Firstly, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to you supporting IMCCD.
Between 1992 and 1993, I was stationed in Cambodia as self-defense officer for UN peacekeeping operations (PKO). On my way to Japan after the end of the six-month mission, looking at the land of Cambodia from a plane window where Mekong river stretches and palm trees are scattered, I asked myself, "Did I make any contribution for the last six months?" and my answer was, "No, I did not do anything..." My heart was filled with grief. "I will come back here again and accomplish what I was supposed to do," I said to myself.
In 2002, ten years since the PKO mission, I was on the plane returning to Cambodia, only three days after I retired from Japan Self Defense. Overlooking the land of Cambodia, I landed on the Phnom Penh airport with feelings of happiness to be back and of accomplishment.
Initially, I was pursuing clearance of unexploded ordnance (UXO) near the Vietnamese border, but in 2006, I started mine/UXO clearance at an area adjacent to the Thai border. The reason for the relocation was that Heng Ratana, the Director General of Cambodian Mine Action Center (CMAC), indicated the area: Tasaen village, Kamrieng district, Battambang province located in the northwest of Cambodia, after hearing my request, "I would like to do my activity at the most mine-buried and poorest village."
People often ask me why I am doing such dangerous work. Then, I answer that it was a mistake for humans to bury landmines during the civil war and the mistake should not be carried over to the future generation, and humans are responsible for correcting errors they made.
In the course of the operation, I realized that completion of mine/UXO clearance is not the only goal, but also reconstructing a livable area is indispensable. Then, I felt the necessity of activity for fostering agriculture and local industry.
In the harsh area exposed during the civil war, I will keep on conveying the preciousness of peace through cleanup of wounds of war and disseminate "seeds of peace" to the world addressing how we can create a society without war and conflict. I trust IMCCD's mission is to spread seeds of peace advocating realistic peace theory but not utopian theory.
Your generous support is invaluable to us, and we deeply thank each single one of you.
Awarded in "Community Driven Digital Content of the year 2015"
- Born in Mima-cho, Kitauwa-gun ("Uwa-gun" at present), Ehime.
- Served at Engineering Unit (responsible for mine action) of Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) for 36 years.
- Joined PKO in Cambodia. Developed a special feeling for Cambodia since.
- Joined Japan Mine Action Service (JMAS) as Member of the Board of Director immediately after the retirement from JGSDF.
- Start up of UXO clearance operation in Cambodia as Deputy Delegate.
- Returned to Japan. Prepared for mine clearance operation in Ehime while performing publicity activity for JMAS.
- Returned to Cambodia to research and analyze the current situation for developing mine clearance operation.
2007 Feb Nankai Broadcasting Award
2009 Nov Global Contribution Award from The Soroptimist Japan Foundation
2010 Mar TV Ehime Award
2011 Nov Social Contribution Award from Foundation for Encouragement of Social Contribution
2013 Jun Commendation from Cambodian government
2015 Jan Citizen of the Year Awards from Citizen Holdings
2015 Dec The 9th Kamenori Awards from Kamenori Foundation
2016 Feb The 3rd Platinum Guild Award from Platinum Guild no Kai
2016 Nov READYFOR OF THE YEAR 2016
2016 Dec The 20th Earth Rinri Award, Award of Minster of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
2017 Feb Commendation for Matsuyamacommunity activitypromotion
2018 Nov Social Contribution Award from Foundation for Encouragement of Social Contribution
2020 Jan Ehime Newspaper Award