NEW DELHI:The Centre is giving a serious thought to a Japanese television channel’s proposal to create a programme on the battle of Imphal where the INA fought alongside the Imperial Japanese Army.
On August 15, which marks the anniversary of the Japanese surrender, Fuji TV plans to broadcast several programmes about Japan’s core battles in World War II, beginning with the Pearl Harbour attack.
The Indian part will feature the battle of Imphal which took place in 1944, where one lakh Japanese soldiers marched towards the Manipuri city. In 2013, Britain’s National War Museum declared the twin battles of Imphal and Kohima as the greatest battles ever fought by the British forces.
The Indian Embassy on June 22 forwarded to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) a detailed proposal to take a call on the Japanese TV programme. South Block then sent the proposal to the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry Home Affairs. The suggestions of the Army have also been sought.
In Asia, China and South Korea continue to accuse Japan of not confronting its role during World War II.
For India, the main concerns about the documentary would perhaps be the depiction of the INA and Netaji’s role. The MHA will also have to give its view of the security situation, given the resurgence of Naga militancy across the border. The Japanese TV crew has sought permission to film in Kohima and Imphal War Cemeteries, villages outside Imphal and at Red Hill, which houses a Japanese peace memorial.
The Japanese producers have agreed to bear the expense of engaging an MEA liaison officer, as well as to follow his or her advice during the shoot. The final cut of the film will be shown to the government two weeks in advance. The makers have agreed to make changes if the government wants any.