Turkey: Report on Mr. MIYAZAKI’s Memorial Service - Words of Condolence from Yumeka OTA

On Tuesday, December 6th, Mr. Atsushi MIYAZAKI’s memorial service was held at Nippon-Seinenkan (Shinjuku Tokyo). Over 222 people were present at the service, including Mr. MIYAZAKI’s family, Mr. Ali BABACAN, Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey, Mr. Kazuyuki HAMADA, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, representatives from Turkey, supporters, friends of Mr. MIYAZAKI, and representatives of NGOs. We also received many messages of condolence and flower offerings. We would like to thank those who attended and also those who made this memorial service possible.

Below is the words of condolence from Yumeka OTA.


Dearest Mr. Atsushi MIYAZAKI,

On behalf of all of the staff members of AAR JAPAN, I would like to send these words of farewell to you.

Mr. MIYAZAKI, I still cannot believe that I am having to say goodbye to you like this, nor have I been able to completely organize my thoughts and feelings. It feels as if at any moment, you are going to unexpectedly reappear in front of us like nothing ever happened.

Whenever I think about you, you were always full of smiles, whether we were at the Tokyo office or in Turkey. I can recall the sight of you happily stuffing yourself with the delicious Turkish meals that we were served by the local people. I also remember you shyly laughing while saying, “This is the third time being told this,” when the children at the Turkish village called you Jackie Chan. When we distributed meat to the earthquake survivors living in tents for the Islamic celebration of sacrifice, many children followed us with big smiles on their faces. I remember you waving goodbye to them until the moment they left our sight. Although we were so busy during our emergency assistance activities, you were always hardworking, calm, and caring. There were even times when we seriously argued about the future of AAR JAPAN. Thank you so much for all of the countless wonderful memories.

During our activities, I learned so much from you, Ms. KONNAI, and even from the Turkish people that we were supposed to have been supporting. Everyday was a learning experience and I cannot thank everyone enough. “We must continue helping the earthquake survivors. They need us. Let’s do everything we could possibly do while we’re here,” you said. On November 10th, the following day of the earthquake, you had planned to continue distributing relief supplies at a village in Van. The earthquake struck right when you were making final plans for the distribution preparation, like going over the arrangements with the village chief and vendors and communicating with Tokyo headquarters through your laptop computer.

No words can describe our shock of losing you, Mr. MIYAZAKI, a valuable colleague and a friend. I wish we could have worked together more.

Mr. MIYAZAKI, we will always remember your dedication to the work that we do and continue our activities. I hope that you are kindly watching over us.

December 6th, 2011
Yumeka OTA