India builds monument to mark 80th anniversary of WWII battle

People gathered in northeastern India on Wednesday at a ceremony marking the completion of a monument commemorating those who died during the so-called Imphal Operation in World War Two.

The monument was erected in Nagaland state's Kohima City to mark the grueling operation's 80th anniversary. Local officials organized the ceremony.

The Imperial Japanese Army launched an offensive in 1944 to destroy British forces at Imphal. An estimated 30,000 Japanese soldiers died as they fought with limited supplies. The fighting in Kohima was particularly fierce.

Efforts to recover the remains of those who perished in the battle remain ongoing.

People from Japan, including a relative of a former Imperial Army serviceman, took part in the ceremony. They placed flower wreaths at the monument and expressed their desire for peace.

Japanese ambassador to India Suzuki Hiroshi delivered a speech in which he extended his condolences to the local people who endured "indescribable suffering" as well as to all the battle's victims.

One participant noted a relative had survived the fighting and said it was important for people in Japan, Britain and India to pass memories of the tragedy on to future generations.