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World Japanese doctor made the Afghan deserts green, until deadly attack

10:00  05 december  2019
10:00  05 december  2019 Source:   reuters.com

Blast targets UN vehicle in Afghanistan, kills 1 foreigner

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By Elaine Lies. TOKYO (Reuters) - Tetsu Nakamura, the Japanese doctor and aid worker killed in Afghanistan on Wednesday, was inspired to make the country's deserts green by the deaths of children in a clinic he ran in a drought-stricken rural area.

A Japanese doctor who devoted his career to improving the lives of Afghans has died, after being injured in an attack in eastern Afghanistan . Dr Nakamura headed a Japanese charity focused on improving irrigation in the country. In October this year, he was awarded honorary citizenship from the

TOKYO (Reuters) - Tetsu Nakamura, the Japanese doctor and aid worker killed in Afghanistan on Wednesday, was inspired to make the country's deserts green by the deaths of children in a clinic he ran in a drought-stricken rural area.

Ashraf Ghani in a suit standing in front of a building: Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani and Japanese doctor Tetsu Nakamura pose for a photo in Kabul© Reuters/Afghan Presidential Palace Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani and Japanese doctor Tetsu Nakamura pose for a photo in Kabul

"You'd hear a child screaming in the waiting room, but by the time you got there they'd be dead," he told NHK television in an October program.

"That happened almost every day. They were so malnourished that things like diarrhea could kill them ... My thinking was that if those patients had had clean water and enough to eat, they would have survived."

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A Japanese doctor whose long career was dedicated to helping some of Afghanistan 's poorest people was among six people killed © WAKIL KOHSAR The attack comes as humanitarian groups remain on high alert just days after an American aid worker for the UN was killed in a bombing in Kabul.

A Japanese doctor who spent decades working in Afghanistan was killed Wednesday along with five Afghans in an attack in the east of the country, officials said. Tetsu Nakamura, 73, who headed Peace Japan Medical Services -- known as Peshawar Kai in Japanese -- was shot by gunmen while in a

His death in a Wednesday attack by unknown gunmen who riddled the car he and five others were driving with bullets left both Afghanistan and Japan in mourning.

Born in western Japan, Nakamura, 73, trained as a doctor and answered a 1984 recruitment call to work in a clinic treating leprosy in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, attracted by the region's stark beauty.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Tetsu Nakamura speaks at a meeting reporting about Afghanistan's draught problem in Fukuoka© Reuters/KYODO Tetsu Nakamura speaks at a meeting reporting about Afghanistan's draught problem in Fukuoka

He began treating Afghan refugees who were pouring over the border in the wake of the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, which led to him opening a clinic in that country in 1991.

"I couldn't ignore the Afghans," he said.

Five Afghans killed in Jalalabad attack, Japanese doctor wounded

  Five Afghans killed in Jalalabad attack, Japanese doctor wounded Five Afghans were killed and a Japanese aid worker wounded Wednesday in an attack in Jalalabad city in the eastern province of Nangarhar, officials said. © WAKIL KOHSAR The attack comes as humanitarian groups remain on high alert just days after an American aid worker for the UN was killed in a bombing in Kabul The attack comes as humanitarian groups remain on high alert just days after an American aid worker for the UN was killed in a bombing in Kabul. Tetsu Nakamura, a doctor who heads Peace Japan Medical Services, known as Peshawar Kai in Japanese, was targeted by gunmen while in a vehicle in Jalalabad.

Afghan official: Japanese physician dies of wounds after attack in eastern province that also killed 5 The leaders of Japan and Afghanistan expressed their condemnations of the attack that took the life “As a doctor , Mr. Nakamura made great contributions in areas of medical care in Afghanistan

An Afghan policeman inspects the attacked vehicle which was carrying Japanese doctor Tetsu Nakamura, in Jalalabad, Afghanistan on Dr Tetsu Nakamura, head of Peace Japan Medical Services, was involved in reconstruction work in irrigation and agriculture in the country, he added.

Following a devastating 2000 drought which brought scores of starving and ill people to his clinic, he first helped bore wells and then came up with the idea of an irrigation canal, inspired by similarities between Japanese and Afghan rivers.

In 2003 - the same year Nakamura was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award, often called Asia's Nobel - construction began. After six grueling years of labor, much of it by hand and in temperatures as high as 50 Celsius, the canal was finally completed.

Since then, some 16,000 hectares (40,000 acres) of desert has been brought back to life, making Nakamura such a widely revered figure in Afghanistan that earlier this year he became the first foreigner awarded Afghan citizenship.

"As a doctor, nothing is better than healing patients and sending them home," and re-greening the desert did the same for rural Afghanistan, Nakamura told NHK

a group of people looking at a birthday cake with lit candles: Men light candles in front of the portrait of Japanese doctor Tetsu Nakamura, who was killed in today's attack in Jalalabad, Afghanistan© Reuters/PARWIZ Men light candles in front of the portrait of Japanese doctor Tetsu Nakamura, who was killed in today's attack in Jalalabad, Afghanistan

"A hospital treats patients one by one, but this helps an entire village...I love seeing a village that's been brought back to life."

(Additional reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka. Editing by Lincoln Feast.)

U.S. envoy to Afghanistan announces 'pause' in Taliban talks after attack on air base .
Negotiations had recently resumed with the militant group in a bid aimed at ending America's longest war."When I met the Talibs today, I expressed outrage about yesterday's attack on Bagram, which recklessly killed two and wounded dozens of civilians," Zalmay Khalilzad, U.S. special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation, tweeted.

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