Union Minister Mahesh Sharma has released the second batch of 50 declassified files relating to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on web portal www.netajipapers.gov.in.
Out of the 50 files released on March 29, 10 files are from Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), 10 from Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and 30 from Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), pertaining to the period 1956 to 2009.
Among the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose files that were declassified on March 29, there was a speech that was delivered by Japanese Prime Minister Hideki Tojo during the World War II.
Tojo, during his speech had said that Japan supported Indian Independence (that came two years after the second world war ended) and that they would “soon” hand over the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, that at that time were under Japanese occupation, to the “Provisional Government of Free India”, headed by Netaji.
The files discloses that Tojo gave this speech as an “Imperial Representative” at the Great East Asiatic Conference.
He had also added:
“I have been greatly moved by the fact that the Indian people are all rising in order to obtain their freedom… It should be very obvious that Japan is ready to set India free from the bondage of America and England…The Indian fellow people have laid the foundation of the Provisional Government of Free India and under this government are rising for achieving their purposes with one consent, I would like to make it known the decision to return soon the Andaman and Nicobar Islands…”
The islands were occupied by the Japanese force on March 23, 1942, when a one battalion of the 18th Division in the Japanese Forces arrived on the island and were backed by a powerful naval fleet.
By March 26,1942 Japanese aircraft began arriving and by the end of March 1942 the islands were garrisoned by nearly 600 Japanese soldiers and an unknown number of policemen.