Masamori Inoue

First Secretary Masamori Inoue was born in Miyakonojo, Miyazaki in 1973. He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan in 1996 after graduating from Kumamoto University. He worked in Syria, Tunisia, Jordan and Iraq, and was active in the Japan - Middle East diplomatic forefront.

Mr Inoue started to work for the Jordan Embassy of Japan in June 2002 and travelled back and forth between Iraq and Jordan frequently to carry out the gathering and analysis of information related to Iraq. At this time, the international community was pressuring Iraq into accepting an inspection of Iraq's capacity of mass destruction weapons. After Ambassador Katsuhiko Oku’s arrival in Iraq, he revisited Iraq on 26 April 2003,while the fighting was still continued. Despite the difficult circumstances, Mr Inoue cherished his friendship with Iraqi people. He really understood the Iraqi people facing the severe situation and dedicated himself to rebuilding Iraq. He saw great responsibility in his role as a diplomat.

On 29 November 2003, Mr Inoue was fatally shot while working in Iraq. He was at the start of a promising career as a diplomat, serving in the region with comprehensive knowledge of Arabs and also with his excellent character.

Mr Inoue had a deep affection for people and his hometown, Miyakonojo, but his love for his family came before anything else in his life. He had fortitude like Kyushu-Danji (a classic man from Kyushu area in Japan) but his cheery personality always shone through and he always had many friends.

He was most often seen smiling and enjoying his work, but he had a determination to do the best he could for the Arabic nations as a diplomat in the Middle East. The Arab people put a strong faith in his sincerity.

Mr Inoue saw people without distinction as to race, language or religion, and devoted his time to providing children with a future to look forward to. One of his friends who trained with him in Syria says, "He talked to even the street children without prejudice who tried to sell something to us waiting for the bus. He treated every child in the same way and would scold a naughty child if he misbehaved, even if the child was a stranger. The children of his host family called him 'Masa, Masa' and took to him as if he was their older brother. I found that we always had children around us when I was with Masa."

When he was 11 years old, he got shocked at the images of the starving African people on a television program. In an essay written at that time he says, "I think that we Japanese people have been living too luxuriously. We must do what we can do to support those less fortunate people as much as possible."

He kept these strong ambitions throughout his life since he felt much distress at the fact that there are a lot of deprived people in the world.

1973 5/11 Born on 11 May.
1980   Entered Miyakonojo municipal Kaminagae elementary school.
Initiated into Shorinji-Ryu Karate-Do Renshinkan.
1984   Wrote that he aspired to a diplomatic career in his essay because he got shocked at the starving African people.
1986   Entered Miyakonojo municipal Tsumagaoka junior high school.
Won a junior high school class title in the Shorinji-Ryu National Karate-Do Championship in Hiroshima.
Won a second place in the same class of the championship in the next year.
1989   Entered Miyazaki Prefectural Miyakonojo Izumigaoka High School.
Communicated with English-speaking people via radio as an extracurricular activity.
1992   Entered the law faculty at Kumamoto University.
Participated in the seminar of international law.
Theme of his thesis is 'The role of Japanese ODA (Official Development Assistance)'.
1996   Joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs after graduating from Kumamoto University.
Assigned to First Middle East Division of Middle Eastern and African Affairs Bureau and organised the joint invitation program for young diplomats of Arab states and Israelis conflicting with each other over the Palestinian issue.
1997   Learned Arabic and gained a wealth of expert knowledge of the Arabic region in a training program in Syria.
2000   Attached for the Tunisian Embassy of Japan and served as interpreter for government VIPs on many occasions.
Contributed to providing support according to actual conditions of local residents in the grass-roots/selfless cooperation project for school facilities and medical equipments, etc.
2003 3 Conveyed Japan's view on Iraq as an interpreter throughout the meeting between Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Motegi and Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Aziz, which was aimed at averting a war.
2003   After the government had made an announcement of providing assistance in Iraq through the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance ORHA established by the Japan's government, he helped the ORHA activities faithfully with Ambassador Katsuhiko Oku and also acted as liaison and coordinator between ORHA and the later Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) and Japan.

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