Manipur Times recorded some of the important speeches delivered during the closing ceremony of 70th Commemoration of Second World War held at MFDC on 28 June, 2014. We are very glad to share the transcription of speech (which is not in full length).
Y. Kawasmura – Charge de’ Affaire and Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Japan.
“Japan and India have develop a historic relation. The Emperor and empress of Japan visited India last year. PM Shinzo Abe visit on India’s Republic Day this year as the Chief Guest for the first time in Japan’s history. And a Join statement of the two Prime Minister addressed a new vision of Japan and India cooperation on regional connectivity. These commitments are routed in the firm belief that connectivity and regional integration will serve further development of Asia.
In making these vision turn into reality Japan will be supporting India in developing India’s North East by transforming it into a thriving hub. By establishing the necessary infrastructure covering such field as roads, agriculture, forestry, water and technical assistance.
Regional connectivity can change the industrial and strategic map and influence the investment behavior of private companies. However in order to promote regional integration growth and regional prosperity are essential. No development can be achieve without growth. In these perspective we encourage Japanese as well as global manufacturers to invest in these region to nurture industrial clusters in other to support sustainable growth.
The State of Manipur is now becoming a very attractive destination for industry and tourism and Japan is waiting to play a major role towards further development of the State and uplift the whole Asia while cooperating India to enhance regional connectivity. It is therefore really remarkable that this place which went through intense past is now poised to become the symbol of renewed cooperative ties between Japan and India and not limited to Japan and India but with friendly nations from the rest of the world and as well for the bright future of the people living in North East India.”
Dr Hugo Slim – Senior Research Fellow,University of Oxford.
“There was extraordinary neutral act of human kindness all over Manipur, when all the people of Manipur help Japanese shoulders who were starving and British soldier who were wounded and hurt in spirit of humanity. That Civilian history in Manipur should also be remembered too. But then the world left Manipur but now I felt the world is coming back to you. And you have here an extraordinary global crossroad. You are looking north south east and west and the world is interested in you and you are very welcoming place.
The challenge I think for us is we remember these battle and this war is to preserve, remember and teach the war. And already we know from the committee and local activism here that there is a strong and very powerful museum. There are battlefield tours, there is a well developing tourism infrastructure, there is knowledge and analysis about the war and now the governor has also share the desire and important idea to expand that process into perhaps a bigger museum somewhere and I think it is a very good idea.
But there are two principles we need if we think about expanding museum and raising money and built it in another place is to invest in that.
The first principle is that it must remember and include everyone. It cannot be a one sided museum.
Second principle is that it is design and in an integrated and join approach that is led by Manipur but that involve Australian, Canadian New Zealanders, British, Japanese, American, Indian and other nations in the design and then we are having true and integrated memory of these war. And this is why I am glad to be here with the Japanese delegation today. The best possible legacy of these conflict which we are the memory and although it is dead must be peace between Japan British and India.”
On Dr Hugo Slim’s word Y. Kawasmura – Charge de’ Affaire and Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Japan shared few lines of appreciation and initiatives towards the museum. He expressed that,
“It is indeed a reasonable and respectable solution by Dr. Slim presentation on todays ‘occasion for reconciliation efforts more particularly for the museum to preserve the war memory and share historical experiences for the future peace creation. That is a very respective suggestions. I would like to take the suggestions back home in New Delhi and consult with colleagues and home government in Tokyo and decide what we can do for the museum.
Closing his remarks he pray for eternal peace to the soul of those who have perished in Imphal.”
Mr Scott Furssedonn Wood – British Deputy High Commissioner
“The battle that raised in the hills and valley of Manipur and in the sky above between March and July of 1944 has been recognized as the turning point of the Second World War. The greatest battle of all time. 200 thousand soldiers and Airman Australian, Canadian New Zealanders, British, Japanese, American, Indian and others fought in some of the hardest condition of war.
Five Victoria Crosses the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry were awarded at Imphal.
One went to 19 year old Abdul Hafiz who passed away in the war becoming the first Muslim to be awarded Victoria Cross in World War 2. Hanson Tana 33 year old, another Victoria Cross award winner lie buried in the beautiful common wealth cemetery in Imphal. Three other awardee survived the war.
For the people of Manipur all these were happening in their home where many Manipuri fought the war bravely. I was privileged to meet some of the war veteran yesterday. Countless Manipuri were dislocated and many lost wealth.
There was tremendous suffering in Imphal. What happen in 1944 will always be a shared experience between the nations and the people who took part and with the Manipuri’s whose land will be sacred to the memory of those who have lost. 70 years on British diplomats stand here together without Indian friends here in Imphal as guest of the people of Manipur is tremendously significant.
Over the seventy years of the past since 1944 our nation have work together for global security and for our shared prosperity. This has happen not because we have forgotten the event in 1944 but because we remember them and know that they can never be repeated”.