GUWAHATI, Nov 27 - A team of the Japanese government will soon conduct investigative research in the Imphal War Cemetery after it came across information of the discovery of possible World War II Japanese soldiers at the site.
The Japan government may also involve Indian anthropologists and experts of forensic science to investigate the findings, if anything worthwhile comes out.
This was informed by Katsumi Chiba, Deputy Director of Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Japan Government while corresponding with this reporter via email.
Chiba, meanwhile, said that unlike the Guwahati War Cemetery, there are no plans to dig any of the stone graveyards as of now.
“However, if we decide that recovery is necessary, we will dispatch some officials and will also ask Indian forensic scientists and anthropologists to accompany and assist the Japanese team,” Chiba remarked.
Chiba divulged that the Japanese team intends to visit Imphal around March next.
Even after more than seven decades since the World War II, the Japan government continues to initiate efforts to trace out those ‘missing in action’.
In January 2012, supported by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and the State of Assam, grave remains of nine Japanese soldiers of World War II in the Guwahati War Cemetery were repatriated and brought back by the Japan government.
However, the condition of these remains degraded to such a stage that DNA tests could not be performed. As per information, there were originally some 950 burials at the Imphal War Cemetery, but later more graves were shifted from other isolated locations. Now, it contains 1,600 burials of the World War II and is maintained by the Commonwealth Graves Commission.