The 75th anniversary of one of the fiercest and toughest battles of WW-II, known as the Battle of Kohima, was commemorated at the Regional Centre of Excellence for Music and Performing Arts at Jotsoma in Kohima on Thursday.
The day was observed on the theme “Remembrance, Reconciliation, Rebirth”.
Recounting the death of thousands of lives in the battle, Ambassador of Japan to India, Kenji Hiramatsu, said the peace we enjoy today was built over tremendous sacrifices.
He said Japan stands committed to never repeat the devastation of the war.
Hiramatsu said the relationship between Japan and the Northeast region has become substantially closer.
He added the Act East Forum was started two years back to help accelerate the development of the region and the people-to-people exchange programmes, particularly among the youth.
The Japanese envoy said Japan has been implementing the IRIS programmes for youngsters from the region and added his country is willing to welcome people from the Northeast through Technical Intern Training programme.
He hoped this would further strengthen the bond between the people. He further said promoting intellectual dialogue with the Northeast will help in facing challenges together.
British High Commissioner to India, Sir Dominic Anthony Gerard Asquith, during the commemoration programme, said General Slim’s view of the Nagas that “no soldier of the 14th Army will ever forget the admiration and affection” still holds true today by the children of the fallen soldiers. “Because of their sacrifices, we are in a better place today,” he said.
Asquith said t India, Japan and UK stand together as three great democracies to work with each other for peace and prosperity globally and committed to facing today’s challenges.
On the occasion, Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio said post the world war, the Nagas were witness to more wars and bloodshed.
However, the past two decades have been peaceful and Nagaland is moving forward on the path of development, he said.
Rio said Nagaland has been partnering with JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) for various development projects. He said such projects with mutual support and coordination would help develop the state.