Jan 17, 2014
By AM740 Staff
The last Japanese imperial soldier to emerge from hiding in a jungle in the Philippines and surrender, 29 years after the end of the Second World War, has died. Hiroo Onoda was 91. Onoda died Thursday at a Tokyo hospital after a brief stay there. Today a government spokesman expressed his condolences, praising Onoda for his strong will to live and his loyalty. Onoda was an intelligence officer who came out of hiding on Lubang island in the Philippines in March 1974, on his 52nd birthday. He surrendered only when his former commander flew there to reverse his 1945 orders to stay behind and spy on American troops. Before and during the war, Japanese were taught absolute loyalty to the nation and the emperor. Soldiers in the Imperial Army observed a code that said death was preferable to surrender.