• Kyodo


Relatives and friends bid farewell at a memorial service in Tokyo to the seven Japanese victims of last month’s terrorist attack in Bangladesh, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other government officials in attendance.

The ceremony was held Tuesday, a month after the attack in Dhaka left 20 people dead, including the seven Japanese aid workers involved in a project for the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

JICA President Shinichi Kitaoka vowed during the ceremony to strengthen safety measures in cooperation with the government, according to the aid agency. The event, which was closed to the media, was attended by around 900 people, JICA said.

“I felt a strong resentment after seeing the bereaved families in deep sorrow,” Abe told reporters at his office after attending the ceremony.

He reiterated Japan’s intention not to give way to terrorism, saying, “We will continue to offer assistance to Bangladesh.”

Seiya Matsuoka, who worked with two of the victims Makoto Okamura, 32, and Yuko Sakai, 42, told reporters: “It is so disappointing. They were working to improve the environment in Bangladesh.”

“Their faces came to my mind when I offered flowers (at the ceremony). I really did not want to ever have to attend this kind of event,” Matsuoka.

Islamic State militants have claimed responsibility for the July 1 attack on the restaurant in Dhaka. Police are investigating the possible involvement of a Bangladeshi who was a former associate professor at a Japanese university in the attack.

Also Tuesday, the Foreign Ministry said it will start a new system providing overseas travelers with information on terrorism, natural disasters and other contingencies.

On arrival in a foreign country, users of Japan’s three major mobile carriers — NTT Docomo Inc., KDDI Corp. and SoftBank Corp. — will receive emails requesting they register with a ministry service that will send urgent bulletins and also inquire about travelers’ safety in emergencies.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.