Dr Thangjam Dhabali Singh (L) and Japanese embassy counsellor Kajita Takuma (R)

Imphal: Dr Thangjam Dhabali Singh, a Manipur physician, was honoured with the Decoration of the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays by the Japanese Government for his outstanding contribution to promoting ties between Japan and India.

Dr Singh, who is also the chairman and managing director of Classic Hotels and Resorts and Babina Diagnostics, was honoured by Japanese embassy counsellor Kajita Takuma in a simple event held in Imphal on Tuesday.

While stating that the recognition comes with his enduring contribution to promoting the mutual understanding and friendship between Japan and India, Japanese ambassador Satoshi Suzuki said that Dr Singh recognised the importance of passing down the history and nurturing a future-oriented relationship.

As per the official statement, Dr Singh during his tenure from 2012 to 2017 as president of Manipur Tourism Forum (MTF), Japan and Manipur rediscovered each other and got even closer, going beyond the two nations’ historical ties.

According to the release, Dr Singh played an important role in organising the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Imphal of the Second World War, where many dignitaries from Japan, Britain and Australia attended the event held in Imphal, the first commemoration in Manipur.

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Another symbolic achievement of Dr Singh is his contribution to building the Imphal Peace Museum. The Museum, which opened in June 2019 could not have materialised without his leadership and support, it said.

“The museum will remain as a place where our people can come together, reflect on the history and think forward,” said Ambassador Suzuki.

Dr Singh in a statement said, “I am honoured to have been conferred the prestigious ‘Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays’ for the year 2020, and it is one recognition that will be deeply cherished forever.

“I did not expect that my small contribution for the promotion of tourism and my association with the Imphal Peace Museum, the construction of which was made possible with the assistance from Nippon Foundation and the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, with the full support of Japanese Embassy in India, would be acknowledged,” he added.

Dr Singh is among the three Indians and 114 nationals from 57 countries and regions to have been conferred with the award.

The award, scheduled for May 2020 at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, was postponed to unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.

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