Imphal, 22 June,
The Imphal Peace Museum was inaugurated today at Maibam Lokpa Ching aka Red Hill at Nambol.
Dignitaries present on the opening ceremony were Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman The Nippon Foundation, H.E. Sir Dominic Asquith, British High Commissioner to India, H.E. Kenji Hiramatsu Ambassador of Japan to India and Nidhi Kesarwani, IAS, Commissioner Tourism.
Floral tributes were paid by the dignitaries at the India Peace Memorial and followed by opening of the Imphal Peace Museum to the public.
As a part of the program, Cherry Blossom or Sakura(in Japanese) plants were planted at the spot by the dignitaries. Calligraphic Peace Message of Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan was also unveiled in today’s function.
The foreign dignitaries also paid floral tribute at Imphal War Cemetery, Dewlahland.
Speaking in a press interaction chairman of Nippon Foundation Yohei Sasakawa said that the commemoration of 75 years of the 2nd World War, the inauguration of the Peace Museum will deepens the healthy relationship between the two nations as well as with Manipur. He further added that it will push the relationship to a more healthy state. Yohei Sasakawa said that the Japanese people also still need to learn a lot what has happen in Manipur and added that it will give immense information regarding the tragic incidents that took place in Manipur. He also said that he acknowledged the tragic past of Manipur that happens because of the war and added that they will look forward into more futuristic approach.“In a big picture India and Japan have never been such a healthy relationship with each other”, Sasakwa said. He also highlighted the certificate course of Japanese language that have been started in Manipur University and assured to send teachers to MU. He appealed to give any materials related with the war to be put in the museum.
British High Commissioners to India H.E Sir Dominic Asquith said that they have learnt from the past and learning from the past was an important thing to do. The remembrance will be a force to do good. He added that the museum symbolise the reconciliation between Japan, United Kingdom and India. He expressed to have such good friendship in years to come. Dominic further stated that reconciliation is always a good sign and added that the remembrance give justice to the martyrs life who have fought with tremendous courage.
It can be mention that around 80 Japanese came to Manipur to participate the said event.
Later in the afternoon, a program was held at MSFDS Palace Compound commemorating the Platinum Jubilee of Battle of Imphal. A presentation on Imphal Peace Museum and 75th Anniversary of Battle of Imphal were presented by Haobam Joyremba, Secretary Manipur Tourism Forum and Arambam Angamba Vice President of 2nd World War Imphal Campaign Foundation respectively. A souvenir was also released by the visiting dignitaries.
It may be mentioned that The Battle of Imphal took place around the Imphal city, from March until July 1944. Japanese armies attempt to invade India were driven back into Burma with heavy losses by the Allied forces. Together with the Battle of Kohima, the twin battle was the turning point of the Burma Campaign, part of the South-East Asian Theatre of the Second World War. The Japanese defeat at Kohima and Imphal was the largest up until that time, with many of the Japanese deaths resulting from starvation, disease and exhaustion suffered during their retreat.
In a contest organised by the National Army Museum in England, The battles of Imphal and Kohima have been voted the greatest battles fought in the history of the British Army.