Last Updated: Friday, 19 January 2018, 17:46 GMT

Journalists Killed in 2012 - Motive Confirmed: Mika Yamamoto

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date 18 December 2012
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, Journalists Killed in 2012 - Motive Confirmed: Mika Yamamoto, 18 December 2012, available at: [accessed 20 January 2018]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Japan Press
August 20, 2012, in Aleppo, Syria

Yamamoto, a video and photojournalist for Tokyo-based Japan Press, was killed in clashes between rebels and Syrian government forces in the northern city of Aleppo, according to news reports and Japan's Foreign Ministry.

In footage released by Japan Press and shot shortly before her death, Yamamoto is seen traveling with the rebel Free Syrian Army to an area that had been bombed when gunshots were heard. Aleppo was the scene of a heavy government attacks that day.

Yamamoto was among a group of journalists that included Kazutaka Sato, her husband and colleague. In a telephone interview with Japan's NTV and described by Reuters, Sato said: "We saw a group of people in camouflage fatigues coming toward us. They appeared to be government soldiers. They started random shooting. They were just 20, 30 meters away or even closer." The other journalists scattered and escaped harm, he said, but Yamamoto was struck by the gunfire. She died at a nearby hospital.

Deputy Foreign Minister Faysal Mekdad denied that government forces killed Yamamoto and said she was killed by "armed groups," The Associated Press reported.

Yamamoto, 45, was a veteran correspondent, who covered the war in Afghanistan in 2001 and the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, according to Japan Press, which produces documentaries and news footage, according to its website.

Medium:Television, Internet
Job:Camera Operator, Photographer
Beats Covered:War
Local or Foreign:Foreign
Type of Death:Crossfire/Combat-Related
Suspected Source of Fire:Military Officials
Copyright notice: © Committee to Protect Journalists. All rights reserved. Articles may be reproduced only with permission from CPJ.

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