• Kyodo

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Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on Tuesday visited monuments dedicated to two Japanese who were shot dead in Cambodia in 1993.

Koizumi, who is in Cambodia to attend a series of summit meetings in conjunction with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, paid his respects at the monument to Atsuhito Nakata.

Nakata was a volunteer killed while preparing for U.N.-supervised general elections in the war-torn country, and the monument to police officer Haruyuki Takata, who was participating in a U.N. peacekeeping operation.

Nakata was 25 years old when he was shot dead in April 1993 in an ambush in the central province of Kompong Thom.

After laying flowers at the monument at a pagoda in Phnom Penh, Koizumi said, “It’s a consolation that his father has succeeded his wishes. He didn’t die in vain.”

Nakata’s father, Takehito, who resides in Higashi-Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, has been the honorary ambassador of the U.N. Volunteers since 1993.

He has visited trouble spots around the world, encouraging U.N. volunteers working there.

Police officer Takata was killed during a U.N. peacekeeping operation. He was shot in May 1993 in a guerrilla attack near Ampil along Cambodia’s northwestern border with Thailand. He was 33.

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