Japanese people active in abroad

There were no particular selection criteria, and I selected people who were memorable.

[Ghana] 武辺 寛則 Hironori Takebe

Hironori Takebe was dispatched to Achuwa village in Ghana as a village development extension worker as a member of the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers. His main role was to work with villagers to design and implement projects to improve cash income in subsistence villages.

Mr. Takebe focused his efforts on poultry farming to develop the village’s agriculture, and gained the trust of the villagers while overcoming many difficulties. Furthermore, he started growing pineapple as a promising cash crop and established the ‘Achwa Village Pineapple Association’. Thanks to his efforts, pineapple cultivation has become the village’s main source of income and is now exported to Europe.

In 1988, Mr. Takebe assumed the position of Nana Shipi, an important position in the village. He aimed to expand the market for pineapples, developed export plans, and extended his term to establish poultry and pineapple businesses in the village. However, he died in February 1989 at the age of 27 in an accident while transporting sick people from his village.

After Takebe’s death, his passion for pineapple cultivation in Achuwa Village further developed, and a memorial park named “Takebe Garden” was built. In accordance with his wishes, his parents donated the condolence money to the construction of a nursery school in Achuwa village.


[Sao Tomé] 田中千尋 Tihiro Tanaka

Chihiro Tanaka is the chef of CAFÉ TANAKA, whose main store is in Nagoya. What is the ideal chocolate? I met you while searching for the answer to that question. “Cacao from Sao Tome Island that remains as its original species”. After getting a glimpse of the environment of women working locally, I decided to “support women”

Chef Chihiro Tanaka’s long-held dream was to realize these two goals. “Cafe Tanaka Hope’s Organic Farm” opened in 2019.
Rebuilding an abandoned and dilapidated farm on Sao Tome Island. We grow high-quality cacao on our own farm, We aim to improve the status of women in a work environment where women are the main focus.


[Ghana] 長坂 真護 Mago Nagasaka

Continuing to create art with waste dumped by developed countries
A unique artist who loves the slums of Ghana.
MAGO aims to employ 10,000 Ghanaians by 2030, including in Agbogblosi, a slum in Ghana known as the world’s electronics graveyard.

By employing these people, we will transform Agbogblosi, Ghana, the town with the world’s worst electronic device graveyard, into a sustainable town with zero pollution.

MAGO operates under the banner of “Sustainable Capitalism”, a form in which the three gears of “culture,” “economy,” and “social contribution” continue to rotate. The more you own MAGO’s Ghanaian works, the less local trash you create, the more you contribute to the economy, and the more cultural you become. And at the same time, the message of this problem spreads all over the world.


[Ghana] 牧浦 土雅 Doga Makiura

We provide loans for high-quality agricultural materials to small-scale farmers, provide farming guidance, and digitize value chains.


[Ghana] 銅治 勇人 Yuto Doya

Yuto Doya is a Tokyo-based person who works to convey the reality of Africa to the world. His main activities are running an NPO and the fashion brand CLOUDY. Both aim to solve Africa’s education, employment, and environmental problems.

In 2010, while working at a securities company, Mr. Doya established an NPO and began working on education and employment issues in Africa. As part of his NPO work, he builds schools in Kenya and strives to keep them running. Additionally, in 2015, he left his company and launched a fashion brand, CLOUDY, which manufactures and sells traditional costumes using African textiles. The brand aims to create jobs for African women and provides high quality products while respecting local culture and traditions.

The driving force behind Douji’s activities is to increase options for people in Africa and provide opportunities for them to think, “This is what I want to do.” He has grown up with the local factory workers and reflects their positive mood in his products.

His career includes working at a securities company, starting the NPO “Doooooooo” and founding “CLOUDY”. His work contributes to improving the lives of people in Africa and offers them new possibilities.


[Somali] 永井 陽右 Yusuke Nagai

Japanese terrorism/conflict resolution professional. Founder and representative director of Accept International, a specified non-profit organization. His work primarily involves negotiating with terrorists in conflict areas such as Somalia and Yemen, as well as deradicalizing and reintegrating soldiers who have left terrorist organizations, and also serves on expert panels for international organizations.


