War Reporter Remains Inspired 10 Yrs after Death of Colleague


Tokyo, Aug. 19 (Jiji Press)--With Saturday marking a decade since the death of Japanese journalist Mika Yamamoto in Syria, fellow reporter Kazutaka Sato continues to cover conflicts around the globe based on their shared desire to let the world know the absurdity of war.

Yamamoto was 45 when she was killed on Aug. 20, 2012, while reporting on the Syrian civil war. She and Sato were in the northern city of Aleppo, in a group of four accompanying an armed anti-government organization as bomber planes flew overhead.

While interviewing passersby as part of their activities to cover the war, they were suddenly attacked by a government-affiliated militia unit. Sato was able to escape, but Yamamoto did not make it out alive.

Sato, now 66, is the head of independent news agency Japan Press, to which Yamamoto also belonged. On the slain journalist's desk at the agency's office in Tokyo's Suginami Ward, a coffee cup and writing utensils remain, as well as a sticky note with the words, "The presence of foreign journalists can help prevent the worst-case scenario. Deterrence."

"I don't want to put them away," Sato, who had been Yamamoto's partner, said in a sad tone.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press