The tragic death of Kenji Goto highlights a dilemma that the journalism community in Japan has long struggled with: how much of a risk reporters should take on when working in dangerous conflict zones.

Goto, who was 47, set up a one-man news agency called Independent Press in 1996. He reported from far-flung conflict zones, and was one of the few journalists from Japan who defied repeated advisories from the Foreign Ministry to stay away from Syria, where a civil war erupted in 2011.

Goto went missing in late October, after he entered Syria from Turkey, reportedly in an effort to save self-styled security contractor Haruna Yukawa, another Japanese who was purportedly being held by the Islamic State group.