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Decapitated Body is Shosei Koda

Sunday, October 31, 2004 Posted: 10:15 PM JST

The Japanese government confirmed today that a decapitated body found in Baghdad is that of Shosei Koda. Koda had been kidnapped by militants in Iraq. Tuesday they threatened to kill Koda if Japan did not withdraw its troops from Iraq withing 48 hours. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi called the killing ''barbarous and vicious'', but added that Japanese troops will not leave Iraq.

An Iraqi police officer found Koda's body and severed head in a section of Baghdad that has seen many bloody clashes between Iraqi militants and U.S. forces. Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura said at a news conference this morning that Koda's body was identified through fingerprint matching and comparison of physical characteristics.

Koda is the fifth Japanese casualty in Iraq. Two diplomats were killed in November last year, and two journalists in May.

Keywords: national_news

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17 comments so far post your own

1 | At 08:49am on Nov 01 2004, Alisha wrote:
How cruel and injust to kill an innocent man who has nothing to do with the war, but a man who only wanted to sympathize with the Iraqi's by leaving the comfort of his own home country. We all know that these terrorists have dangerous minds and All I can say is I wish Mr Koda was wise enough to take the advise of those who warned him of not going. In the end in a way it is his fault that he put himse self in such a situation without reason.

All I can say is I feel extremley sad for this man to die such a horrible way
2 | At 09:24am on Nov 01 2004, Kjeld Duits wrote:
I totally agree with you Alisha. How can anyone be so selfrighteous and cruel to believe that a goal justifies all means? Taking innocent lives, whether done by terrorists or governments, can never be justified. It says a lot about what kind of people the terrorists are that they kill someone like this naive 24-year-old student. I feel deeply for Shosei Koda and his grieving family and friends.
3 | At 11:00am on Nov 06 2004, ken wrote:
when will america learn? after seeing the results of the election, I fear never. So more innocent people will continue to be killed. how sad
4 | At 09:07am on Nov 10 2004, yc wrote:
Shosei Koda will b honoured as he's not a coward who live for himself,he reckon the World as his home.Iraq militants are cruel,we are all frightened,all the more is the people of Iraq.
We willl not leave them alone...
We are not selfish people...
5 | At 12:44pm on Nov 10 2004, John wrote:
Who was Shosei Koda, really? Was he a freelance reporter, or videographer? Or was he a tourist / backpacker? There was a rush by the press and the Japanese government to imply he was a world-traveling fool; we media consumers bought this for the easy laugh at his and his family's expense.
6 | At 01:25pm on Nov 10 2004, Kjeld Duits wrote:
Shosei was a human being curious about the world. His English teacher in New Zealand called him an adventurer, the kind of person who wants to see the world with his own eyes. Nobody but Shosei himelf will ever know what drove him to travel to Iraq. He was not a volunteer, not a journalist, not doing any research, and he also doesn't seem to be a backpacker who ended up in Iraq. He was warned multiple times about the dangers of Iraq, yet he went.

Some may think he was a fool, others that he was courageous, I just feel terribly sorry for the way his life was ended, and for his grieving parents, family and friends.
7 | At 12:35pm on Nov 14 2004, z wrote:
as many of you have already mentioned, his death was sad and extremely cruel. I feel very sorry for those who knew him.

it is also proof that these people need to be stopped. They cannot be trusted or reasoned with. I am glad that the japanese government did not back down like spain and the philipines did. Whether the war was justified is irrelevant at this point. It simply needs to end. Pulling military forces out won't end it. It will only send a message that brutal killings such as Shosei's will produce the desired results. Signing peace treaties won't end it. They hate western cultures, regardless of national status.

Hunting down and killing the members of every single radical terrorist group (regardless of religious offiliation) is the only choice. It is a sad and unfortunate business, but when cultures clash, inevitably, only the strong will survive. It's fortunate that the radical elements will eventually be crushed and irradicated.
8 | At 06:19pm on Nov 14 2004, Yui wrote:
I am a Japanese girl.(high school student)
Because I feel so sad, I visit this site.
Though I can not speak English well, please look at my written.

