Afghans Remember Japanese Doctor 1 Year after Killing

The Yomiuri Shimbun
An executive of a social welfare group that organized a memorial ceremony for Tetsu Nakamura stands next to a photograph of the doctor in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, on Friday.

TEHRAN — A memorial ceremony was held for Japanese doctor Tetsu Nakamura in eastern Afghanistan on Friday, one year after he was killed in the country.

About 50 people attended the ceremony in Jalalabad, Nangarhar Province, to honor Nakamura, who was serving as a local representative of the nongovernmental organization Peshawar-kai when he was killed at age 73.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani released a statement Friday, saying, “I extend my profound sympathies to his respected family, the government and the people of Japan.”

On Dec. 4, 2019, Nakamura was fatally shot by an armed group when he was traveling to a site where the NGO provided agricultural support. Local authorities have yet to capture the seven suspected perpetrators.

Nakamura had worked on the construction of an about 25-kilometer irrigation channel in the province together with local farmers and others since 2003, as Afghanistan had been hit by several severe droughts.

Attendees at the ceremony, including residents who were close to Nakamura, talked about their memories of the Japanese humanitarian and also called for a resolution of the murder case.

“Villagers are now able to cultivate fields thanks to the irrigation channel,” said a 42-year-old tribal leader from the province who attended the ceremony. “When there was a problem, everyone talked to Mr. Nakamura. He was loved by everyone.”