Doctor Tetsu Nakamura devoted his life to helping the people of Afghanistan and on Wednesday (December 4), that life was lost.
The head of Japanese aid agency Peace Japan Medical Services died in hospital - one of six people killed after gunmen attacked their vehicle in the eastern Afghan city Jalalabad.
The ambush came a week after a grenade attack on a UN vehicle in Kabul, heightening fears for those doing humanitarian work amid one of the world's longest-running conflicts.
An eyewitness saw the attack on Nakamura' vehicle.
(SOUNDBITE) (Pashto) EYEWITNESS OF ATTACK, ESMATULLAH, SAYING: "When the vehicles of the Japanese man arrived in this area, the attackers opened fire on them and they shot at the Japanese man, his driver, and his bodyguards.
Right after the attack, when the Japanese raised his head, one of the attackers shouted and said that he's still alive and then they shot him again." Nakamura was involved in rebuilding Afghan irrigation and agriculture, and had recently been granted honorary Afghan citizenship for his decades of humanitarian work.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he was shocked at the death.
(SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER SHINZO ABE, SAYING BEFORE WALKING AWAY: "Doctor Nakamura has made many contributions in the field of medicine and irrigation.
We know his life-risking efforts in dangerous areas have been appreciated by the people in Afghanistan.
It is very shocking to hear that he has passed away in such an incident.
I would like to express my deepest condolences." No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, but a spokesman for the Afghan Taliban, said the militant group was not involved.
A local official said police are searching for the gunmen, adding that he believed Nakamura was targeted because of his work.