Tetsu Nakamura, a Japanese doctor shot on Wednesday while traveling in a car in eastern Afghanistan, has died. Nakamura's career was dedicated to improving people's lives.
He once said, "I don't want to dress in white and walk around with airs and graces. We look beautiful when we are working up a sweat."
Nakamura started working as a doctor in Pakistan in 1984. He provided medical aid to people there and in neighboring Afghanistan.
In 2000, Afghanistan was hit by a serious drought and famine. Nakamura soon realized that medical aid alone would not solve the problem. So he turned his attention to help revive the country's agricultural industry by building irrigation systems.
Nakamura said, " Drugs cannot cure hunger or thirst. So I decided to go beyond the narrow field of medicine and work to ensure that people can have enough food and water. It was a big shift."
His time in Afghanistan was full of challenges. In 2008, a Peshawar-kai member and aid worker Kazuya Ito was kidnapped and killed by militants.
Nakamura said, " I'm so sorry for his parents. / I want to continue what Mr Ito was doing. / I'll continue to deal with the drought."
Nakamura's determination led him to high accolades. In 2003, he received the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Peace and International Understanding. The award is widely recognized as "Asia's Nobel Prize."
And in October, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani made him an honorary citizen, a first for a foreigner.
Ghani said, "Dr. Nakamura is a very distinguished Japanese that I'd like to salute because he spent over 20 years helping Afghanistan and he brought old Japanese methods of harnessing water and adjusting it to Afghanistan."
Tetsu Nakamura was 73.