Japan20-year-old Ugandan governor Julius Ssekitoleko left a note saying “I want to work in Japan” before disappearing on July 16 at the Tokyo Olympics.

The last time a member of the Ugandan team saw Ssekitoleko’s face was around 0:30 on Friday, July 16. By noon that day, when the medical staff came to take samples for nCoV testing, they could no longer find Ssekitoleko in the room. He just left a note saying: “I want to work in Japan”.

Japanese authorities tracked down and discovered Ssekitoleko bought a ticket for the shinkanshen train from Osaka to Nagoya, nearly a day after going missing. Since then, he has been silent.

Julius Ssekitoleko competes in the 56kg weight class, won the bronze medal in the young African weightlifting.  Photo: NYTimes

Julius Ssekitoleko competes in the 56kg weight class, won the bronze medal in the young African weightlifting. Image: NYTimes

Ssekitoleko is part of a nine-member Ugandan weightlifting team, training in Izumisano, Osaka since June 19. Two members of the team were positive for nCoV, but for personal reasons, the organizers did not disclose whether Ssekitoleko was infected or not.

The Ugandan delegation – Beatrice Ayikoru – said to Kyodo News that Ssekitoleko failed to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, so he had to return home with his coach on July 20. “We have made it clear to members both in Uganda and here that we must respect Japanese immigration laws, and not leave the training camp on our own,” Ayikoru said.

Around 6 pm on July 16, a Ugandan leader called Ssekitoleko and he answered. But the 20-year-old governor just said that he was not convenient to talk and hung up. Japanese officials are concerned that Ssekitoleko’s disappearance will increase the risk of spreading nCoV.

Nagoya is the administrative center of Aichi Prefecture, where about 150 Ugandans live, according to Japanese government data on July 16. It is the second most populous Ugandan area in Japan.

Hoang An (according to the Kyodo News)


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