When I knew Shosei Koda had been killed by terrorist, I was very sad and surprised... I hoped that he was helped.
9 | At 02:07pm on Nov 15 2004, Master Luc wrote:
I'm an arabic from UAE, this thing is cruel and it has nothing to do with islam.
Don't blame us!
10 | At 03:45pm on Nov 15 2004, Kjeld Duits wrote:
Hi Master Luc,

Don't worry, I don't blame you. I think that all responsible people know that these murderers do not represent Islam or Arabs.

It worries me a lot that in an increasing number of countries Islamic or Arab-looking people are being viewed with suspicion or even targeted. These terrorists want to spread fear and division, and right now they are succeeding.

The only way we can defeat the terrorists is when we realize that your "us" and the Western "us" are one and the same. All peace-loving people of the world, regardless of race or nationality, must unite against terror. It threatens all of us, anywhere in the world.

In this world, you and I are brothers.
11 | At 09:16am on Nov 17 2004, Alex wrote:
Indeed we are all brothers, but it is only Muslims who murder people by cutting off their heads with knives and enjoying the results by showing them on tv, am I wrong?
12 | At 10:23am on Nov 17 2004, Kjeld Duits wrote:
Alex, during the 1940's terrible things were done by Germans and Japanese, some Christian, some Buddhist. In the 19th century many American Indians were killed in terrible fashion. Often by people who considered themselves Christians.

If you look back at history you find that members of almost every group of people the world knows have committed atrocities against other people. Humanity is united in that we all have sick elements among us.

As it happens, at the moment grievances among Muslims are feeding extremism and giving birth to these terrible crimes. Yes, Muslims, or people who call themselves Muslims, are committing crimes. but that doesn't mean that each Muslim is a murderer. One of my teachers used to say 'A dog is an animal, but not every animal is a dog.'

In my eyes all people on this world, including Muslims, carry the responsibility to stop these terrible killings. We can't stop the killings by accusing all Muslims of something perpetrated by a few rotten apples. Instead, Muslims and other peace-loving people should work together.

Probably the people who are best positioned to understand the forces that feed this extremism also happen to be Muslims. The weight of responsibility to find ways out of this murderous nightmare weighs especially heavy on their shoulders.

Even more so because the murderers originate from their own communities. They must ask themselves why this is so, and how this disease can be cured.

But in the end we must all carry the burden.
13 | At 05:47am on Nov 18 2004, Master Luc wrote:
Kjeld Duits, thank you for every words you have said, I wish there would be more people like you!
14 | At 05:48pm on Nov 22 2004, amiko wrote:
i cried when i read Kjeld Duits' response. yes, this is the knowledge all of us need to contain to remain level headed and unbiased despite our anger and grief. i am japanese, but an american citizen. i am adopted by a caucasian family. my parents voted for Bush, I for Kerry. everyone is different, yes. but hate is still hate and bias is still bias and ignorance can lead to both. i felt so much better after reading all of the above.
15 | At 06:19am on Dec 09 2004, Robert wrote:
it's hard not to hate sometimes, sometimes if i had the power, i'd sweep those horrible people and their dust bowl countries into the ocean once and for all.

but then i'd be no better...this i know. but the emotion after koda was killed, even
16 | At 09:21am on Dec 09 2004, Kjeld Duits wrote:
Robert, it seems your message got cut off halfway. I am very curious what you had to say after "even".

I understand your feelings. And I agree, it becomes hard not to hate. I must admit I would like to wring the necks of the murderers of Koda myself.

What we really have to be careful of though is that we don't transfer these justified feelings of anger onto people who have nothing to do with these murders. Just because the murderers claim to kill in the name of Islam and/or the Arab cause doesn't mean all Muslims and Arabs agree with them. I know that most don't and are very upset about these murders. Unfortunately their anger doesn't reach the TV screens of the US and other countries.

Every year more than 16,000 people are murdered in the United States. The US still has the highest murder rate in the world (5.7 per 100,000 people). It would be outrageous to hate each and every American for this. It is just as ridiculous to hate each and every Arab for the actions of a few thousand misguided, and I dare say deranged, radicals.

What we need to do, is to find ways to work together, overcoming race and religion, to stop the carnage.
17 | At 02:01am on Jan 22 2006, Shila wrote:
I understand that these barbaric acts of the Musilms do not represent the Musilm or Arab community.. but when I see someone belogning to that community.. I feel that they are capable of thsoe barbaric acts themselves..
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