IMPHAL, July 14 � A Japanese official seal with stamp pad used during World War II has been donated to the WW II Memorial Foundation of Manipur for its Museum by one Phalkhochong Mangte, wife of Ngamkhopao Mangte of Thangkanphai village in Senapati district.
�The stamp pad and seal was in the custody of my father who was a petition writer in Ukhrul during the War,� said Mangte, daughter of late Lunkhohen Chongloi. �A Japanese officer came in contact with my father when they occupied the hill town in early 1944�, she said adding, since then, he was working with the Japanese army till the Allied forces bombarded Ukhrul. �They used my father as a guide cum interpreter by providing him a rifle and uniform,� she added. �However, their association ended after the Allied forces recaptured Ukhrul town.�
After the War, the British India authority collected all the Japanese items including the rifle and a bayonet in my father�s custody through one Houkholet Touthang, she further said. �But he did not surrender the stamp pad and the seal, hoping that one day he would be meeting the Japanese officer again and hand over the same to him.�
Foundation president said that the seal was used by the 15th Japanese Army, nicknamed �Hayashi Shu-dan� on all important documents during the War.
He also said that the Foundation came to know that the Imperial Japanese Army officers issued a copy of stamped acknowledgement slip written in Japanese in red ink to the Chiefs of Chamol, Tengnoupal and other village Chiefs of Chandel district and some other individuals who provided assistance to the Imperial Japanese Army during the World War II.
H Thenkhomang Mate of Tengnoupal village also donated a Japanese bayonet, spade, shovels and some Japanese currency notes to the Foundation.
Another Foundation member said that its objective is to keep history alive by preserving the historic sites and WW II relics besides promoting peace by spreading awareness on negative impacts of war.
The Foundation has explored and excavated some historical sites where heavy gunbattles took place between the Allied forces and the Japanese Army of the Axis forces during the war.
The expedition team has excavated bombs, anti aircraft and anti tank shells, hand grenades, live ammunition, ammunition boxes, helmets, canteens, Japanese Arisaka rifle and other war relics of both Allied forces and Axis forces. The excavated relics are displayed at the Foundation�s Museum at Pallel, 50 km from Imphal along with other war relics from different parts of the State.
He also disclosed that the Foundation has identified some remote sites where warplanes reportedly crashed. The Foundation is planning to explore the crash sites to retrieve the remains.
�The Foundation has also conducted a research on the people�s role during the War�, he informed. Accordingly, the Foundation has recorded the stories of the War by interviewing war veterans of both Allied forces and Axis forces, he added.