Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

1/17/2014 (9 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Hiroo Onoda was forbidden to surrender or commit suicide.

A Japanese soldier who held out for decades following the end of WWII, has died. Hiroo Onoda passed away in Tokyo at the age of 91. He gained notoriety for refusing to accept that Japan had surrendered at the end of WWII and had to be convinced to come out of the Philippine jungle almost 30 years after the war's end.

Hiroo Onoda refused to believe his country had surrendered and the war ended until 1979.

Hiroo Onoda refused to believe his country had surrendered and the war ended until 1979.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/17/2014 (9 months ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: Hiroo Onoda, Japan, Japanese, died, death, soldier, Philippines


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) -  Hiroo Onoda has died in Tokyo at the age of 91. The former Imperial Japanese soldier was the last man to surrender following the end of WWII. Onoda remained at his post in the Philippines for almost 30 years after the end of the war.

During the war, Onoda was sent to the island of Lubang in the western Philippines to spy on American forces there. His orders were to disrupt operations on the island. He was also forbidden to surrender or to take his own life.

As the Japanese retreated in 1944, he was cut off and ordered the few men remaining with him to head into the jungle and try to elude capture. Onoda, along with three other soldiers continued to conduct raids which killed at least 30 civilians.

One of the soldiers eventually deserted the band and surrendered, and the other two were later shot during raids staged to capture them, with Onoda's last companion being killed as late as 1972. Only Onoda managed to survive until 1974, eluding capture for  29 years.

Onoda survived by hunting and gathering in the jungle and stealing from local farmers. The killings stopped however and he came to be regarded more as a hated menace as opposed to a threat.

In February 1974, a young Japanese man, Norio Suzuki, on a personal adventure searched for Onoda managed to find the reclusive soldier and spoke to him at length. Suzuki explained that the war was over and he should come out of the jungle. Onoda refused saying that he would only quit his post upon the orders of a superior officer.

Suzuki took a picture of himself with Onoda as proof of their encounter and returned to Japan where it created a sensation. Onoda's former commanding officer was sent to recover him.

That officer was Maj. Yoshimi Taniguchi who had promised to return for him back in 1944. Now, 29 years later, the officer was able to keep his promise. He relieved Onoda of his duties and Onoda, forbidden to commit suicide, handed over his sword along with a substantial cache of weapons which his men had kept since the war.

Only one other Japanese soldier managed to hold out longer, Private Teruo Nakamura, who hid in Indonesia until December of 1974.

Onoda was welcomed as a hero in Japan and urged to run for government. Instead, he moved to Brazil where he founded a cattle ranch, returning to Japan each year to teach others survival skills he had learned in the Philippines.

Oonoda's fame has persisted, particularly in Brazil where he was awarded several accolades for his work in that country. He was also pardoned by the Philippine government for any crimes he committed after the war. The pardon was contriversial however, because he was never held to account for his participation in the postwar killings.

Onoda died Thursday in Tokyo from complications of pneumonia.

Pope Francis calls for your 'prayer and action'...

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Asia Pacific

MASSIVE FAILURE - Good money after bad in Obama opium strategy Watch

Image of Afghan farmers work their fields, just as they have since the time of Alexander the Great.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Despite American and Coalition expenditures in Afghanistan, that country has produced a record crop of opium. The crop is important because it is often used to finance extremism in the far-flung region. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The United Nations Office on ... continue reading


Six times as many people are executed in China as the rest of the world COMBINED Watch

Image of New figures show that China may execute six times as many people as the rest of the world combined.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Dui Hua Foundation, a San Francisco-based human rights group, said that China executed 2,400 prisoners last year. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Chinese government is sensitive about their executions, though the number of executed prisoners has decreased ... continue reading


How would you like to handle acid with your bare hands? For many in Bangladesh, this is their only option Watch

Image of A Bangladesh man handling toxic material without any protective equipment.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There is a dark side in the growing labor sector of Bangladesh, one that makes workers look decades older than they are. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Sharif Hossain is just one of the workers affected. The 35-year-old has worked in the city of Old Dhaka's ... continue reading


New Indonesian president promises a 'people-centric' government Watch

Image of Indonesia's new president, Joko Widodo, during his inaugural parade.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Indonesia got a new president, Joko Widodo, a 53-year-old man who was sworn in on October 20 after Bambang Yudhoyono stepped down after having served two five-year terms. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The man from the Javan slums already has a plan for his ... continue reading


Even state-recognized church in China targeted for persecution Watch

Image of The Chinese government has infringed upon the freedom of its citizens, including gross violations of human rights and targeting churches.

By CNA/EWTN News

The state of religious freedom in China is moving from bad to worse, said U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), responding to a new report by the Congressional-Executive Commission on China. (CNA/EWTN News) - "There's a huge gulf now" between China and the Catholic ... continue reading


Pakistani Christian woman sentenced to death by hanging on blasphemy charges Watch

Image of In spite of international outrage and hundreds of thousands of people signing a petition for her release, Asia Bibi lost an appeal to have her sentence overturned. She now faces death by hanging.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Pakistani Christian woman has been sentenced to death by hanging following accusations that she made blasphemous comments about the prophet Mohammed. While harvesting berries in 2009, 46-year-old Asia Bibi got into a fight with a group of Muslim women who ... continue reading


Persecuted Indonesian Christians worship in strip mall Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Evangelical Christian Church in Bekasi, Indonesia is held in a most unusual place. Driven from traditional houses of worship on account of hardline Islamists, many Christians here have taken to worshiping in out-of-the-way places, such as this strip mall.  LOS ... continue reading


It's getting harder to be a Christian in Indonesia - hardline Muslims prevent the opening of churches, burn others Watch

Image of Indonesian Muslims demonstrate against Christians on Christmas.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Christians in Indonesia are facing increasing persecution as hardline Muslims gain more influence in government. Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim country and is moving increasingly towards Sharia law. JAKARTA, INDONESIA (Catholic Online) - Indonesia is the ... continue reading


Aware of Islamic State, Filipinos pray daily for Pope Francis' safety during January visit Watch

Image of General Gregorio Catapang Jr. asked in a statement that all Catholic service members to also pray a rosary daily for the Pope's safety when he visits the Philippines from January 15 to 19.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The head of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, General Gregorio Catapang Jr. asked in a statement that all Catholic service members to also pray a rosary daily for the Pope's safety when he visits the Philippines from January 15 to 19. Military and government ... continue reading


Jesuit social activists meet to ask -- have we failed the poor? Watch

Image of Secretary of Citizens for Justice and Peace Teesta Setalvad drew the Jesuits' attention to the emerging socio-political situation in India that imperils Dalits, Adivasis and minorities.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A recent convention of Jesuits engaged in social work in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka met in Bhopal. The question asked was, following decades of work, have we failed the poor? Much remains to be done, and a clear, ... continue reading


All Asia Pacific News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Exodus 22:20-26
20 'You will not molest or oppress aliens, for you ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 18:2-3, 3-4, 47, 51
2 Yahweh is my rock and my fortress, my deliverer is ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 22:34-40
34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced ... Read More

Reading 2, First Thessalonians 1:5-10
5 because our gospel came to you not only in words, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 26th, 2014 Image

St. Bean
October 26: On December 16, there is named in the Roman Martyrology and in ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter