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AsiaCurrent

Tributes have been pouring in for Japanese doctor killed in Afghanistan

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AsiaCurrent

Tributes have been pouring in for Japanese doctor killed in Afghanistan

After his tragic killing on Wednesday, tributes have been pouring in from Afghans across the country, holding vigils for the slain doctor while commemorating his life and dedication to helping those most in need.

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After his tragic killing on Wednesday, tributes have been pouring in from Afghans across the country, holding vigils for the slain doctor while commemorating his life and dedication to helping those most in need.

Beloved Japanese doctor and humanitarian aid worker Tetsu Nakamura, 73, was shot and killed in the city of Jalalabad in Afghanistan on Wednesday, much to the shock of Afghans across the country and Japanese back home. Five Afghans were also reportedly killed in the attack, when assailants shot at the car he was in while on his way to monitor a project in eastern Afghanistan. No one has of yet claimed responsibility.

TOLO News

Dr. Nakamura established and headed the non-governmental organization Peace Japan Medical Services (PMS), which started in 1986 when he moved to Afghanistan and opened a small hospital clinic in a remote village in Nangarhar.

Famed and loved by local Afghans for his charity work, Dr. Nakamura also spearheaded the construction of wells and irrigation in remote villages, where many had suffered from diseases such as cholera because of a lack of clean water. Beginning in 2008, Nakamura was also in charge of helping build local schools in parts of remote Afghanistan.

In October of this year, Dr. Nakamura was awarded honorary Afghan citizenship by the government for his humanitarian work of more than 30 years. After his tragic killing on Wednesday, tributes have been pouring in from Afghans across the country, holding vigils for the slain doctor while commemorating his life and dedication in helping those most in need.

TOLO News

In a video uploaded on TOLO news, famous Pashtun singer Haroon Bacha paid tribute to the slain doctor in a touching video, singing in remembrance of Dr. Nakamura and his work in Afghanistan.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan also condemned the attack on the doctor, expressing its “revulsion” at the killing and “senseless act of violence” that resulted in the deaths of Dr. Nakamura as well as five other Afghan aid workers.

Born and raised in Fukuoka in Japan, Dr. Nakamura once famously told The Japan Times what his principles were when it came to helping those who needed assistance in places like Afghanistan as a foreigner himself:

I’ve tried to make no enemies…The best way is to befriend everyone, even if that makes people think I lack principles. Because the people are the only thing I can depend on there. And that’s surprisingly more effective than carrying a gun.”

In remembrance of Dr. Nakamura and his heroic acts, let us be inspired and determined more than ever to commit ourselves to the pursuit of human rights and dignity for all who are suffering under conditions of war or oppression. People like Nakamura, who bridged the gap of language, culture, and religion, should be celebrated not only as an inspiring humanitarian worker, but as a profound example of what we should all aim to be as human beings in a shared world: selfless, dedicated, and passionate towards helping those most in need.

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