Asian Access Stands in the Gap as Depression and Suicide Rates Skyrocket in Japan

2020 Tokyo Olympics commemorative coin.
(Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Support for the Tokyo Olympics just hit a new low in Japan. The latest spike in Tokyo’s COVID-19 infections has 80-percent of Japanese residents saying the Summer Games should be rescheduled again, or canceled altogether.

“People have different feelings. Some [are] saying, ‘it’s impossible so let’s give up’; [the] government hasn’t,” Takeshi Takazawa explains. Takazawa is Vice President for Strategic Engagement and is the former National Director of A2/Japan for Asian Access.

Asian Access had high hopes for Olympic outreach, but those plans were put on hold last spring. For now, leaders focus on more pressing needs – stemming the rising depression and suicide rates in Japan.

Tokyo Olympics and mental health

With fewer than 200 days remaining before Tokyo Olympics begin, authorities say everything will go forward as planned. However, uncertainty remains high and sadness often follows canceled plans.

Depression rose 477-percent among professional athletes between mid-March and August last year, one study foundAthletes and sports enthusiasts aren’t the only ones who struggle. Depression and suicide rates skyrocketed in Japan, too.

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Katey Hearth


  • Ask God to give believers the right words as they share Christ’s hope with hurting individuals online.
  • Pray for wisdom for Japanese church leaders as they navigate changing regulations.

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