UK-Japan veterans’ reconciliation reception
2015 is the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII, when we remember the tremendous loss on all sides,
but also recognize the enormous changes that have occurred through reconciliation.
The essay to mark the 70th anniversary of the Imphal Campaign
The current BCS chairman, Akiko Macdonald wrote an essay for reconciliation and the future.
It is important to work to maintain peace and coexist with everyone.
The film -Imphal 1944-
The film about the battle of Imphal was created by Junichi Kajioka and released on June 2014.
This film is inspired by the story of Masao Hirakubo, the founder of BCS, who was the veteran of Burma Campaign in WWII.
The speech of Akiko MacDonald who is the chiarman of BCS.
Other reports about this event
The Visit from Shonai
For Mutual Understanding and Promoting Friendship through War history Education.
On the 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th of November, 17 delegates from Shonai City, Yamagata Prefecture in Japan will be visiting London and York.
Flyer about this events made by BCS
Other reports about this event
Kohima museum, 13 February 2012
“My Link with Lieutenant General Kotoku Sato”
I became very interested in Lieutenant General Sato, because my father, Taiji Urayama, was a lieutenant (veterinary surgeon, 31st Regiment Mountain Artillery) in the 31st Division which was under the command of General Sato. Mr. Hirakubo, a previous chairman of the Burma Campaign Society (I am the present chairman), was also a lieutenant (supply officer, 31st Regiment Mountain Artillery) in the 31st Division. I strongly believe that both my father and Mr Hirakubo owe their lives to the battlefield decisions taken by General Sato.
Find a grave, Jan 09, 2010
Social Activist and Philanthropist. A Japanese veteran of the Second World War Burma campaign, Masao Hirakubo devoted the latter part of his life to reconciliation with his former British adversaries, for which he was honored by his Emperor and appointed an honorary OBE. His war-time experiences in Burma led him to change his religion from Shinto to Roman Catholic. He returned to Japan to find his family home in Yokohama had been destroyed by bombing. His former commercial company, Marubeni, re-employed him and he worked in the Tokyo branch before eventually coming to Britain as its representative. It was then that he began a mission of reconciliation with his former enemies in Burma that lasted until his death.
Ex-soldier who reconciled with British sparks fond memories
The Japan Times, 6 May 2008
LONDON – Tributes have been paid to a former Japanese soldier who while living in Britain played a crucial role in fostering reconciliation between men who were previously wartime enemies.
Masao Hirakubo, who died at age 88 in March, has been described as a “lynch pin” in organizing meetings between former British and Japanese troops interested in mending past differences.
Reconciliation services promote peace
Embassy of Japan in the UK, 25 August 2005
As in recent years, three events dedicated to the cause of reconciliation have been held this summer. On 20 July, the Embassy hosted the ninth Summer Reunion of Peace and Friendship, attended by many who have fostered reconciliation through projects inspired by the Peace and Friendship Initiative, launched by the Japanese Government in 1995.
After the war my father didn’t recognise me
BBC news, 13 August 2004
Lieutenant Masao Hirakubo was a young Japanese soldier fighting in Burma when news came through that Emperor Hirohito had ordered an unconditional surrender. Now 84, he lives in Britain and has been awarded an OBE for his reconciliation work.
Veterans pay respects to comrades in two Second World War battles
Telegraph, 18 May 2004
Veterans gathered yesterday to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Second World War battles, with one ceremony marking a reconciliation with the Japanese.
At Sandhurst, His Excellency Masaki Orita, the Japanese ambassador to Britain, took part in a service that saw old foes united in remembering their fallen comrades.
Ambassador Orita attends wreath laying ceremony at Sandhurst
Embassy of Japan in the UK, 18 May 2004
On May 17, a wreath-laying ceremony in memory of those who died in Myanmar (Burma) during the Second World War was held by the Burma Campaign Society at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. It was the first time a ceremony had been held in honour of the Indian Division. As an act of reconciliation, a wreath was laid together by Masao Hirakubo (Chairman of the Burma Campaign Society) for Japan, and Lt. Colonel Patric Emerson (Hon Sec Indian Army Association) for Britain.
Japan-UK Joint Memorial Services in Northeast India
Embassy of Japan in the UK, 14 April 2004
On March 10 and 11, Joint Memorial Services were held by WWII veterans of Japan and the UK in Kohima and Inphal, northeast India.
The Japanese group was headed by Mr Masao Hirakubo OBE (Chairman of the Burma Campaign Society), while Mr Leonard Harrop MBE represented the British veterans. The service was organised to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Imphal Campaign during WWII. Colonel Benz K Jacob of the 2 Assam Rifles, also attended, representing the Indian Army. The service in Kohima, at which more than 1,400 local people gathered to pray for peace, was held in a cathedral constructed with donations from former soldiers.
Nations unite in service
Coventry Telegraph, 20 August 2001
FRIENDSHIP links between Britain and Japan were strengthened and renewed with a service of reconciliation in Coventry Cathedral yesterday.
The ceremony was led by Canon Andrew White, initially in the cathedral ruins, with an international congregation of about 70. But brilliant sunshine soon turned to a sharp shower and the service moved inside to the cathedral’s chapel of unity.
One Last Great Service to Their Country
For a change, 1 April 1998
When Emperor Akihito of Japan visits Britain in May, there is one group of veterans from World War II who will be glad to welcome him. ‘We hope the visit will lay the ghost of the past and let us start a new era,’ says the Chairman of the Burma Campaign Fellowship Group, John Nunneley.
Manipuri director unearths untold story of Japanese soldiers in India by Manimugdha S Sharma
Times Of India, 10 September 2012
A Manipuri film director unearths the untold story of Japanese soldiers in India during World War II. It could end up being the most expensive film in Manipuri.
Hiroshima peace drawing
Hueiyen News Service, 4 August 2013
Indo-Japan Friendship Association, Manipur organized the Hiroshima Peace Drawing Competition at Ram Lal Paul Higher Secondary School here today.
Coordinator of Indo-Japan Friendship Association Thongbam Shyamchand said that the drawing competition was organized as a part of Hiroshima Day to be observed on August 6.Best 10 drawings from the competition would be selected for the 28th International Children’s Peace Drawing Competition, 2013 to be held at Hiroshima.
Moreover, the first three toppers of the competition would be given cash prizes of Rs.5000, Rs.3000 and Rs.2000 respectively along with seven other consolation prizes.
He further said that two students namely, Maibam Roshan and Yumnam Rahul bagged prizes at the International Hiroshima drawing competition in the past years.
Interview with team ‘My Japanese Niece’ by Rorrkychand Singh
KanglaOnline, News, 15 May 2013
A Manipuri film director have started mock shooting the war documentary – focused on Manipuris’ emotional connection with the Japanese.