Takuma Asano has paid tribute to those affected by an earthquake in Japan, which forced his country to cancel an international friendly against Chile scheduled for this Friday.

Japan were meant to face Chile in Hokkaido’s provincial capital Sapporo on Friday 7th September. However, a day before the game, a magnitude 6.7 earthquake hit Hokkaido, causing damage to streets and houses, around 300 injuries and at least nine deaths.

Neither the Chile squad nor the Japan squad were badly affected by the earthquake, although they certainly felt the consequences of it. Asano was with the team at the time, and posted an emotional message on Instagram later in the day.

“We pray for those who have died by the earthquake in Hokkaido and wish to express our sincere condolences to those who suffered damage,” he wrote. “We, the representatives of Japan, also felt that terrible (earthquake) on the pitch. Among them, I am sincerely thankful for staying safe.

“We can’t do anything seriously (to help), but I would like to do everything in my power to be a positive force, even if I am a micropower. Let’s work hard together!”

As a result of the disaster, Japan’s match against Chile had to be cancelled. In the grand scheme of things, that’s not really a major concern though. The most important thing is to wish those affected well, and be thankful Asano wasn’t caught up in it more seriously.

Japan’s next match is against Costa Rica on Tuesday, and hopefully the Arsenal loanee will have a chance to play a part.