KUALA LUMPUR: The monument to dead Japanese soldiers in Kedah, which has caused outrage among locals, does not fall under the purview of the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry.
Its minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi, who refused to comment on the matter, said the monument falls under state jurisdiction, as the controversial structure was not on the premises of the ministry’s office in Kedah.
“It was (built next to our) our compound.
“So, this should be a state matter, not under our (Federal) purview. Sorry I can’t answer you on that.
“Federal ministers cannot comment on state matters,” Mohamaddin told reporters when met at the Parliament lobby on Monday (March 25).
The monument is located on a small plot of land beside Sungai Kedah near the Alor Setar Bridge.
The monument, which was built to honour Lieutenant Hajime Asa, who had been instructed to destroy the Alor Setar Bridge during World War II, is also situated near the state’s Malaysia Tourism Promotional Board’s office at Jalan Raja.
Asa 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.