Imphal, February 17: Dr Thangjam Dhabali, a doctor by profession and founder President of Manipur Tourism Forum (MTF), has been conferred with the 'Order of Rising Sun' by the Japan government for his enduring contribution to promoting the mutual understanding and friendship between Japan and India.

The Decoration of the ‘Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays’ was formally handed over to Dr Th Dhabali Singh during a small meet in a hotel in Imphal on Tuesday evening.

Confirming this when contacted, War researcher Yumnam Rajeshwar who was part of the meet being president of Second World War Imphal Campaign Foundation (ICF), said during the meet which was held as per existing Covid 19 protocols, the Counselor of the Embassy of Japan in India Kajita Takuma handed over the Decoration to Dr Dhabali.

Ambassador of Japan to India Suzuki Satoshi congratulated Dr Th Dhabali during the occasion through a statement which was read out by the visiting Counselor of the Embassy of Japan in India.

In the statement, Ambassador Suzuki Satoshi said,“We appreciate that Dr Singh has earnestly dedicated himself to deepening the bonds between Japan and Manipur.”

During Dr Dhabali’s tenure from 2012 to 2017 as President of MTF,he played an important role in organizing the 70th anniversary of the battle of Imphal of the Second World War in June 2014 in Imphal where many delegates from foreign countries including Japan were present.

He was also actively participated in setting up of the Imphal Peace Museum (IPM) located about 20 km south of Imphal which saw some of the fiercest fightings on the Second World War.IPM was developed on 10 acres of land at the foothill of Red Hill with the support of the Nippon Foundation (TNF), a non-profit grant-making organization in collaboration with MTF and Manipur Government.

Recalling the formative days of the IPM, Dr Dhabali while reading out his statement said, “So, when we came up with the idea of a museum in memory of those who perished in our own backyard in World War II, it was well appreciated by all,considering how it could serve as a strong reminder to the people and future generations of the importance of world peace.”

“This collective dream of MTF and ICF was finally realised with the inauguration of the Imphal Peace Museum in June 2019,”he added. President of MTF Krishnan and Director of IPM H Joyremba also present during Tuesday's meet.