While other countries battle rising COVID-19 cases, Japan is seeing a different kind of spike – suicides.
More people in Japan have died by suicide in 2020 than from COVID-19. In fact, their suicide numbers in October alone outnumbered the nation’s total COVID-19 deaths in the first 11 months of the year.
One of the reasons for the rise in suicides is because Japan has a very group-oriented culture. Belonging to a group – whether it’s a family, a workplace, or some kind of community – and functioning within that group is incredibly important.
Pandemic shutdowns and solitary quarantines can cut individuals off from their group identity. As a result, many Japanese people are dealing with severe depression and anxiety.
Takeshi Takazawa with Asian Access says even online tools like social media and Zoom aren’t the same. “I’m talking with you now even though we’re miles apart, but this is a little bit different from face-to-face group talking [and] processing, and that is challenging for us and especially younger people who need heavy connection.”
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Lyndsey Koh
CALL TO ACTION
- Pray for the people of Japan to find their hope and belonging in Christ alone.
- Ask God to comfort Japanese young people dealing with depression and anxiety.
- Pray for the Japanese Church to be the hands and feet of Jesus.