Video Camera of Japanese Journalist Killed in Myanmar Returned to Family after 15 Years

Noriko Ogawa, Nagai’s sister, receives the lost video camera from Aye Chan Naing of the Democratic Voice of Burma in Bangkok on Wednesday.

BANGKOK — The video camera being used by video journalist Kenji Nagai when he was shot dead by Myanmar security forces while covering an antigovernment street protest in September 2007 was returned to his family on Wednesday.

The camera contains what appears to be footage of Nagai’s reporting of the protest against the military junta just before he was shot. Nagai was 50 at the time.

The camera was obtained by the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB), an independent media organization, and a representative handed it over to Nagai’s younger sister, Noriko Ogawa, in Bangkok.

The DVB provided The Yomiuri Shimbun with the footage that had remained in the camera. It is about five minutes long, and shows a gathering of monks and civilians in central Yangon singing in protest. A group of uniformed troops arrives on the scene, and Nagai is heard saying, “Military trucks with heavily armed troops have arrived.” The footage then ends abruptly.

The Myanmar military junta never admitted that the camera existed and refused to respond to requests by Nagai’s family for its return.

Aye Chan Naing, chief editor of DVB, did not disclose how the organization got hold of the camera for security reasons, but he said the video clip showed the tense atmosphere and Nagai’s bravery. He added he felt relieved that he could return the camera to Nagai’s family.

“See the images of my brother shortly before he was killed is disturbing and sad,” Ogawa, 63, told The Yomiuri Shimbun. “Still, it was good to be able to see him.” She added that she take the footage to an expert for analysis.