• Kyodo

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Workers for nonprofit organizations in Japan that connect the country with Bangladesh are calling for continued efforts by Japan to contribute to global society, even after the terror attacks in Dhaka that claimed 28 lives, including seven Japanese volunteers working on a government development project.

“What I thought might be happening just happened,” said Kuniko Horii, who works for an NPO in Shirai, Chiba Prefecture.

The NPO, founded in 2002, supports Bangladeshis living in Japan. “Compared to that time, local safety has become unstable” due to political instability, she said.

Since a Japanese man was slain last October in Bangladesh, the situation changed, said 69-year-old Kazuyuki Kawahara of Asia Arsenic Network, an NPO based in Miyazaki Prefecture. He had worked to help clean Bangladeshi groundwater for about 15 years until April.

Kawahara said he was cautious in Bangladesh and tried to avoid open-air restaurants. Tighter regulations by Bangladeshi authorities had prevented his NPO from being fully active.

Kawahara also expressed worry that the terrorist attack in Dhaka will damage the image Japanese people have of the South Asian nation.

“Global aid will continue to be necessary. If it stops or retreats, it would be unfortunate for both countries,” he said.

A 56-year-old teacher who visited a Bangladeshi restaurant in Tokyo with her friends on Sunday said: “Not all Bangladeshis or Muslims are bad. Despite the reported attack, I want to support the country without prejudice.

“The victims were doing great jobs in that country. I want Japanese to continue to do international aid activities without yielding to terrorism,” she said.

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