Bored Japanese trucker gets kicks from Syria war tourism

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  • 6

    pumpkin31526

    I wonder how exited and brave like a Samurai he will be when a sniper targets him or a random mortar lands at his feet and no medical assistance....I'm pretty sure his insurance won't pay out. Having been through 3 conflicts in military service I can honestly say there are better ways to find excitement. There are thousands of innocent women and children been killed here. And he's on holiday!

  • 6

    Matthew Simon

    Later this year, he plans to hook up with the Taliban in Afghanistan.

    Yeah that's a good idea.

  • 4

    TumbleDry

    Samurai? No. Full stupid and full kamikaze.

  • 7

    kringis

    Darwin Award Winner 2013.

  • 0

    Probie

    “Besides, I’m not afraid if they shoot at me or that they might kill me. I’m a combination of samurai and kamikaze.”

    No. You're a combination of "idiot" and "dullard".

    “I’m not a target for snipers because I’m a tourist, not like you journalists,” he told a reporter.

    Oh yeah, snipers always look for those "press" labels on targets, so of course they'll know you're just a stupid guy going there for the rush.

    Fujimoto won’t even wear a helmet or a flack jacket. “They are very heavy when it comes to running and it’s more fun to go to the front without anything. Besides, when they shoot it’s fun and exciting.”

    I'm sure it's not fun when you get gut-shot and bleed out, screaming in the sand, you dolt.

  • 3

    southsakai

    Man this dude is out of his mind. Who the heck goes to a place like Syria during war when thousands of innocent people are dying horribly and call it a holiday ?

    Someone told me once that some folks get a sense of satisfaction knowing that others around them are in a worse situation.

  • 4

    Kyoko Sakata

    I think Kringis summed it up perfectly.

    I do think he is getting his thrills because of the hand dealt to him i.e. divorce and not seeing his girls. At least he had the sense to provide for them if/when he dies. Biggest loss will be for those girls when they come around searching for him later in life.

  • 5

    cadmium31680

    I expect we'll be reading about him later this year: "Japanese man killed in Syria".

  • 5

    Yubaru

    This is just so wrong on so many fronts, promoting it here too does no good either. Now some other Japanese person potentially could read this and being the copycats that many are, follow this guy to their deaths.

    It would have been better for the world if this hadn't been published.

  • 3

    Yubaru

    But he does have three daughters, whom he hasn’t seen for five years, “not even on Facebook or the Internet, nothing. And that saddens me deeply,” he said as he wiped away a tear.

    And why not try to fix your life, or the reasons you were separated from your children in the first place?

    That is a more noble challenge and infinitely more rewarding if and when it happens.

  • 5

    Elbuda Mexicano

    This reminds me of a dumb ass Japanese university student who was too "bored" studying English down in "safety" New Zealand so he decided to go to "exciting" Iraq via ISRAEL, when some Al Qaeda supporters picked him up walking around the streets of Iraq walking around in shorts, they thought he had to be some kind of SPY for Israel etc...so you can see the rest of the old news and how these guys are yelling Allah Akubar before they slice his throat, I hope it does not happen to this “I’m not a target for snipers because I’m a tourist, not like you journalists,” he told a reporter. “Besides, I’m not afraid if they shoot at me or that they might kill me. I’m a combination of samurai and kamikaze.” but if he gets killed or kidnapped then killed, hey, he has only his "samurai/kamikaze" stupid self to blame, right??

  • 8

    Speed

    I like his honesty.

  • 3

    warispeace

    @southsakai

    Man this dude is out of his mind. Who the heck goes to a place like Syria during war when thousands of innocent people are dying horribly and call it a holiday ?

    I agree the guy is unusual and seems to have a death-wish, but we shouldn't forget that lots of very rich people take holidays in countries where locals are dying of poverty and disease, for example Jamaica, but they are kept safe inside their tourist enclaves. At least this guy puts himself on the line and doesn't hide behind his wealth. And he is not part of some illegal occupation of a foreign peoples holding a gun and killing innocent women and children.

  • 2

    Canuck35

    Hah! I'm sure a guy walking around wearing combat fatigues won't be mistaken for a soldier.

  • 6

    Nessie

    Snuff tourism, the next big thing.

  • 0

    paulinusa

    Elbuda: I remember that incident and he indeed went to Iraq for a thrill. He was warned by locals at every step of his trip to turn back.

  • 4

    fondofj

    Fujimoto is divorced, and says “I have no family, no friends, no girlfriend. I am alone in life.” But he does have three daughters, whom he hasn’t seen for five years, “not even on Facebook or the Internet, nothing. And that saddens me deeply,” he said as he wiped away a tear.

    That says it all. A desperately sad guy without any responsibility can think like this, doesn't matter how stupid it looks to other people.

