Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

1/17/2014 (1 year 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 (1 year 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 January 2015
General Intention:
That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will may work together for peace.
Missionary Intention: That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal.



Comments


More Asia Pacific

Desperate for a son, man horrifically buries his 10-year-old daughter alive in India Watch

Image of Abul Hussein despised his 10-year-old daughter, because she wasn't a son.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Many parents in India consider their daughters an economic burden, while sons are seen as the breadwinners, according to Daily Mail. Having a son means your legacy lives on. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Hatred toward female babies and the huge cultural ... continue reading


There's always the Sun: Bangladesh takes steps to become the 'first solar nation' Watch

Image of The Bangladeshi government aims to provide electricity to all of the country's households by 2021.

By Pantho Rahaman, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Residents of Islampur, a remote village in the northern Bangladeshi district of Naogaon, were stunned one night last summer when the darkness was suddenly illuminated by electric lights coming from a village home. DHAKA, Bangladesh (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - ... continue reading


Who will win China's war on women? 33 million more men than women in China Watch

Image of China has the largest disparity between men and women; there are 33 million more men than women in China.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

China's ongoing issue with a growing population and a disparity in the numbers between each gender is only getting worse; as 2014 there were 33 million more men in China than women. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - China's longstanding family restrictions and ... continue reading


India turns on Christians; 2014's wave of religious terror leaves many fearing state-sponsored persecution to come Watch

Image of 2014 saw a wave of violence in India as Hindu nationalists targeted Christians. Five people died and thousands were subjected to violence.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Last year was not a great year for Christianity. Persecution and murder were rampant in the Middle East-especially in Syria and Iraq-throughout Africa and even India. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In 2014, India saw a wave of violence towards Christians that ... continue reading


Death of the red dragon? Why China's economic boom is about to bust Watch

Image of One of China's many ghost towns. Built at the height of a massive real estate boom, many Chinese cities and suburbs now lay empty.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Long the boogie man of the United States and the west, China's economic growth has slammed to a halt, hitting its slowest rate since 1990. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The U.S. needn't be afraid of the lurking threat of Chinese economic hegemony, as the Asian ... continue reading


How did President Obama know North Korea was behind the Sony hack? Because we hacked them first! Watch

Image of Access to the Internet is highly limited in North Korea, and only a select few individuals of high rank in the Communist party may access it unfiltered and restricted.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Many Internet security experts and firms were quick to question President Barack Obama's claim that North Korea was behind the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment in December of 2014, especially so soon after the hacks took place. But the New York Times has ... continue reading


Barbarically appalling death penalty executions revived in Indonesia, starting with two female drug smugglers Watch

Image of Hurting from drug use, Indonesia begins executing death row drug smugglers.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Six drug smugglers were shot dead by firing squads in Indonesia, Southeast Asia's largest drug market. 40 to 50 people die each day from drugs in Indonesia, according to the National Anti-Narcotic Agency. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Trying to protect the people ... continue reading


In Manilla, Pope Francis condemns mankind for destroying the environment Watch

Image of Pope Francis wore a rain poncho during much of his time in Manila, and left early to avoid an incoming tropic storm.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There's a new voice speaking out on climate change, as Pope Francis entered the ring, calling on mankind to fulfill the charge they were given by God to steward the world and all of creation. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Pope Francis made his remarks at a ... continue reading


Spread the Reign of Christ Throughout the World! Pope Francis Tells Crowd of 7 Million in the Philippines Watch

Image of May the Santo Nino (Holy Child Jesus) continue to bless the Philippines and may he sustain the Christians of this great nation in their vocation to be witnesses and missionaries of the joy of the Gospel, in Asia and in the whole world.- Pope Francis

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Sometimes, when we see the troubles, difficulties and wrongs all around us, we are tempted to give up. It seems that the promises of the Gospel do not apply; they are unreal. But the Bible tells us that the great threat to God's plan for us is, and always has ... continue reading


Jesus is Lord! He Never Lets Us Down! Evangelical Catholic Pope Francis Speaks to Faithful in Taclobban, Philippines Watch

Image of Pope Francis preaches the Good News in Tacloban, Philippines.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

I've come to tell you that Jesus is Lord, and he never lets us down. Jesus is there, nailed to the cross, and from there he does not let us down. He was consecrated as Lord on that throne and there he experienced all the calamities that we experience. The Lord ... 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, Hebrews 10:19-25
19 We have then, brothers, complete confidence ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 [Psalm Of David] To Yahweh belong the earth and all ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 4:21-25
21 He also said to them, 'Is a lamp brought in to be ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 29th, 2015 Image

Sts. Sarbelius & Barbea
January 29: Two martyrs, brother and sister, who were put to death at Edessa ... 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