Hiroo Onoda's Passing
When the Pacific War ended in 1945, Hiroo Onoda, Yuichi Akatsu, and Shoichi Shimada were on Lubang Island in the Philippines with orders to sabotage Allied war efforts, and that they were forbidden to surrender nor commit suicide. They disregarded all news of the Allied victory as propaganda for some time, and carried out their missions. In 1949, Akatsu lost his will and surrendered. Shimada was killed by gunfire in an engagement with local fisherman in 1953. Onoda, alone, continued his war until 1974, surrendering his sword only when his former commanding officer Yoshimi Taniguchi came to the Lubang jungles to relieve Onoda of his duties.
Hiroo Onoda passed away in Tokyo, Japan on 17 Jan 2014. Celebrated as a war hero ever since his homecoming, Japanese government spokesman Yoshihide Suga again praised Onoda's spirit after his death. In a 1995 interview with the Associated Press, Onoda said, "I don't consider those 30 years a waste of time. Without that experience, I wouldn't have my life today."
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