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Obituaries

Tetsu Nakamura: Humanitarian who devoted his life to Afghanistan

Slain Japanese doctor wanted to 'shine light into dark corners'

Tetsu Nakamura in the Gamberi Desert, Afghanistan in 2008   © Kyodo

TOKYO -- Tetsu Nakamura, the recently slain Japanese doctor and head of Peace Japan Medical Services, spent decades in Afghanistan rebuilding the war-torn country's irrigation and agriculture systems.

I spent two days with Nakamura last summer, trying to get to know the man who had dedicated his life to helping the Afghan people. When asked what motivated him to work in Afghanistan for three decades, Nakamura smiled shyly and said: "I think everybody has something to do as a human being, but expressing it out loud is embarrassing, particularly for a guy from Kyushu [in southern Japan]."

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