Hundreds bid farewell to Japanese Journalist killed in Myanmar demonstrations

Oct 8, 2007 (AP), Hundreds of Myanmar expatriates in Japan joined family and friends at the funeral Monday of a Japanese journalist killed last month during the military crackdown in Yangon.

Kenji Nagai, 50, was among at least 10 people killed in the Sept. 26-27 crackdown when soldiers fired automatic weapons into a crowd of pro-democracy demonstrators.

Nagai, a video-journalist, was working for the Japanese news agency APF News.

He is believed to have died from blood loss caused by at least one bullet penetrating his kidney, according to Japanese police.

Hundreds of Myanmar people were among the mourners who filed into a Tokyo funeral hall amid a steady downpour to pay Nagai their last respects.

"As a Burmese, I would like to express our heartfelt apologies, sorrow and embarrassment to the family of Nagai and people of Japan," said Mathida Win Kyan, 40, a political exile residing in Japan.

Last Wednesday, Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura said that Japan – Myanmar's largest aid donor – was preparing to suspend assistance to Myanmar in response to Nagai's death.

Japan had around 5,300 Myanmar citizens as of December 2005, according to Foreign Ministry data, though scholars and activists say the number may be higher if illegal residents are taken into account.

Leave a reply