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Father of 9/11 victim asks Japanese to reflect on terrorism | Japan Policy & Politics | Find Articles

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. FindArticles / Reference / Japan Policy & Politics / Sept 14, 2004

Father of 9/11 victim asks Japanese to reflect on terrorism

Tweet 0 10 . . . More Articles of Interest TOKYO, Sept. 11 Kyodo Kazusada Sumiyama, who lost his son in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, is asking the Japanese to think more seriously about what they can do to eliminate terrorism so that the tragedy will never be forgotten. His son, Yoichi Sugiyama, 34, worked at the branch of then Fuji Bank -- now Mizuho Bank -- in the World Trade Center. He was one of 24 Japanese killed in the attacks -- 22 in the twin towers and two others aboard one of the two hijacked airplanes that crashed into the World Trade Center and another that crashed in Pennsylvania. Sumiyama plans to join two other families of Japanese victims to participate in Saturday's memorial service in New York. Last year, Sumiyama, 67, published a collection of his short poems titled ''Odes to the Soul of Ground Zero,'' a bilingual book whose Japanese title is ''Ground Zero no Uta.'' ''I placed the book in a room accessible only by the relatives of the victims, and have since received e-mail messages from other parents who lost their sons and daughters,'' Sumiyama said. ''Some even bought copies of the book to give away. I think they share my experience.'' Sumiyama said he has closely observed developments in the world events for the past three years. He said the war on Afghanistan was justifiable but acknowledges that his feelings toward the Iraq war have changed. He initially felt compelled to support the war believing what U.S. President George W. Bush had said was true. ''I become too emotional when I hear reports of terrorism in North Ossetia. I cannot even read newspapers,'' Sumiyama said of the bloody school hostage siege in Beslan, southern Russia, which left more than 300 people, many of them children, dead. Sumiyama asks the Japanese public, ''Is it enough just to send Self-Defense Forces troops overseas? Can't we assemble humanity's wisdom and conscience to establish a rule to end terrorism?'' He created a website last year that contains the schedules of various memorial events for the families of the Sept. 11 victims. ''Unless I do something, my son's death will be wasted,'' Sumiyama said. ''I want to create opportunities for remembrance. I want to ask people in the world what they think about these events.'' COPYRIGHT 2004 Kyodo News International, Inc. COPYRIGHT 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning Tweet 0 10 . . .
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