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Caritas Japan appeals to accompany people in prayer after earthquakes

More than 200 killed in strong earthquake in central Japan (Photo: ANSA)

The President of Caritas Japan, after explaining the ongoing difficulties faced by the Japanese after the deadly recent New Year’s earthquake that struck its west coast,  appealed for prayer for those affected as a form of accompaniment, according to Vatican News.

Bishop Daisuke Narui, SVD, of Niigata, citing reports, said the quake, which has an estimated magnitude of 7.6, has killed more than 200 people, injured more than 500, resulted in several aftershocks and subsequent earthquakes, and caused massive destruction.

Sub-zero temperatures and heavy snow and rain have obstructed the delivery of aid, leaving thousands with diminishing supplies and little information.

Thousands of people still lack water and electricity and have not been informed about the commencement of rebuilding plans.

Bishop Narui thanked the Holy Father for his empathy for the suffering Japanese people at this time and for emphasizing the power of prayer.  Pope Francis visited Japan in November 2019 and has somehow developed an affinity with the Japanese.

The Holy Father mourned the lives lost through a telegram he sent right after the quake disaster and when he spoke at his Wednesday General Audience.

He offered prayers for the earthquake's victims and rescuers and thought of the Tokyo rescue crew members who had perished in an airplane collision.

A Japan Airlines Airbus collided with a Coast Guard aircraft carrying emergency goods for earthquake-hit areas the day after the quake.  The collision has killed four of the five Coast Guard crew members onboard.

All 379 passengers and crew survived and quickly escaped the fiery crash in time through evacuation slides.

Caritas Japan is collaborating with the worldwide Caritas network on over 20 human development projects worldwide.

Caritas Japan General Secretariat in Tokyo employs five staff members who work closely with the 16 dioceses, staff, and thousands of volunteers to guide and coordinate activities.

There are at least 202 people confirmed dead, 102 missing, and 565 injured. More than 400 evacuation centers opened, and 28,000 people evacuated to those centers.

However, huge cracks have cut off the roads, isolating several people in their villages and towns.

Thus, it's deemed very important to accompany through other means of accompaniment, like prayer, because mental and spiritual strength is important in these trying moments, said Bishop Narui.

“I believe that prayer is very powerful, especially in such a difficult time,” he said, adding that it encourages the efforts of the people, as well as the people who want to support those affected.

Prayer also connects people around the world to accompany the affected people and victims. Bishop Narui said he experienced it during the great earthquake and tsunami in 2011, in Japan, because at the time, he was a director of Caritas Japan and was there in the near-epicenter area. He felt the power of prayer at a difficult time.

He said he hoped that people would not forget about the victims and accompany those affected people in Japan, not only for the rescue and emergency time but also for the rehabilitation and then the longer period.  (MTV)


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.