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  • Former Nozomi Project worker turns to Christ

    Header image is a representative stock photo courtesy of dep377/Pixabay.

    Japan (MNN) — Japan remains a challenging spiritual battleground, but Gospel workers say the Lord IS moving in the island nation.

    “A lot of fear permeates the culture here: fear of natural disasters, fear of war, fear of the virus,” Eric Takamoto with Asian Access says.

  • South Korean cult poses problems in Japan

    Header image depicts a Unification Church facility in Seto, Japan. (Wikimedia Commons)

    Japan (MNN) — Deadly details emerge in Japan. The man accused of killing former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is reportedly undergoing extensive mental health tests before prosecution can proceed.

  • Abe assassination mars 2022 Japan elections

    Header image depicts former Prime Minister Shinzō Abe bowing during a 2020 press conference announcing his resignation. (Wikimedia Commons)

    Japan (MNN) — Victory is bittersweet for Japan’s newly-elected leaders following the assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzō Abe. Abe’s assassination is the first of a sitting or former Prime Minister since 1932.

  • Asian Access passes baton to Japanese leadership

    A2Japan 2022 May OFI group e1654527179474

    Japan (MNN) — Asian Access has officially passed the baton of ministry in Japan to the Japanese leadership.

  • Japan quake triggers trauma

    The map shows areas affected by Wednesday’s earthquake.

    Japan (MNN) — Authorities warn residents of northeast Japan to prepare for potentially strong aftershocks in the days to come. A 7.4-magnitude earthquake rocked the region on Wednesday night, killing a handful of people and wounding hundreds.

  • Home church: the new norm in Japan?

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    Japan (MNN) — In January 2020, a group of believers in Japan lost their church building. Little did they know, God would use their “temporary solution” as a growth point when the pandemic turned the world upside-down.

  • Tokyo Olympics: the catalyst to change in Japan?

    Header image courtesy of Dick Thomas Johnson/Wikimedia Commons.

    Japan (MNN) — The 2020 Tokyo Olympics are officially underway following today’s Opening Ceremony. Delayed by the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the Games will run through August 8th. See a full schedule here. The Tokyo Paralympics begin August 24th.

  • Japan lifts state of emergency, debates Olympics attendance

    header image is a stock photo courtesy of Alex Smith/Unsplash.

    Japan (MNN) — Will there be any fans in the stands at next month’s Tokyo Olympics? Event organizers could announce their decision as early as today.

  • COVID-19 overwhelms hospitals throughout Asia

    Header image is a representative stock photo courtesy of S&B Vonlanthen/Unsplash.

    Asia (MNN) — An “explosion” of COVID-19 cases is pushing hospitals across Asia to the edge of collapse, the International Federation of the Red Cross warns. Asian nations reported over 5.9 million new infections in the past two weeks – more than the combined totals of all other regions.

  • Playbooks outline new restrictions, requirements for 2020 Tokyo Olympics

    Header image is a graphic obtained from Wikimedia Commons.

    Japan (MNN) — Playbooks released yesterday introduce new COVID-19 restrictions and requirements ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The guidelines limit participants’ movement and require more testing.

  • Japan prohibits international spectators for Olympics

    The header photo shows cherry blossoms in Japan. (Photo courtesy of Kanenori on Pixabay)

    Japan (MNN) — As cherry blossoms bloom across Japan, the country has barred international spectators from the rescheduled 2021 Summer Olympics due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic. 600,000 people bought tickets to watch the games in-person.

  • Today marks 10 years since 3.11 Triple Disaster in Japan

    small town in Japan abandoned after the triple disaster. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain)

    Japan (MNN) — On this day 10 years ago, a triple disaster rocked Japan. A 9.0 magnitude earthquake sent a tsunami hurtling into the Fukushima nuclear power plant. Three reactors melted down, spewing radioactive material into the air. Read a complete timeline of the disaster here.

  • 10 years after Fukushima disaster, 7.1 earthquake rocks Japan

    The header photo shows a radiation hotspot near Fukushima in 2012. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain)

    Japan (MNN) — Nearly ten years ago, a powerful 8.9 magnitude earthquake unleashed a massive tsunami near Fukushima, Japan. 20,000 people died and over 100,000 evacuated after three nuclear reactors suffered damage and melted down, releasing radioactive materials into the environment. Read more about the ongoing effects of the catastrophe here.

  • Survey says: no Tokyo Olympics in Summer 2021

    courtesy of Tokyo Organizing Committee

    Japan (MNN) — 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 Missional Engagement and is the former National Director for Asian Access in Japan.

  • COVID-19 surge puts Tokyo under state of emergency

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    Japan (MNN) — The world’s most populous city is now under a state of emergency thanks to soaring COVID-19 infections. Japan reported 6,100 new cases on Thursday, with roughly half coming from Tokyo. The emergency declaration began Friday and will end on February 7.“

    Over the Christmas into New Year’s holidays, we couldn’t change the trend of steep [infection] increases, especially in the bigger cities. Hokkaido and Osaka requested ‘state of emergency’-type restrictions; however, Tokyo never went into that stage,” Takeshi Takazawa explains.

  • Suicide killing more people in Japan than COVID-19

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    Pandemic challenges Japan’s group-oriented culture

    Japan (MNN) — 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.

  • US and other countries begin COVID-19 vaccine rollout

    Header image by Frauke Riether from Pixabay.

    Pfizer’s vaccine is 95% effective at preventing someone from catching COVID-19.

    Japan (MNN) — This week, the company Pfizer will deliver an estimated 2.9 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine to locations around the US. The UK has already begun using the vaccine, which was developed by the German company BioNTech.

    The vaccine was developed in under a year and uses new technology to vaccinate people against viruses. It needs to be kept at very cold temperatures, at least 70 degrees below zero Celsius.

  • Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe resigns

    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe; photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.Japan (MNN) — Friday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe resigned, citing chronic health concerns. Last year, he became Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, serving his current period in office since 2012. This isn’t the first time Mr. Abe has resigned as Japan’s prime minister for health reasons. He left a previous term in 2007 for similar chronic health reasons. Takeshi Takazawa of Asian Access says:

  • Asian Access overcomes pandemic restrictions, launches new programs

    South Asia (MNN) — So far, 2020 has been a memorable year for all the wrong reasons. Global events like the COVID-19 pandemic create an unpredictable atmosphere for ministry. But Joe Handley of Asian Access says there’s a bright spot amidst the chaos. Asian Access equips national church leaders to multiply churches and make disciples. “We had been planning for several years to do a digital media initiative to equip younger generations, as well as where the persecuted Church lies” in South Asia, Handley explains...

  • Japan finally social distancing after April COVID-19 wave

    Novel Coronavirus Expert meeting in Japan. This was the first meeting on February 16. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)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... 

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