Millennium Post

Slain Japanese journo’s peace tweet goes viral

A poignant tweet by murdered journalist Kenji Goto on the virtue of being calm was spreading rapidly on social media on Tuesday, days after he was apparently beheaded by Islamist militants.

“Close your eyes and remain patient. It’s over once you get angry or yell. It is almost like praying. Hating is not the role of humans; judgement is God’s domain,” Goto’s four-year-old tweet read. “It was my Arab brothers who taught me this,” he tweeted in Japanese on September 7, 2010.

By early Tuesday afternoon, the message had been retweeted more than 26,000 times in Japanese, with English versions also widely circulated.

Goto’s brutal killing by militants from the Islamic State movement has provoked an outpouring of emotion in Japan, a country that previously considered itself far removed from the violence that afflicts Western nations facing off against Muslim militants.

In a statement on Sunday, his mother cautioned against this emotion becoming destructive. “I believe this sorrow must not create a chain of hatred,” said Junko Ishido. Goto’s killing was announced in a video posted late Saturday by IS militants and came a week after his friend and fellow captive Haruna Yukawa was beheaded.

The 47-year-old freelance journalist, who established his own video production company in 1996, had supplied documentaries on the Middle East and other regions to Japanese television networks.


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