The Daily Manila Shimbun


EXCLUSIVE: Japanese woman fighting terrorism in Israel

May 16, 2019

Kela, Golan Heights--A 21-year-old Japanese woman who has Israeli citizenship and serves for the military of the Middle East country has underscored her determination to fight terrorism.

"I want to do my best" in the frontline of the combat unit of the Israel Defense Force's Givati Brigade, which is responsible for antiterrorism operations, Staff Sgt. Mayu Shimizu said in an interview with Jiji Press at Kela Camp in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on Tuesday.

Until recently, Shimizu had been engaged in special missions in places including the border area between Israel and Syria. "Operations happen...almost every week," she said.

Born to a Japanese father and an Israeli mother, Shimizu moved to Israel after spending her childhood in Tokyo.

In January 2018, she became the first woman assigned to the brigade's combat unit, on the back of her mental and physical strength, after receiving medical staff training at the military, according to the IDF.

"You can't live in Israel without the army," Shimizu said, noting that the military protects people's peaceful lives. She emphasized that she has "no hesitation" to join missions at dangerous places.

Last Thursday, Shimizu received a presidential commendation, given to only a handful of excellent troops.

Her service in the IDF is scheduled to end in November, but the military is asking her to stay longer.

Shimizu, who hopes to pursue her interest in medicine in the future, looks forward to traveling in Japan after her military duties end, citing the annual Sapporo Snow Festival in the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido as a possible destination.

This was the first time for Shimizu to be interviewed by a Japanese media organization. The interview took place in the presence of IDF officials. Jiji Press