Imphal Peace Museum Opening Ceremony
Bearing in mind that the invaluable peace that we share today is the legacy of the ultimate suffering of those who have fought and have fallen in war, we remind ourselves that our duty is to protect our peaceful society. I say this with all sincerity in supporting the construction of the Imphal Peace Museum. It gives me no greater satisfaction and joy to be able to celebrate its opening with everyone here present. About a month ago I visited the Imphal War Cemetery and paying tribute to the souls of the war dead I conveyed this determination to them.
I myself have experienced the suffering of war as I miraculously survived the Tokyo air raid amid raging flames. Since then I have lived with a strong desire to realize a world where everyone can live in peace and security.
At about the same time, one of the fiercest fighting of the Battle of Imphal took place in Kangla Tombi, Kohima, and Red Hill, here in Manipur.
Innocent citizens lost their lives in the ravaging war.
Soldiers died on the battlefield leaving their loved ones behind.
Many died from starvation and disease.
Each were deprived of their family, their life and their future.
The reality is too painful.
While Imphal Peace Museum is a living memory of this tragic war, it will be a bridge to pass on a peaceful world to the next generation. The museum exhibits valuable personal notes and photographs, donated by those who have fought and survived the war, giving us a glimpse into the past.
The framed calligraphy with the word “Peace” or “HEIWA” in Japanese, is an unfaltering hope for a peaceful future. It is written by Mr. Abe Shinzo, the Prime Minister of Japan who is himself a strong advocate of proactive contribution to peace.
I sincerely wish that the Imphal Peace Museum, built with the hopes of many people, will be the bridge to connect the past and the future for a lasting peaceful world for all times to come.