Group looks to keep focus on Iraq

A group that includes three former hostages held in Iraq will begin a national tour of lectures and a photo exhibition next week in Miyazaki Prefecture, hoping to keep the public’s interest in Iraq from fading.

At a news conference Friday in Tokyo, the former hostages — photojournalist Soichiro Koriyama, aid worker Nahoko Takato and freelance writer Noriaki Imai — said they will contribute speeches and photos to the event, dubbed Iraq Peace Campaign in Miyazaki.

“When we were being held in Iraq, everyone paid attention to the Iraqi situation, but I want you to remember that the bombing is still going on,” said Takato, adding that she is receiving an increasing number of desperate e-mails and telephone calls from her Iraqi friends.

Miyazaki, is the prefectural home of Koriyama, as well as the late diplomat Masamori Inoue, who was shot dead in northern Iraq in November. The event is to commemorate the first anniversary of his death.

The photo exhibition and lectures will be held in all 44 Miyazaki municipalities from Sept. 26 through Dec. 26 before moving on to other parts of Japan.