Outrage over monument to remember fallen Japanese soldiers in Alor Setar

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 24 Mar 2019

ALOR SETAR: A monument to remember fallen Japanese soldiers here has caused an uproar among the community.  

The state Tourism Department had put up three giant billboards, hailing them as heroes at the newly-built warrior’s monument at the place where they were killed during the Japanese Occupation in 1941.  

The monument is located on a small plot of land beside Sungai Kedah near the Alor Setar Bridge.  

It is also near the state Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board' s office at Jalan Raja here.  

Kedah Chinese Assembly Hall president Datuk Cheng Lai Hock said it was not appropriate for the state government  to allow the Japanese Consulate to erect a monument commemorating the three soldiers who were killed during the World War II.

He said it showed a lack of sensitivity towards the victims and soldiers who had fought against the Japanese Occupation.

"They are trying to portray the three soldiers who were killed during the war as heroes.  

"They might be considered as heroes in the eyes of the Japanese but not in the eyes of Malayans at that time, as we were fighting against them. 

"This is not appropriate and the state government must rectify its mistake," Cheng said at a press conference Sunday (March 24), adding that the monument should not have been built in the first place.  

The monument was built to honour Lieutenant Hajime Asai, who had been instructed to destroy the Alor Setar Bridge during the Occupation.  

He rode a motorcycle to bomb the bridge but the device exploded early and killed him as well as his comrade, Corporal Kaneko Juga.

Another comrade Corporal Nakayama suffered serious injuries in an exchange of fire between the invading Japanese army and Allied forces before the Japanese finally captured the bridge.

On Feb 15, 1942, General Tomoyuki Yamashita awarded certificates of appreciation to the fallen military personnel of the 11th Infantry Regiment.  
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