Japanese Prime Minister Hailed Indian Freedom Fighter/Collaborator
During a visit to Kolkatta (Calcutta), West Bengal, India, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe voiced admiration on 23 Aug 2007 for Indian freedom fighter Subhash Chandra Bose who stood up against Britain. "Many Japanese have been moved deeply by such persons of strong will and action of the independence of India like Subhas Chandra Bose", Abe said in a speech at the opening of the Indo-Japan Cultural Center. Abe also visited the son of Radhabinod Pal, a judge who dissented against the Allied military tribunal decisions against wartime Japanese leaders. "Even to this day, many Japanese revere Radhabinod Pal", Abe added.
With this visit, Abe again stirred controversy because, while Bose did stand up against British colonial rule, he also sought support from Berlin and Tokyo and was often viewed as an Axis powers collaborator. He also dismissed notions that by visiting Pal's son, it would further deteriorate relations with other Asian nations still mending from Japanese wartime atrocities.
India and Japan vowed to seal an economic partnership deal by Dec 2007. "I expressed strong determination to strengthen our bilateral relations that Subhas Chandra Bose had wanted", said Abe in a public statement.
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