  • 1

    Meguroman

    Absolutely certain his life insurance policy won't cover war zones. And why is taking pictures of dead children interesting? I hope that Japanese diplomats don't have waste time & money getting his butt out of trouble but that is a likely outcome at some point. He should drive trucks in mine fields - be a blast, I'm sure.

  • 0

    Kevin Goody

    wow just wow who in their right minds would do this?? i have no family no friends no girlfriend either but i'd never do anything like this

  • 1

    BurakuminDes

    I pray every day that, if something happens to me, my girls might collect the insurance money and be able to live comfortably.

    I may be wrong - but I'd take a punt that his life insurance policy would exclude placing himself in a warzone. I guess if he ends up kidnapped and held to ransom by either side - which is likely - he can always count on the J-Govt. throwing millions of dollars in taxpayers money to free him.

  • 1

    change

    And what worries me is that if his kidnappers don't kill him immediately, they will demand ransom from the J govt and my tax money will be going down the drain.

  • 1

    Aristoman

    To be a real man (not samurai nor kamikaze), go and face your family problems. Hug your daughters. Mr. Fujimoto, I think that you are suicidal person with hope to give your daughters money for your death. I wonder if this will make your daughters happy. Dear Japan Today, there are many brave people in Tohoku who are helping to orphans. Many wonderful things happening there on human level. I would like to see that you care about this more then beautifying dead in this article. Thank you for having us here and possibility to reflect. Very brave for now a days media. Respect.

  • 3

    alliswellinjapan

    Not many would be able to fully understand what drives his suicidal tendencies. Would however imagine there to be many like him in the world who voluntarily takes to the battlefield as the only means thinkable for them to escape from the sad reality and/or regrettable past. Would wonder whether the healthier or more sane option to be drugs or taking one's rage onto others. Hope he eventually finds his way out.

  • -1

    Yubaru

    Fujimoto said his employers don’t know he’s in Syria. “I just told them I was going to Turkey on holiday; if I’d told them the truth, they’d tell me I’m completely crazy.”Fujimoto is divorced, and says “I have no family, no friends, no girlfriend. I am alone in life.”

    Ok so besides being crazy he is a liar too. No family....what about the 3 girls he misses so much.

    Dude is selfish and probably has a death wish too.

  • -3

    jjss5324mx@hotmail.com

    Fantastic!. Omedeto!!!. Very nice example of Japan!!. All the inmigrants in Japan will read his adventures to testify how the japanese in middle west is enjoying this tour and becoming a famous man while the workers in Japan can not work like legal workers.

  • 0

    Aristoman

    Later this year, he plans to hook up with the Taliban in Afghanistan. >

    Yep his insurance is going to be very happy to read this article. I hope that Japan Today don't get any troubles from his family after his wish will be fulfilled.

  • 0

    badsey3

    Truckers can be bizarre people because they see a ton of accidents and deaths while driving on the road in the utmost worst of conditions. This can lead to a false of sense of confidence. But not being behind the wheel of a multi-ton truck can change that.

    Very exciting compared to Japan, but it is foolish behavior and should not be encouraged.

  • -1

    John S. Whitford

    You might have included a link to his FB page.

  • 2

    wontond

    Some people get their kicks in different ways. We've all read stories on J-Today on how other people find amusement, some of which is a lot worse than this guy. I say good for him. He's found something that makes him happy.

  • 0

    Newsman

    https://www.facebook.com/#!/toshifumi.fujimoto.52?fref=ts

  • 0

    timtak

    @John S. Whiford Here is is facebook page. http://www.facebook.com/toshifumi.fujimoto.52

  • 0

    nandakandamanda

    In the back of his mind is his inability to give his daughters any money from his trucker's salary. He is ashamed to meet them without being able to hand over some money to them. By dying and leaving them money he hopes to show them that they were always the most important thing to him in his life, thus completing the circle of sorrow and sadness and love. As readers above say, the insurance company probably won't pay out, but it is a nice dream and he is doing what he loves, if massively foolhardy. I wonder if he has actually considered refusal of payout?

    Has anyone been to have a look at his blog, by the way? Just had a quick look but couldn't find anything...

  • 0

    nandakandamanda

    Crossed posts. Thanks, timtak.

  • 0

    Weasel

    Jujimoto must have gotten some warped travel inspiration from reading some posts from the Black Flag Cafe. If he (miraculously) survives his next adventure in Afghanistan drinking tea with the Taliban, perhaps he can up the ante the following year and pay a visit to Mogadishu to drink whiskey sours with Al Shabab?

    BTW...nearly all life insurance policies list as a standard exemption clause that they won't pay out to beneficiaries if the insured is killed while in a war zone.

