At 82, and a spirited minister to world leaders, Harald Bredesen may be forgiven his excesses. Not only does he have a gift of the gab, but an enthusiasm for quoting so loudly from Scripture in public places that it turns heads. (In our hotel coffee shop, he has to be thrice shushed.)

As fit as a fiddle and with the energy of a man half his age, the founder and chairman of the Prince of Peace Foundation is newly flown in from Fiji. "I was talking with members of the government, suggesting a day of repentance, fasting and prayer to help resolve the problems between indigenous islanders and immigrant newcomers who largely run the place. There's fear of civil war."

He made Japan his next stop after Australia and Hong Kong through reading an article in Fortune magazine headlined, "Suicide in Osaka." It reports that the economy here is so bad that company executives are killing themselves. "That's terrible. I'm hoping to hold talks with Japanese leaders about the possibility of organizing a national day of prayer."