FUKUOKA – The funeral of Tetsu Nakamura, the Japanese physician and devoted aid worker who was killed last week in Afghanistan, was held in his home prefecture of Fukuoka on Wednesday.
“He was a great global figure the school was proud of,” said Shunsuke Takenaka, 74, who went to high school with Nakamura. “There must have been so many other things he wanted to achieve.”
A picture taken in Afghanistan of the 73-year-old Nakamura was displayed on the altar during the funeral, which took place in the city of Fukuoka, north of Nakamura’s hometown of Omuta.
Nakamura, head of the Afghan unit of the Peshawar-kai aid group that is based in Fukuoka, was killed along with five Afghans including his driver and bodyguards on Dec. 4 when armed men attacked their vehicles in Jalalabad in the eastern province of Nangarhar.
Nakamura’s body arrived at Narita Airport in Tokyo on Sunday before traveling onward to Fukuoka the following day with members of his family.
Japanese police conducted an autopsy on the doctor on Tuesday, and said that he had died from hemorrhagic shock caused by numerous shots to his chest.
A bullet that entered his right chest area and then lodged near the pelvis was custom designed for improved penetration, according to the doctor who performed the autopsy.
A total of six men have been detained in connection with the shooting, Afghan police said Monday, adding that seven to eight assailants are believed to have been involved in the ambush.
An Afghan ministry official added that the attack appeared to have been planned for about a year or two.
Nakamura, who had been providing medical aid near the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan for years, was also involved in tree-planting activities and a project to improve the water supply to poverty-stricken areas after a drought hit Afghanistan in 2000.