  • 4

    little_miss

    Hope this doesn't catch on. We don't know all the facts, but my guess is he's been totally cut out of his children's lives. I doubt it would be as easy to go home and do the honorable thing as some posters suggest, through no fault of his own. As long as he doesn't expect Japanese funds to be used to send his remains home... well I can neither condemn nor condone.

  • 0

    Rahul Nirmal

    I knew Japanese love to travel but jeez!

  • 1

    Yanagi

    This man has nothing. He has lived with nothing and is in great sadness. And yet he has seemingly found happiness doing what seems to set him free from such a sad and lonely life. He doesn't care what others think of him because its the only form of happiness he has. Even if his life is on the line. He wanted a feel of life or death and he got it. He's not crazy, he's thoughtful. He's showing people the cost of war and destruction. I don't think he meant holiday in the way your thinking. He escaped his life. Found what his heart thought was right and pursued it. This man shouldn't be looked down upon. He has earned my respect because he has done things most people could never do. While still carrying such a heavy weight in his heart.

  • 2

    House Atreides

    Hope this doesn't catch on.

    It won't catch on. Robert Young Pelton tried offering tourist trips to war zones a few years ago.

    A guy from Switzerland and I set up tours to meet rebel groups, the idea being that we'd go to both sides. No hotels, no trekking. The plan was to actually walk up to the front line, with people shooting at you. But nobody wanted to go. The only inquiries came from the media.

    As Pelton says:

    It can get scary, but certain types of people can handle it. I call it the fireman complex. If there's a fire in the building, certain people run in and certain people run out. So if you're one of those run-in people, you're cool. But if you're one of those run-around-with-your-hands-in-the-air-screaming people, you're not cool.

  • -4

    Mathew Morash

    I'm sorry, this qualifies as a top news story? Some truck drivers fool hardy hobby?

  • 1

    blendover

    My guess is that this guy isn't putting himself in anything like the amount of danger he claims. His whole idea is to become a celebrity when he gets back. He understands the mentality of the average talk show viewer pretty well, I think.

  • 0

    JoshuYaki

    This is a perfect example of media manipulation. Instead of calling this person "crazy" and a profiteer on human misery, he is portrayed as an world adventurer. I wonder if seeing dead children and dead civillians as some how entertaining. This person shouldn't have any spotlight at all.

  • 0

    billyshears

    Could be he has the "excitement gene". "Sensation seeking -- the urge to do exciting things -- has been linked to dopamine, a chemical that carries messages in your brain. For a new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, scientists analyzed genes in the dopamine system and found a group of mutations that help predict whether someone is inclined toward sensation seeking."

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101005171036.htm

  • 0

    billyshears

    BTW...nearly all life insurance policies list as a standard exemption clause that they won't pay out to beneficiaries if the insured is killed while in a war zone.

    Special insurance for those in war zones is available though, so he may have this type of policy:

    http://www.icaonline.us/home/Services/WarZoneInsurance/tabid/64/Default.aspx

  • 0

    hkitagawa

    I don't want to see more decaptation. Be careful.

  • -2

    wtfjapan

    ah very smart guy, now the taliban know hes insured theyll demand a ransom or cut off his head. wonder if he will ask for a photo to be taken as they hack off his head, your luck only last so long.

  • 2

    cwhite

    The risk is no different than a soldier or journalist or just someone living near the front line. For some that is the life they live. At least he is doing something he enjoys.

  • -2

    Yardley

    War is not entertainment. Innocent people are dying and he's enjoying the show. It's so sickening to turn their pain into his holiday snaps. I can't even imagine what kind of person takes pictures of dead children and keeps them on their laptop. He has no feelings for others, just boo-hoo about himself and his pathetic life. A pathetic excuse for a human being.

  • 0

    observerhere

    Instead of the frontline He could be on the frontpage someday (TKIA)

  • 2

    furansuwa

    I suggest he sell his pics to the international press and with the money help the children of Syria.

  • 0

    mdepaiva

    This guy must have a death wish. Snipers don't give a hoot who you are when you are in their gun sites. He definitely has my nomination for a Darwin award. He best get back to Japan and try to put a dent in Japan's declining population.

  • 1

    SwissToni

    I manage an insurance medical assistance team for Japanese tourists for a while. During that time we had a couple of Japanese tourists injured in Afghanistan. The insurance company' wouldn't pay their hospital bills, let alone medical evacuation. In the end we managed to persuade the military to take them out.

    There are policies for certain employees in a war zone but these are hugely expensive and most company's self insure. If this guy gets hurt it will be up to the locals to help him, if they can.

    In my opinion he's a bit of a ghoul and irresponsible to boot.

  • -1

    Thunderbird2

    He opened a file on his laptop to show the partly decomposed body of a seven-year-old girl in Saif al-Dawla, gunned down by a sniper, which has lay unclaimed for months.

    Why would he take a photo like that anyway? Guy's a sicko.

