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Japan and Nagaland Inaugurate Kohima Peace Memorial and Eco Park

The Kohima Peace Memorial and Eco Park in Nagaland hold profound significance, celebrating the collaborative effort between the Government of Japan, the Japanese International Cooperation Agency, and the Government of Nagaland. The inauguration of these projects represents not only historical importance but also serves as a symbol of peace, reconciliation, and educational value.

Ambassador Suzuki’s Reflections on the Battle of Kohima

Speaking at the program, Ambassador Hiroshi Suzuki, the Japanese Ambassador to India, acknowledged that the Japanese people remembered the Battle of Kohima, along with the “Battle of Imphal,” as one of the most disastrous battles of World War II. He expressed sympathy for the people of Nagaland, who had nothing to do with the war but inevitably had to endure great suffering.

Ambassador Suzuki offered prayers for the souls of all people of Nagaland, Japanese soldiers, Indian National Army soldiers, and those who fought on the British Commonwealth side, who lost their lives in the battle.

Kohima Peace Memorial: A Solemn Tribute

Expressing happiness at witnessing the inauguration of the Kohima Peace Memorial, Ambassador Suzuki stated that the monument enables everyone to stand in solemn silence and offer sincere prayers to all the victims of the battle. He extended his deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences to the people of Nagaland for the indescribable sufferings they endured during the Battle of Kohima.

Fostering Friendship and Cultural Exchange

Ambassador Suzuki acknowledged the generosity of the people of Nagaland, which has fostered a new friendship between Japan and Nagaland. He expressed hope that the Eco-Park will become a new landmark in Kohima, symbolizing the friendship between the two regions.

Furthermore, the Ambassador highlighted the growing cultural exchange between Japan and Nagaland, with many young people from Nagaland traveling to Japan for skill training and job opportunities. He informed that in December last year, a Japanese sending organization called ARMS signed an MoU with Nagaland University to establish a Japanese language course in Kohima, encouraging more Naga youths to learn the language and seize opportunities in Japan.

Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio’s Remarks

Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio expressed that Nagaland’s close association with Japan has matured into bilateral cooperation, and the Nagas have always felt a strong connection with the Japanese people. He mentioned the increasing influence of Japanese culture in Nagaland’s society, especially among the youth.

Rio stated that the inauguration of the Kohima Peace Memorial and the laying of the foundation stone for the Eco-Park is an expression of the commitment to forge stronger ties between the Nagas and Japanese. He highlighted that the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of Kohima is being commemorated this year, and the state government has planned several events involving related countries like the UK and the US, with the hope that Japanese friends will also be part of the programs, collectively working to communicate peace and oneness.

Paying Tribute to the Brave Souls

Later, Ambassador Suzuki, along with Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, visited the Kohima War Cemetery and laid wreaths as a tribute to the brave souls who lost their lives during the Battle of Kohima. The Ambassador also visited the Kohima Cathedral and the World War II Museum at Naga Heritage Village, Kisama.

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