[Rwanda] ルダシングワ 真美 Mami Rudasingwa

Mami is a Japanese woman who is involved in providing prosthetic legs and arms free of charge in Rwanda, Africa. She has been doing this since 1997 and has created her prosthetic limbs for approximately 11,000 people. Mami’s work has provided vital support to the many people whose limbs were amputated after the Rwandan genocide.

Mami runs the NGO “Murindi/Japan One Love Project” with her Rwandan husband Gatera Rudasingwa Emmanuel. The organization receives little financial support from the Rwandan government and relies primarily on donations raised in Japan. The couple goes around teaching schools in Japan about the current situation and activities in Rwanda.

Mami’s activities hope to improve the welfare of people with disabilities in Rwanda, and her efforts are aimed at ensuring that people with disabilities are not left behind in the economic growth that is being called the “African Miracle.” She and her husband are working to improve the current state of Rwanda’s welfare system for people with disabilities. Their struggle continues to pave the way for a country where people with disabilities can live as equals.


[Myanmar] 田口 一成 Kazunari Taguchi

AMOMA natural care started its business with the aim of providing stable income to poor farmers in developing countries and supporting their economic independence through the cultivation and sale of organic herbs. The amount of organic herbs purchased was very small when the business started in August 2010, but has grown to about 30 tons in 2014. In addition, as we have become able to purchase herbs in a stable manner, we have started to not only purchase organic herbs from fair trade organizations, but also to help farmers who are in need of more support and are in need, such as the village of Linley, which suffers from damage caused by pesticides. We have started organic herb cultivation in (Myanmar). The purchase of organic herbs currently supports the income of approximately 395 farming families in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Burkina Faso, and other countries, and there are over 30 contracted farming families in Linley Village. Borderless Japan is preparing to welcome approximately 200 households as contract farmers by 2017.

[Mauritania] 前野ウルド浩太郎 Maeno, K.O.

As an entomologist, Maeno is particularly knowledgeable about the ecology of desert locusts. He is working to understand the phase changes of desert locusts (how they change color and become more aggressive when they form swarms and devour plants and crops) and to develop control technologies.

Middle East / Asia

[Turkey] 宮崎淳 Atsushi Miyazaki

Atsushi Miyazaki was an employee of AAR Japan [Association to Help Refugees] and was engaged in emergency relief activities during the Eastern Turkey Earthquake that occurred in October 2011. He worked hard to provide relief supplies to the disaster victims in Wang Prefecture, the area affected by this earthquake. However, unfortunately he passed away during this activity.

Mr. Miyazaki’s dedicated work and his death left a deep impression on the Turkish people. Miyazaki Forest Park, named after him, was established in Wang Prefecture, and features a bust of him and a torii-shaped gate. This park was created for local people to honor and remember the achievements of Mr. Miyazaki, a benefactor from Japan.

Parks and schools bearing Miyazaki’s name have been established not only in Wang Prefecture but also in Turkey’s largest city, Istanbul, and Izmir in the west. His compassionate heart and sacrifice are still respected and remembered by the Turkish people. Even after his death, his spirit lives on among the Turkish people, fostering a spirit of mutual aid.


[Afghanistan] 中村哲 Atsushi Miyazaki

Doctors are being dispatched to Bangladesh from the Japan Christian Overseas Medical Cooperation Society (JOCS), to which Dr. Tetsu Nakamura belonged.

After graduating from Kyushu University School of Medicine in 1973, Dr. Tetsu Nakamura worked at a domestic hospital before moving to Mission Hospital in Peshawar, the capital of Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province, in 1984. He began treating conditions such as Hansen’s disease and intestinal infections, which are common among the poor, and expanded his activities to refugee camps and mountain regions.

As the local representative of the Fukuoka City NGO Peshawar-kai, he has been engaged in humanitarian aid activities such as medical support and agricultural land regeneration in Afghanistan for many years. He dug 1,600 wells and opened 25 kilometers of irrigation canals in Afghanistan.

He died on 2019 at the age of 73, after being shot by an unknown person in the eastern province of Nangarhar.

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