Japan's Algeria toll hits 10

2013-01-24 14:08
 The In Amenas gas field, jointly operated by British oil giant BP, Norway's Statoil and state-run Algerian energy firm Sonatrach, in eastern Algeria near the Libyan border. (AFP/STATOIL)

The In Amenas gas field, jointly operated by British oil giant BP, Norway's Statoil and state-run Algerian energy firm Sonatrach, in eastern Algeria near the Libyan border. (AFP/STATOIL)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Tokyo - Japan's government on Thursday confirmed a tenth victim of the Algerian hostage crisis, the highest death toll of any nation, as friends and colleagues of those who perished paid tribute at a makeshift altar.

The announcement came as the seven Japanese men who survived after Islamist gunmen laid siege to the desert gas plant headed home aboard a government plane that was also carrying the bodies of nine victims.

"We have now identified the final body," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters. "We have confirmed the death of a total ten people."

"The government for its part wishes to express its heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families," said Suga.

Japan's body count of 10 is the highest of any nation whose citizens were caught up in the crisis in the Sahara and an unusual taste of Jihadist anger for a country that has remained far from US-led wars in the Muslim world.

At the headquarters of plant-builder JGC, which employed - directly or indirectly - all Japanese at the complex, mourners dressed in black solemnly bowed to a Buddhist cenotaph, urging departed souls to find peace.

An elegantly handwritten prayer for those who lost their lives was inscribed on the wooden tablet, around which lay bouquets of white flowers.

The loss of so many colleagues is a heavy blow to JGC in a country where corporate communities are close-knit and company loyalties remain strong.

Media reported on Thursday that the tenth Japanese victim of the Islamist gunmen's rampage was Tadanori Aratani, 66, a former vice president of JGC and lately its supreme adviser.

Hostage crisis

The government has so far refused to identify those who died, although newspapers and broadcasters have told the stories of some victims, including heart-wrenching tales of never-to-be-realised plans for family celebrations.

Broadcaster NHK spoke to the sobbing elderly mother of one man struggling to come to terms with the loss of her son less than two years after the March 2011 tsunami swept her husband to his death.

The plane carrying survivors and bodies left Algeria on Thursday, bound for Tokyo's Haneda airport.

Kyodo reported that post-mortem examinations will be carried out in Japan to determine exactly how each person died.

A country badly shocked by the horrors of the last week awaits the seven Japanese survivors of the siege, some of whom had the grisly task of identifying dead colleagues before they left Algeria.

Japan was among the more forthright of nations as the hostage crisis unfolded, summoning the Algerian ambassador to demand answers on the situation and press for restraint from the army.

World capitals have since rowed back from comments that may have been seen as overly critical in Algiers, and have repeatedly stressed that the hostage takers bear full responsibility for the desert outrage.

Read more on:    algeria  |  japan  |  north africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
When is a mountain more than just a mountain? 2014-12-18 07:26

When it’s an adventure! A group of Old Mutual employees found out how much is enough courage, endurance and camaraderie to take on Africa's highest peak.

/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!
Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The energy today is serious, materialistic and hardworking. You may find you get a new outlook on things and you may want to spend...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.