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Vigil for slain hostages

19 Comments

People holding candles and placards take part in a vigil for Japanese hostages Kenji Goto and Haruna Yukawa, who were killed by Islamic State militants, in Tokyo on Sunday night.

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19 Comments
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Why 'I am ....' and not '私は...' ?? This is Japan after all, you know, the place where speak Japanese.

-15 ( +1 / -16 )

igloo: two men are dead. Does it really matter what language it is in?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Any "I'm NOT Shinzo" posters there?

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Goto is a hero, the other guy was a fantasist who put other people in danger.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Goto did no heroic act to justify being called a hero. Being stupid and ignoring reality does not make one a hero either.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

this whole "i am..." meme has worn out its usefulness, if it was ever useful to begin with. i wonder if most of the people fully understand the multitude of issues that goto and yukawa represent. these are complicated issues that we are dealing with, and a simple "i am..." is a simple soundbite that does little to further the conversation. slactivism at its best.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Goto went to rescue Yukawa, after Yukawa went out there playing soldier of fortune with the big boys and falling short. Goto was also out there in a journalistic capacity, not pursuing some kind of fantasy about being a merc.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Goto knowingly took the risks he did, that is on him, it wasn't heroic, courageous yes,.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Before I even thought of going to rescue somebody with no common sense, I would think about my family and their future.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

So would I, avigator, which probably makes Goto a far better more altruistic person than myself. He was no soldier, did not market himself as such, but still took that risk for his friend. I consider that heroic, I dont see any government sending their crack special forces units in to save people, so despite his lack of training and support, he did what he could.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Goto is hero who is always focus on the weak we don know. Im very sad at that moment hearing his death in that morning but I fully don understand y they need "I AM KENJI"?? They are not Kenji at all. I think they fully confuse Je suis Charlie. why ppl on pic didn't show their mourn by Japanese way? This is really weird for me.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I am not Kenji, because I cannot do the things he did. But the things he said and did remind me of a dear friend also doing humanitarian work in the Middle East, so his capture and death really affected me.

People are talking about Abe, Obama, Putin, Netanyahu, IS. Kenji was devoted to talking about the poor, powerless, and especially children caught up in the conflicts made by those in power.

Haruna Yukawa may have gotten himself in trouble too big for him, but did he deserve the death he died? How about his father's feelings, who paid off all the debts of his son's failed business? Now his son is dead, and another family's son who tried to get news of him is dead.

If any good comes of this, it will be that more people can learn about Kenji's work and learn about the Middle East. Hopefully it won't end in "Ooh yappari Japanese shouldn't go to such scary places!" but give some people a wake-up call.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Those two at the front with the "I am..." papers seem to have their faces covered pretty deliberately whereas others do not, except maybe the guy with the mask staring at the ground. If they're proud of what they are doing and believe in the message, show their faces and hold them up high. And I agree that the whole "I am..." thing has completely lost its meaning here. Even BEFORE they were killed and it was meant as a message to save Goto, it was a bizarre twist in meaning. What message is it that these people want to say? The "May Rest in Peace" makes sense from a support stance, but that's all.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

There is a picture at the Japan Times site of a guy holding a sign that says; "We are Kenji, not Abe."

1 ( +2 / -1 )

There is a picture at the Japan Times site of a guy holding a sign that says; "We are Kenji, not Abe."

There are four photos on that site and not one of them says that. Perhaps they changed the photos since you looked?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Heroism is something that has many dimensions. I reckon Goto was both courageous and somewhat heroic in that he was active in the region for a number of years, reporting on topics that many Japanese were either ignorant of or didn't much care for. The other chap, however, strikes me as being somewhere between pathetic and pitiful. That being said, however, neither of them deserved to die.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"I am Kenji" = I have no common sense. There are many people in Japan like that, as we can see from this picture.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

They should hold the vigil outside Nagatacho. That's where a good deal of the blame lies

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There is the story of the J-man who went around the middle east touching lepers and other sick people to cure them, offering comfort and hope to the poor, oppressed, and weak - he spoke for those who had no voice of their own, and did the best he could, given the lack of internet, to spread a message of compassion and peace. And then, having already put himself in the cross-hairs by rumbling the established status quo, he deliberately walked into harms way - he actually predicted his own death and did nothing to stop or escape from it - rather he welcomed it and recognized he was playing a part in something bigger and more important.

I'm not a regular church going Christian but I appreciate the message - recognize it as a timeless exemplar of excellent human behavior. Every year many church workers put themselves in danger, and are sometimes killed, while trying to live the same kind of excellent behavior. And many non-Christians, with or without the influence of Christianity, do the same thing, just based on first principles.

Incidentally, Goto became a Christian before his last trip to the middle east, while considering that he might die.

All these people are heroes, what they are doing is not selfish or stupid, and there is many millenias worth of precedence coming from many different cultures, including of course Christianity, to prove it. That they are often resented by the established status quo is nothing new.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

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