World War 2
Decade - 1970s

Where can you find information about Sergeant Yoko and Lieutenant Onoda the Japanese soldiers who emerged from the jungles in the 1970s?

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August 31, 2012 2:06AM


2nd Lieutenant Onoda Hiroo (born 1922) is a Japanese army intelligence officer who was stationed on Lubang Island in the Philippines. He was there when it was over-run by US forces in Feb. 1945 towards the conclusion of WW2. Most of the Japanese troops were slain or captured by American forces. Onoda and several other men however, hid in the dense jungle.

for 29 years Onoda refused to surrender, dismissing every attempt to convince him that the war was over as a ruse. Plans dropped flyers and newspapers to him to prove the war was over and even messages from his family over loud speakers, but he thought it was American propoganda. He continued his campaign, living in the mountains with a small band of men, some of whom abandoned him and others who were killed, leaving him alone in the mountain. In 1960, Onoda was declared legally dead in Japan.

Found by a Japanese student, Onoda still refused to believe that the war was over until he received orders to lay down his arms from his superior officer. In 1974 the Japanese gov't located Onada's commanding officer, who had since become a bookseller. He went to Lubang and ordered Onoda to surrender. Lt. Onoda emerged from the jungle 29 years after the end of WW2, and accepted the order of surrender in his dress uniform and sword with his 25 calibre rifle still in operating condition, 500 rounds of ammunition and several hand grenades.

Though he had killed some 30 Philippine inhabitants of the island and engaged in several shoot-outs with the police, the circumstances of these events were taken into consideration, and Onoda received a pardon from President Ferdinand Marcos.

After his surrender, Onoda moved to Brazil, where he became a cattle farmer. He released an autobiography "No Surrender: My 33 year War," shortly after his surrender, detailing his life as a guerrilla fighter in a war that was long over. He revisited Lubang Island in 1996, donating $10,000 for the local school on Lubang. Onoda is still alive today.

NOTE: Lt. Onoda was ashamed of being so stupid after so many years of the war being over, but once back in Japan he was hailed as a hero and still is regarded highly to this day.

Sorry, but couldn't find anything on Sg. Yoko.

If you type in "Google" then when it comes up, put in "Biography of Lieutenant Onoda" and there are several sites on this man. Very interesting reading.