  • -1

    Gaijintoday

    Why would he take a photo like that anyway? Guy's a sicko.

    So that it may never be forgotten... obviously.

    Why do you think they filmed an avalanche of corpses being bulldozed into mass graves after the holocaust?

    That's right you probably guessed (no you didn't), SO THAT THE IMPORTANT IMAGE REMEMBERED FOREVER.

    And what about the late Kevin Carter? Do you think he was a sicko too?

    HUH?!

  • 0

    Knox Harrington

    Depressing to see so many if you classify this guy as a nut after reading a few words about him in Japan Today.

    Fujimoto, who doesn’t speak English, much less Arabic, has picked up a few words, such as “dangerous” and “front line.”

    The only way to interview him was to make use of Google Translate.

    So I guess this person working for AFP doesn't speak Japanese? Communicated via Google Translate? Right there is the first big warning sign - we don't really know what this guy actually said. But you are all quick to judge.

    Secondly, this guy seems to be more lost than anything else. So he wants to go to war zones. Why does that make him a lunatic. If he'd wanted to join the army and go there with a gun, nobody would have thought twice. We don't know the whole story here and I am sure there is much more to this story than what Agence France Press managed to get of of this opportunity to interview this man.

    And lastly, to you people who continually come down on the Japanese and their live for the collective and sameness - is this guy not good enough? Should he have done something more lukewarm? Like put on a costume and ride the Yamanotesen?

    This guy get my respect as well.

  • 0

    Serrano

    "Later this year, he plans to hook up with the Taliban in Afghanistan"

    Maybe he'll hook up with a missile fired from a drone intended for the Taliban.

  • 1

    Simona Stanzani

    go back home and try to get to see your daughters, moron.

  • 0

    Thunderbird2

    Why do you think they filmed an avalanche of corpses being bulldozed into mass graves after the holocaust?

    That's right you probably guessed (no you didn't), SO THAT THE IMPORTANT IMAGE REMEMBERED FOREVER.

    And what about the late Kevin Carter? Do you think he was a sicko too?

    HUH?!

    We've all seen the footage of corpses on the nightly news... to go and take photos like that is pretty ghoulish... then again to go to a war zone for a holiday is a bit idiotic in the first place. He isn't a photojournalist making a record, or gathering evidence for a war crimes trial... he's just some berk taking snaps of dead kids the same way other people take snaps of scenery.

    “I’m not a target for snipers because I’m a tourist, not like you journalists,” he told a reporter. “Besides, I’m not afraid if they shoot at me or that they might kill me. I’m a combination of samurai and kamikaze.”

    Fujimoto won’t even wear a helmet or a flack jacket.

    “They are very heavy when it comes to running and it’s more fun to go to the front without anything. Besides, when they shoot it’s fun and exciting.”

    The guy's an idiot.

  • 0

    Aleenik

    How can he enjoy being surrounded by death? He thinks its some kind of vacation being there? Let's see how long this self proclaimed samurai/kamikaze lasts. He's nuts.

  • 0

    HonestDictator

    This guy is doing what US civilians did back on the first battle of the civil war, they packed up a picnic lunch and went out to watch people kill each other... until they started getting hit in the crossfire. Shameless ignorance and arrogance at its finest. Hate to break it to him but if he's not one of them either side will put a bullet his way since they won't discriminate the "enemy" as much as he believes them to.

  • 0

    Marco LaGrot

    Ancient tradition,he's a reincarnated Kamikaze !!

  • -1

    Fadamor

    This guy is doing what US civilians did back on the first battle of the civil war, they packed up a picnic lunch and went out to watch people kill each other...

    No, looking at the pictures on his Facebook page, the moron is actually picking up weapons and firing them on the front line. Battle fatigues, firing weapons in front of the enemy, this guy is simply trying to commit suicide but is too much of a coward to do it himself.

  • 0

    Kobuta Chan

    I hope he bought life insurance which cover died in war for his three daughters.

  • 0

    nandakandamanda

    Kobuta Chan, read the comments.

    He did, and he is making sure to call himself a 'tourist', but the readers here suggest that his insurance company will not pay out if he takes a bullet in the brain, unless he has taken out a massively expensive special policy. He is certainly tempting Fate.

  • 0

    tranel

    The only way to interview him was to make use of Google Translate.

    AFP cannot interview anyone who doesn't speak English? Reminds me of the "journalists" who parachuted into Japan after the March 11 disaster, stuck mics in the faces of devastated locals without any knowledge of Japan or Japanese whatsoever.

    Journalist - I can't think of a single occupational group that deserves less respect.

  • 0

    John MacGregor

    He looks more like a fighter here rather than a tourist.

    http://www.facebook.com/syria.news.news?ref=stream

  • 0

    whiskeysour

    Good Luck Toshifumi Fujimoto !!!!!

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