Kohima: The Nagaland government on Tuesday held a meeting with the Japan Association for Recovery & Repatriation of War Casualties (JARRWC) at the chief secretary’s conference hall in state capital Kohima.
As per officials, the Japanese delegation led by Kazuhiko Furumoto is on a 10-day visit to the state to investigate about the remains of the Japanese soldiers, during its first phase from September 10-20.
It said that even after 74 years since the Battle of Kohima, 1.12 million remains are yet to be repatriated to Japan and considering the sentiments of the bereaved families of the deceased Japanese soldiers—some of whom were at a very advanced age—prompt recovery of the mortal remains to Japan is their utmost priority.
As part of their mission, the JARRWC in its first phase will collect information by interviewing informants who will enlighten about the remains of the Japanese war dead. Besides that, field investigation of burial sites of the remains will be done based on the information collected in research activities so as to confirm the burial condition of the remains under the ground by excavating the soil surface at the site where the excavated site will be reburied.
The team will first Jotsoma Village, Kigwema village Rüsoma village and other villages under Kohima district where the information of the mortal remains of Japanese war dead will be found.
Briefing the state officials about the 10-day schedule, Furumoto appealed the state government to support their survey mission and provide safety and security measures wherever and whenever needed. He further sought the support and guidance of anthropology department, Kohima Science College in ascertaining the information about the mortal remains from anthropological aspects.
Furumoto revealed that the next phase of exploration is scheduled from November 10 to 24, where the team will focus not only in plain areas but also in hilly and mountainous areas. In this phase, the team will visit Yikhum village under Wokha district, Chakhabama and Jessami villages under Phek, among others.
Meanwhile, the state government has assured to support the mission and further provide safety and security measures in addition to providing necessary assistance and information.
School education principal secretary Menukhol John, who chaired the programme, expressed condolences to the bereaved family of Naoko Andou, who is part of the team. The delegation agreed to John’s suggestion on having a meeting with the state government before their departure from Nagaland after their second phase in November.