Japan’s Ambassador to Kabul, Mitsuji Suzuka, at a gathering in Kabul on Monday said Japanese aid worker Tetsu Nakamura’s unfinished projects will be completed.
The ceremony was held to remember Nakamura, who was assassinated in an attack in Nangarhar on December 4.
Ambassador Suzuka said the death of Nakamura is a big loss to the people of Afghanistan and Japan.
Nakamura, 73, came to Afghanistan in the 1980s to treat leprosy. But he changed many more lives with the canal-building techniques he brought from Japan.
He established canals from the Kunar River and also dug over 1500 wells that now provide clean water to over 650,000 people in Nangarhar.
The Japanese aid worker helped to build a main canal about 25.5 km long from the Kunar River to the Gamberi area.
He was working on the second phase of this canal with a budget of more than $15 million.
After facing difficulties in procuring equipment to dig the first canals, he drew inspiration from techniques used more than 200 years ago in his hometown in Japan.
Along with irrigation projects, Nakamura established two hospitals, as well as two mosques.
“Mr. Nakamura did valuable activities and his achievements are respected by the Afghan nation,” the Japanese envoy said.
“He (Nakamura) will be in Afghans’ hearts for centuries to come,” said Zia-Ul-Haq Amarkhail, head of a Kabul based association called Sabat Wa Milli. “He (Nakamura) wanted to bring positive change to Afghans’ lives.”
In Nangarhar province where Nakamura lived for many years, a group of artists painted his mural and called him a hero.
“We are here to paint a mural of Nakamura and pass on a message to his family that the people will never forget him,” said Ilyas Ulfat, an artist.
Nakamura’s remains were repatriated to Japan by his family on December 7 after a state funeral was held for him in Kabul attended by President Ashraf Ghani.