Japanese and Indian troops will kick off 14 days of joint military exercises in India on November 1. The last time troops from the two countries met on Indian soil, there were hostilities. In Imperial Japan’s last great offensive of World War II, the 1944 invasion of India, Indian troops fought both with and against the Japanese. The forces involved were the British Indian Army – a colonial force that fought with the allies – and the much smaller Indian National Army – a Tokyo-sponsored force created to liberate India from London’s rule. The assault was halted in the jungles and hills of Kohima-Imphal in some of the most savage fighting of World War II, but on today’s radically different geopolitical chessboard, there is no reason why the two states should not be friends. “It is ironical; the soldiers of the two countries will be exercising together in Northeast India where once their ancestors fought pitched battles against each other,” said DP Ramachandran, an Indian Army veteran and military history blogger. But he approved. “I think the Indo-Japanese military exercise is a good thing: India needs friends and who could be better than our worthy foes of World War II?”… Read full this story
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