JAPANESE dignitaries visiting a North Yorkshire barracks have paid tribute to those who fought in one of the most significant battles in the Second World War.

The Battle of Kohima, in North East India, close to its border with Burma took place in 1944 and marked the limit of the Japanese Army’s advance into India.

It left about 7,000 dead from the Japanese Army and the British and Indian soldiers suffered about 4,000 casualties.

Recently a group of Japanese delegates visited the Kohima Museum at Imphal Barracks in York.

It was organized by the Burma Campaign Society (BCS), with the help of Kenichi Okuyama, the deputy mayor of Shonai-Cho.

Akiko Macdonald of the BCS said she wanted to encourage more people from Japan to visit the museum and more UK people to visit Shonai-Cho to share their stories.

She said: “My father was a soldier, who fought at Kohima, but I did not know that until I was older; he never talked about it. In Japan it is almost like a taboo to talk about the war, and the post-war generation there does not know much about the Burma Campaign. So I wanted to do something to remember all those who died.”

She added: “When I first came to the Kohima Museum in York I was so moved that I said to the people here ‘This is not a museum, it is a shrine’.”