Kolkata: General Iwaichi Fujiwara, a Japanese military intelligence officer who had close ties with Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s Indian National Army, had urged the Indian government in 1979 to take care of the disposition of Bose’s ashes lying in a temple in Tokyo.
He was assured by then Indian prime minister Morarji Desai that he would take care of the issue in “one or two years”, reveals the files declassified by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Indian revolutionary leader’s 119th birth anniversary.
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In a correspondence dated March 9, 1979, from Tokyo, Genera Fujiwara (retired from the Japan Self Defense Forces) expressed gratitude to the prime minister for listening to his plea about the “disposition of Netaji Chandra Bose’s ashes still lying in a temple in Tokyo”.
The letter — in file no.2/64/79-PM of the declassified files — addressed to the Indian prime minister, came a month after Fujiwara and his delegation’s visit to New Delhi.
“Allow me to offer my gratitude for your understanding and sympathy with which you listened to my plea about the disposition of Netaji Chandra Bose’s ashes still lying in a temple in Tokyo.
“Your assurance to take care of the matter in one or two years was most gratifying to me as I have dedicated most of my life to the cause of Netaji Bose and the Indian National Army during war years, contributing in a small measure to the independence of India.”
Addressed in a Fuijiwara Asia Research Institute letterhead (Fujiwara organised the institute in the 1970s), the correspondence shows the general’s dedication to furthering friendly India-Japan ties.
“I shall never forget for the rest of my life the deep-felt emotion when you gave me the assurance.
“I shall dedicate myself, for the rest of life, to friendly India-Japan relations in return for your sympathy and understanding with which you accorded my wishes.”