a free exchange of ideas among religious systems; and religious practices centered on the use of prayer, meditation, amulets, and purification. Unlike many Asian peoples, there has been only a minimal movement to Christ among the Japanese. Most Japanese are proud of their wealth and traditions, and few see their need for the salvation that Christ offers.

What Are Their Needs?

Japanese in Japan and Malaysia must see themselves as sinners. They must understand that pursuit of money and materialism will not bring them the peace and personal meaning they seek. Many Japanese are indifferent to and skeptical of established religion. However, many have become obsessed with materialistic pleasures, careers and possessions. Their greatest need is to be introduced to the Father through His Son, Jesus.

Prayer Points

Pray that the Japanese in Malaysia will realize they need a Savior, Jesus Christ.

Ask the Lord to call laborers to go to Malaysia and share Christ with the Japanese people there.

Pray that Christian businesspersons will have open doors to share the gospel with the Japanese.

Ask the Lord to raise up a church among the Japanese in Malaysia in this decade.

Scripture Prayers for the Japanese in Malaysia.


en.wikipedia.org/wiki/japanese migration to Malaysia

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Japanese
People Name in Country Japanese
Pronunciation jae-puh-NEEZ
Alternate Names Ko; Nihonjin; Nikkei; Wa; Wajin; Yamato; जपानीस
Population this Country 16,000
Population all Countries 119,242,000
Total Countries 48
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 4  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 12322
ROP3 Code 104189
ROP25 Code 303334
ROP25 Name Japanese
Country Malaysia
Region Asia, Southeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 49  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Country Malaysia
Region Asia, Southeast
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 49  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)

No people group map currently available. Use the above button to submit a map.

Primary Religion: Buddhism
Major Religion Percent
69.50 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.50 %)
1.50 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
5.00 %
Other / Small
24.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Japanese (16,000 speakers)
Language Code jpn   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Japanese (16,000 speakers)
Language Code jpn   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Japanese

Primary Language:  Japanese

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1837-1992)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1879-1993)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1883-2018)
FCBH NT (www.bible.is) Online
YouVersion NT (www.bible.com) Online
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio Jesus Film Project
Film / Video God's Story video God's Story
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Japanese Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Love letter to you from scripture Father's Love Letter
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels Bible Media Group/LUMO
Film / Video Magdalena video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video My Last Day video, anime Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Rock International: King of Glory Rock International
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children Jesus Film Project
Film / Video The Hope Video Mars Hill Media
Film / Video World Christian Videos World Christian Videos
General Bible for Children Bible for Children
General Biblical answers to your questions Got Questions Ministry
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Four Spiritual Laws Campus Crusade for Christ
General Scripture Earth Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
General YouVersion Bible versions in text and/or audio YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App Android Bible app direct APK download SIL
Mobile App Android Bible app: Japanese YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App iOS Bible app: Japanese YouVersion Bibles
Text / Printed Matter Bible Gateway scripture Bible Gateway
Text / Printed Matter Cartoon Gospel tract General / Other
Photo Source N-Y-C - Pixabay 
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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