Japan to carry remains of soldiers who died in Nagaland during WW-II

Last Updated 25 April 2022, 14:26 IST

The Japanese government has decided to carry the possible remains of their soldiers, who had died in Nagaland during World War II, for identification through DNA testing.

The possible human remains were collected by members of the Japan Association for Recovery & Repatriation of War Casualties with the help of the Nagaland government in 2019 under the World War-II Remains Recovery project of Japan government.

A three-member Japanese delegation, which met Nagaland Chief Secretary J. Alam on April 22 said that the possible remains, which were collected from the jungles of Nagaland would be taken to Japan for DNA testing for identification.

"The delegation expressed gratitude to the state government for the cooperation and support rendered to Japan in locating the remains of fallen Japanese soldiers during the WW-II. The team also briefed the Chief Secretary on the progress made during the past years. Alam assured the delegation of support and cooperation from the state government," said a statement issued by Nagaland government on Monday.

The remains were collected during excavations carried out by a Japanese team, mainly from Wokha, Kohima and Phek districts in Nagaland since 2019.

Many Japanese soldiers had died fighting the Allied Forces during the Battle of Kohima in 1944. The Japanese forces that had entered the Northeast from neighbouring Burma (present Myanmar) tried to capture the Kohima Ridge, which was part of the route through which the British and Indian troops were supplied for the war, but were defeated.

Similarly, many soldiers belonging to the Allied Forces including the US had also disappeared in the Northeast during World War-II. Japan is the second country after the US, which was granted permission by India to carry out excavation and to take back the mortal remains of their soldiers. Japan had earlier taken samples of such remains collected from a cemetery in Guwahati. The US had also carried out some excavations in Arunachal Pradesh a few years ago but the same was discontinued later.

(Published 25 April 2022, 14:26 IST)

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