RYOJI TAKAYAMA
Resident Representative
Certified NPO International Mine Clearance and Community Development Supporters (IMCCD)
Demining Specialist
Mine Clearance Technical Advisor for CMAC, Cambodia
Reconstruction Advisor for Battambang province, Cambodia
Reconstruction Advisor for Tboung Khmum province, Cambodia
Mobile: +81 (0)80 1174 6741
Mobile (Cambodia): +855 12 419 547
Please contact me if you are interested in visiting Tasaen village.
 
 

MESSAGE

Firstly, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to you supporting IMCCD.

Between 1992 and 1993, I was stationed in Cambodia as self-defense officer for UN peacekeeping operations (PKO).  On my way to Japan after the end of the six-month mission, looking at the land of Cambodia from a plane window where Mekong river stretches and palm trees are scattered, I asked myself, "Did I make any contribution for the last six months?" and my answer was, "No, I did not do anything..."  My heart was filled with grief.  "I will come back here again and accomplish what I was supposed to do," I said to myself.
 
In 2002, ten years since the PKO mission, I was on the plane returning to Cambodia, only three days after I retired from Japan Self Defense.  Overlooking the land of Cambodia, I landed on the Phnom Penh airport with feelings of happiness to be back and of accomplishment.
 
Initially, I was pursuing clearance of unexploded ordnance (UXO) near the Vietnamese border, but in 2006, I started  mine/UXO clearance at an area adjacent to the Thai border.  The reason for the relocation was that Heng Ratana, the Director General of Cambodian Mine Action Center (CMAC), indicated the area: Tasaen village, Kamrieng district, Battambang province located in the northwest of Cambodia, after hearing my request, "I would like to do my activity at the most mine-buried and poorest village." 
 
People often ask me why I am doing such dangerous work.  Then, I answer that it was a mistake for humans to bury landmines during the civil war and the mistake should not be carried over to the future generation, and humans are responsible for correcting errors they made.

In the course of the operation, I realized that completion of mine/UXO clearance is not the only goal, but also reconstructing a livable area is indispensable.  Then, I felt the necessity of activity for fostering agriculture and local industry.
 
In the harsh area exposed during the civil war, I will keep on conveying the preciousness of peace through cleanup of wounds of war and disseminate "seeds of peace" to the world addressing how we can create a society without war and conflict.  I trust IMCCD's mission is to spread seeds of peace advocating realistic peace theory but not utopian theory.

Your generous support is invaluable to us, and we deeply thank each single one of you.

Ryoji Takayama
 

Awarded in "Community Driven Digital Content of the year 2015" 

 

Biography

1947           
- Born in Mima-cho, Kitauwa-gun ("Uwa-gun" at present), Ehime.
- Served at Engineering Unit (responsible for mine action) of Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) for 36 years.

1992-1993 
- Joined PKO in Cambodia.  Developed a special feeling for Cambodia since.

2002 May   
- Joined Japan Mine Action Service (JMAS) as Member of the Board of Director immediately after the retirement from JGSDF.
- Start up of UXO clearance operation in Cambodia as Deputy Delegate.

2004 Sep    
- Returned to Japan.  Prepared for mine clearance operation in Ehime while performing publicity activity for JMAS.

2006 Feb    
- Returned to Cambodia to research and analyze the current situation for developing mine clearance operation.

  

Award

2007 Feb     Nankai Broadcasting Award
2009 Nov     Global Contribution Award from The Soroptimist Japan Foundation
2010 Mar     TV Ehime Award
2011 Nov     Social Contribution Award from Foundation for Encouragement of Social Contribution
2013 Jun     Commendation from Cambodian government
2015 Jan     Citizen of the Year Awards from Citizen Holdings
2015 Dec     The 9th Kamenori Awards from Kamenori Foundation 
2016 Feb     The 3rd Platinum Guild Award from Platinum Guild no Kai
2016 Nov     READYFOR OF THE YEAR 2016
2016 Dec     The 20th Earth Rinri Award, Award of Minster of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
2017 Feb     Commendation for Matsuyamacommunity activitypromotion
2018 Nov     Social Contribution Award from Foundation for Encouragement of Social Contribution
2020 Jan     Ehime Newspaper Award

Book

地雷処理という仕事 カンボジアの村の復興記

(ちくまプリマー新書) 

  
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Speech available on CD

平和の種をまきたい~地雷原の村での挑戦~

 

 
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