Japan (MNN) — Japan faces a new wave of confirmed coronavirus cases as the government starts testing more people.
Many have referred to the April uptick as a second wave, the first happening in March, but Takeshi Takazawa of Asian Access views it as a delayed wave. Up until the beginning of April, Japan had not seen many cases, even though the virus first arrived in January. Read our full COVID-19 coverage here.
Takazawa says of active cases, “I think the number has been steadily growing. But our country decided to limit the PCR test to see [if people were] positive or negative.” Like most countries, Japan doesn’t currently have the hospital infrastructure to deal with an out-of-control coronavirus outbreak. The country has declared a nationwide state of emergency until May 6.
Japan’s social distancing measures had also been lax. Takazawa says:
“It’s been very difficult in dense cities like Tokyo or Osaka. We’re trying to do it. In the downtown business area, traffic has been reduced significantly. But in the residential area people are still walking around. Of course, we were a highly mask-wearing culture even before this COVID-19 situation, so people are wearing masks.”
As more and more people started exhibiting symptoms, Takazawa says, the Japanese government had to start testing more people. As they did, the number of confirmed cases went up, simulating a “second wave.”
Impacts to ministry
Asian Access works to unify the Church in Japan and other parts of Asia. Takazawa says:
“This situation took away that luxury of being together as a community. So we have to change our strategy from face to face to distant connectedness. So, we’ve been shifting almost everything online at this moment.”
How can ministry be done without physical presence? That is a philosophical shift the Church is going through, Takazawa says. One thing is certain; the love of the Holy Spirit casts out fear. That is needed in Japan and all over the world.
Pray for Japan
Christians in the United States are united with Christians in Japan through the Holy Spirit. Pray for your brothers and sisters in Japan as they face the increased social distancing measures for the first time. Pray that they will not panic but will encourage others through their fearless commitment to Christ.
And remember that Christians in Japan are doing the same thing. Takazawa says:
“We are remembering other countries, like New York’s situation and other states that [have] increasing cases. We are praying for the leaders, medical staff, and all these brothers and sisters in North America.”
For the PrayerCast coronavirus video, click here.
Listen to the broadcast: (top story)
- This story by Kevin Zeller was originally published on 22-Apr-2020 by Mission Network News:
- Download the audio file: https://s3.amazonaws.com/a2-media/audio/4-5min-Apr22-2020.mp3
- Image credits:
- Header image: Novel Coronavirus Expert meeting in Japan. This was the first meeting on February 16. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
- Left inset 1: Near-empty streets in Japan. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
- Right inset 2: Poster from Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
Mission Network News exists to inform multitudes about stories that matter and empowers them to take action that changes lives. Join over 1 million radio and internet users each day. Hear stories of what God is doing around the world – and how you can be involved. Each MNN broadcast includes pray, give or go opportunities that help you find your place in the story. Sign up at mnnonline.org to receive daily news in your inbox. Or check out MNN on social media and share them with others. MNN is a ministry of OneWay Ministries.