Dili, 23 Marcho 2017 – H.E. the President of the Republic, Taur Matan Ruak, this Friday lamented over the death of the Japanese senator Tomiko Okazaki who died last week, on 19 March, aged 73.

“I have learnt with consternation the sad news of the passing of Mrs. Tomiko Okazaki. From Japan and New York, Mrs Okazaki dedicated herself to Timor-Leste’s fight for freedom. Her passing is a great loss to Timor-Leste. On behalf of the People of Timor-Leste and also in my name, I would like to express my sincere condolences and sympathy for the family of Mrs. Okazaki. Her dedication and support to the fight for Timor-Leste’s independence shall forever remain in our heart.”

Tomiko Okazaki was born on 16 February 1944 in the city of Fukushima. She was a politician of the Democratic Party of Japan and a member of the House of Councillors of the Japanese Diet since 1997. In 1980 she pushed for RDTL’s independence to be recognised and revived the Tetun language through the Darwin Tetun School. On 9 September 2015, Tomiko Okazaki, who was held in high esteem by many Timorese including Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão and the current Head of State Taur Matan Ruak, was awarded the Order of Timor-Leste in Tokyo.  END