Japan gets shocked after Islamic State militants Release video of killing their journalist early this morning, days after his plight as a hostage in Syria united many people in praying for his release.”
Mr Kenji Goto was a pony-tailed man with a friendly, carefree laugh, Mr. Goto was a veteran freelance reporter, working often with other filmmakers and Japanese TV producers. His comments were sometimes featured on Japanese mainstream media.
The 2005 book he wrote about the suffering of children in Sierra Leone was titled “We Want Peace, Not Diamonds.” But Mr. Kenji Goto had always stressed he was not a war reporter. He had ine sisted he was instead devoted to telling the story of regular people, one step removed from the war zone.
That took him to refugee camps and orphanages. He told the stories of children suffering violence, hunger and nightmares. In a testament to his charm and integrity, people responded with an outpouring of support to try to win his release.
A Facebook page, set up immediately after the first video released by militants last month, quickly drew tens of thousands of “Likes” and photo postings that showed people, from not just Japan but around the world, holding up hand-written signs that said: “I am Kenji goto.”
“Kenji lives on in all our hearts. In our daily work. Every time you smile with those around you, you will be sure to remember that big smile Kenji always gave us,” wrote Taku Nishimae, a filmmaker living in New York and the page’s creator.
An online petition demanding the government do more to save Mr. Kenji Goto collected thousands of signatures. Crowds have gathered outside the prime minister’s office, holding up “Free Kenji goto” and “I am Kenji goto” signs.
Those who knew Mr. Kenji Goto said he was a gentle and honest man. On the streets of Tokyo on Sunday, many people were clutching the Yomiuri newspaper extra with the latest news, expressing disbelief that his captors went as far as to kill a reporter.
US reporter James Foley and American-Israeli journalist Steven Sotloff were among several Westerns who had been killed by the ISIS militants in 2014.