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Death of a Journalist

Posted : 01:37 AM Sep 29,2018 by ICPFJ
Serial Number : icpfj000154392
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Death of a Journalist

it t was painful to witness the images broadcast worldwide on Sept. 27, 2007


By YAMAMOTO MUNESUKE 27 September 2018   27 September 2018

Known as the Saffron Revolution, the monk-led antigovernment protests of August and September 2007 were, for many people outside the country, their first exposure to the brutality of Myanmar’s former military regime. The domestic upheaval became an increasingly international affair 11 years ago, when a Myanmar Army soldier shot dead the Japanese journalist Kenji Nagai, a killing that was captured on video and broadcast worldwide. This story, originally published in December 2007, offers another Japanese photojournalist’s take on the death of a colleague and countryman.

It was painful to witness the images broadcast worldwide on Sept. 27, 2007. Japanese cameraman Kenji Nagai was lying on his back on a street in Rangoon. Then there was the piercing sound of a bullet fired from the rifle of a soldier.

Kenji Nagai, a man I considered a colleague, was dead. Immediately, I thought: It could have been me. As a photojournalist, I also report on conflicts. I have covered many Asian countries, including Burma, and I imagined myself in Kenji Nagai’s place, lying dead on a street in Rangoon.

But, I was in Japan, and he was in Rangoon. However, I knew the streets where the pro-democracy demonstrations occurred—the scene was very familiar to me.

For me, the shooting confirmed the true mentality of the Burmese junta, which has been killing and imprisoning the Burmese people with impunity for decades: 3,000 or more people died in 1988 alone, the year I started covering events in Burma.

On the day Kenji Nagai was murdered, I was taking photographs of exiled Burmese activists who were demonstrating in front of the Burmese Embassy in Tokyo, demanding the Japanese government stop supporting the State Peace and Development Council financially.

Later that day, my mobile phone started ringing, one call after another without a break. News agencies and newspapers were calling me to check if the unidentified Japanese journalist killed in Rangoon was me or not. One call was from Australia, from my Burmese friend who had worked as my interpreter when I made trips to Burma. He explained that he was worried about me when he heard the news.

Known as the Saffron Revolution, the monk-led antigovernment protests of August and September 2007 were, for many people outside the country, their first exposure to the brutality of Myanmar’s former military regime. The domestic upheaval became an increasingly international affair 11 years ago, when a Myanmar Army soldier shot dead the Japanese journalist Kenji Nagai, a killing that was captured on video and broadcast worldwide. This story, originally published in December 2007, offers another Japanese photojournalist’s take on the death of a colleague and countryman.

It was painful to witness the images broadcast worldwide on Sept. 27, 2007. Japanese cameraman Kenji Nagai was lying on his back on a street in Rangoon. Then there was the piercing sound of a bullet fired from the rifle of a soldier.

Kenji Nagai, a man I considered a colleague, was dead. Immediately, I thought: It could have been me. As a photojournalist, I also report on conflicts. I have covered many Asian countries, including Burma, and I imagined myself in Kenji Nagai’s place, lying dead on a street in Rangoon.

But, I was in Japan, and he was in Rangoon. However, I knew the streets where the pro-democracy demonstrations occurred—the scene was very familiar to me.

For me, the shooting confirmed the true mentality of the Burmese junta, which has been killing and imprisoning the Burmese people with impunity for decades: 3,000 or more people died in 1988 alone, the year I started covering events in Burma.

On the day Kenji Nagai was murdered, I was taking photographs of exiled Burmese activists who were demonstrating in front of the Burmese Embassy in Tokyo, demanding the Japanese government stop supporting the State Peace and Development Council financially.

Later that day, my mobile phone started ringing, one call after another without a break. News agencies and newspapers were calling me to check if the unidentified Japanese journalist killed in Rangoon was me or not. One call was from Australia, from my Burmese friend who had worked as my interpreter when I made trips to Burma. He explained that he was worried about me when he heard the news.

Known as the Saffron Revolution, the monk-led antigovernment protests of August and September 2007 were, for many people outside the country, their first exposure to the brutality of Myanmar’s former military regime. The domestic upheaval became an increasingly international affair 11 years ago, when a Myanmar Army soldier shot dead the Japanese journalist Kenji Nagai, a killing that was captured on video and broadcast worldwide. This story, originally published in December 2007, offers another Japanese photojournalist’s take on the death of a colleague and countryman.

It was painful to witness the images broadcast worldwide on Sept. 27, 2007. Japanese cameraman Kenji Nagai was lying on his back on a street in Rangoon. Then there was the piercing sound of a bullet fired from the rifle of a soldier.

Kenji Nagai, a man I considered a colleague, was dead. Immediately, I thought: It could have been me. As a photojournalist, I also report on conflicts. I have covered many Asian countries, including Burma, and I imagined myself in Kenji Nagai’s place, lying dead on a street in Rangoon.

But, I was in Japan, and he was in Rangoon. However, I knew the streets where the pro-democracy demonstrations occurred—the scene was very familiar to me.

For me, the shooting confirmed the true mentality of the Burmese junta, which has been killing and imprisoning the Burmese people with impunity for decades: 3,000 or more people died in 1988 alone, the year I started covering events in Burma.

On the day Kenji Nagai was murdered, I was taking photographs of exiled Burmese activists who were demonstrating in front of the Burmese Embassy in Tokyo, demanding the Japanese government stop supporting the State Peace and Development Council financially.

Later that day, my mobile phone started ringing, one call after another without a break. News agencies and newspapers were calling me to check if the unidentified Japanese journalist killed in Rangoon was me or not. One call was from Australia, from my Burmese friend who had worked as my interpreter when I made trips to Burma. He explained that he was worried about me when he heard the news.

Known as the Saffron Revolution, the monk-led antigovernment protests of August and September 2007 were, for many people outside the country, their first exposure to the brutality of Myanmar’s former military regime. The domestic upheaval became an increasingly international affair 11 years ago, when a Myanmar Army soldier shot dead the Japanese journalist Kenji Nagai, a killing that was captured on video and broadcast worldwide. This story, originally published in December 2007, offers another Japanese photojournalist’s take on the death of a colleague and countryman.

It was painful to witness the images broadcast worldwide on Sept. 27, 2007. Japanese cameraman Kenji Nagai was lying on his back on a street in Rangoon. Then there was the piercing sound of a bullet fired from the rifle of a soldier.

Kenji Nagai, a man I considered a colleague, was dead. Immediately, I thought: It could have been me. As a photojournalist, I also report on conflicts. I have covered many Asian countries, including Burma, and I imagined myself in Kenji Nagai’s place, lying dead on a street in Rangoon.

But, I was in Japan, and he was in Rangoon. However, I knew the streets where the pro-democracy demonstrations occurred—the scene was very familiar to me.

For me, the shooting confirmed the true mentality of the Burmese junta, which has been killing and imprisoning the Burmese people with impunity for decades: 3,000 or more people died in 1988 alone, the year I started covering events in Burma.

On the day Kenji Nagai was murdered, I was taking photographs of exiled Burmese activists who were demonstrating in front of the Burmese Embassy in Tokyo, demanding the Japanese government stop supporting the State Peace and Development Council financially.

Later that day, my mobile phone started ringing, one call after another without a break. News agencies and newspapers were calling me to check if the unidentified Japanese journalist killed in Rangoon was me or not. One call was from Australia, from my Burmese friend who had worked as my interpreter when I made trips to Burma. He explained that he was worried about me when he heard the news.

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