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Japanese team on 10-day visit to Nagaland

The Japanese team at a meeting with Nagaland Government officials in Kohima on Tuesday. – Photo: Bhadra Gogoi
 DIMAPUR, Sept 11 - A Japanese delegation is on a ten-day visit to Nagaland to seek prompt recovery of the mortal remains of Japanese soldiers who had died during the World War II. Although 74 years have passed since the end of the war, the mortal remains of 1.12 million Japanese soldiers are yet to be repatriated to Japan, an official release stated today. The Japan Association for Recovery and Repatriation of War Casualties is on a visit to the State from September 10 to 20.

Considering the sentiments of the bereaved families of the deceased Japanese soldiers, some of whom are at a very advanced stage of life, prompt recovery and repatriation of the mortal remains of the soldiers to Japan are the utmost priority of the team.

Nagaland Government officials held a meeting with the team at the conference hall of the Chief Secretary in Kohima on Tuesday. The first phase of the visit of the Japanese team is a part of its mission to collect information by interviewing persons who provided information about the remains of the Japanese soldiers, the release added.

Besides, field investigation of the burial sites will be conducted on the basis of the information collected during research activities so as to confirm the condition of the mortal remains by excavating the soil surface, the release stated.

During the 10-day visit, the team will visit villages like Jotsoma, Kigwema, Riisoma, etc., in Kohima district where information about the mortal remains of the Japanese war dead has been found.

Team leader Kazuhiko Furumoto, while briefing the State Government officials on the schedules and activities to be taken up during their visit, urged the Nagaland Government to support their survey mission and provide safety and security measures wherever and whenever needed. He also sought the support and guidance of the Anthropology Department, Kohima Science College, in ascertaining information about the mortal remains from anthropological aspects.

Furumoto said the next phase of the exploration by the team is scheduled to be conducted from November 10 to 24 when it will focus not only on plain areas but also on hilly and mountainous areas. In the second phase, the team will visit Yikhum village in Wokha district, Chakhabama in Kohima district, Jessami in Ukhrul district of Manipur, etc.

On its part, the Nagaland Government assured the Japanese team of safety and security measures in addition to necessary assistance and information.

Principal Secretary, School Education, Menukhol John, chaired the meeting. The Japanese team agreed to John’s suggestion about holding a meeting with the State Government when the team leaves Nagaland after their second-phase visit in November.

Commissioner and Secretary, IPR, V Maria Yanthan, Kohima SP Kevithuto Sophie, officials from the Tourism, Art and Culture departments, the principal of the Kohima Science College and members of the Department of Anthropology of the college also attended the meeting.

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