On-Site Reports from Our Peacekeepers

Japan Diak (I Like Japan)!

December 2011
Major Takao Shimase
 UNMIT Military Liaison Officer in Bobonaro

Since September this year, I've been dispatched to Timor-Leste as an UNMIT Military Liaison Officer. I'm mainly undertaking tasks that involve information gathering, and our team oversees the district of Bobonaro. In this district, an irrigation system was established with the assistance of Japan. Moreover, the engineering troops of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force built good relations with the local people during their deployment from 2002 to 2004. Therefore, while I'm engaged in my duties, many people from different places have warmly welcomed me with the phrase "Japan diak! (I like Japan!)".

Volunteer activity at an elementary school (I'm teaching them to fold paper origami-style.)(img)

Volunteer activity at an elementary school (I'm teaching them to fold paper origami-style.)

With school kids during volunteer activities(img)

With school kids during volunteer activities

Our team also tries to build friendly relationships with the local people by doing various volunteer activities, so that the UN could become something familiar to them. Visiting an elementary school in the city of Mariana is one such activity. I feel nervous when I'm undertaking my tasks. However, this school visit temporarily gives me comfort, because I have a child of the similar age. In this visit, I teach English and demonstrate origami, which was taught to me by my daughter. I show the boys how to make a paper crane, and the girls how to make a paper balloon flower, but I'm a little embarrassed with my limited origami repertoire.

Conducting an interview at a police station (I'm looking serious.)(img)

Conducting an interview at a police station (I'm looking serious.)

With a new friend who is the chief of a border monitoring post and a big fan of Japan (He says he likes a certain Japanese singer.)(img)

With a new friend who is the chief of a border monitoring post and a big fan of Japan (He says he likes a certain Japanese singer.)

Conducting an interview at a border monitoring post(img)

Conducting an interview at a border monitoring post

Timor-Leste is preparing for its presidential election, to be held in March next year. Meanwhile, our mission, which supports the self-sustaining administration of the country, is about to enter a critical stage. I would like to continuously do my best in the mission for the brighter future of innocent children as well as for the development of the country.

Maybe I'm holding the baby deer in a wrong way. It seems unconfortable.(img)

Maybe I'm holding the baby deer in a wrong way. It seems unconfortable.

A Japanese should know about Japanese cars. My colleague asked me to inspect this Japanese car.(img)

A Japanese should know about Japanese cars. My colleague asked me to inspect this Japanese car.

And a Japanese should know about Japanese printers. The school teachers asked me to repair this Japanese printer.(img)

And a Japanese should know about Japanese printers. The school teachers asked me to repair this Japanese printer.