Her life was dedicated to telling the world about the plight of people in war-torn countries. And now the legacy of journalist Mika Yamamoto, killed last August 20 while covering the war in Syria, will live on in recognition of fellow journalists who follow the same path. The “Yamamoto Mika Award” will be presented to distinguished journalists for their coverage of foreign affairs.
The creation of the award was announced during a memorial service last October 4 at her hometown in Tsuru, Yamanashi Prefecture. Speaking at the gathering was Kazutaka Sato, a representative of Japan Press Inc and Yamamoto’s long-time partner, who was beside her during the attack in Aleppo that led to her death.
Even more importantly, a foundation will also be established in her name. They will invite established journalists to teach selected scholars journalistic values and principles. One of Yamamoto’s advocacies while she was alive was to go around high schools and colleges and talk to young people about the importance of peace.
Yamamoto was also given the Tsuru Citizen’s Honor Award, the first of its kind from the Tsuru Municipal Government. Her father, Koji Yamamoto, expressed the hope that Mika’s legacy will be passed on to the younger generation because that is what she would have wanted.