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Kenji Goto (後 藤 健 二, Gotō Kenji ?, November 29, 1967 – ca. January 31, 2015) was an independent Japanese video journalist covering wars and conflicts, refugees , poverty, AIDS and child education all over the world In October 2014, was captured and taken hostage in Syria by militants of the Islamic State (ISIL), and on January 31, 2015, it was reported that He had been beheaded by his captors.
Goto was born on November 29, 1967 in the city of Sendai, Miyagi prefecture, Japan. After graduating from Hosei University in Tokyo in 1991, he worked for an audiovisual production company before setting up his own company, Independent Press, in 1996. He also worked with United Nations organizations such as UNICEF and UNHCR.
He produced reports in countries devastated by war throughout the world, especially in Africa and the Middle East, focusing on the life and humanity of ordinary citizens in difficult times. His works include books and DVDs on blood diamonds and child soldiers in Sierra Leone, the conflict in Rwanda and its survivors, a teenage mother in an “AIDS village” in Estonia, and on girls and education in Afghanistan. In 2006, he won the Sankei Children’s Book Award for his 2005 book entitled Daiyamondo yori Heiwa ga Hoshii.
His video reports appeared on Japanese TV channels including NHK and TV Asahi.
Goto became a Christian in 1997, and was a member of a United Church of Christ in Japan and a member of a parish in Den-en-Chofu, Tokyo.
In October 2014, Goto’s wife, Rinko Jogo, had a baby, the journalist’s second child, who also had an older daughter from a previous marriage.
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