• Short Summary

    Former Japanese Imperial Army Second Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda, has returned to Japan and a hero's welcome after 29 years of hiding in the Philippine jungles.

  • Description

    Former Japanese Imperial Army Second Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda, has returned to Japan and a hero's welcome after 29 years of hiding in the Philippine jungles.

    Now almost 53 years old, Onoda had finally obeyed a 1945 order from Emperor Hirohito to surrender only when it was passed on to him by his immediate superior officer on Lubang Island on Saturday (9th March). The wiry, crew-cut ex-officer exchanged his tattered uniform for a suit for his arrival in Tokyo to be re-united with family and friends. A crowd of 7,000 people packed Tokyo's Haneda Airport for the arrival of Onoda's special Japanese Airlines jet from Manila in the Philippines. Onoda later said his toughest moment in his private 29-year war was to lose his last companion, shot in a clash with Filipino police in 1972. However, he added that he had never thought about Japan surrendering in World War Two because that would have made it difficult to carry on with his duties. Onoda was ordered by his former commander, Ex-Major Yoshima Taniguchi, to remain on the island of Lubang during World War Two to carry out espionage activities. He was found 29 years after the war had ended by a young Japanese tourist on the island. Onoda is now being praised as the personification of the old Japanese virtues by right-wing nationalist groups in the country. Members of many of these groups carried placards hailing Onoda on his arrival in Tokyo.

    Onoda was accompanied on his trip back to Japan by his elder brother, Doctor Toshio Onoda and was met at the airport by his parents, now in their 80's. President Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines pardoned Onoda for any crimes he may have committed during his 29 years in the jungle. Two Filipino policemen died in the clash that saw the Japanese second lieutenant's last companion killed two years ago.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA6PL8T2N2MR7W6TLOIXOBG7GV9
    Media URN:
    VLVA6PL8T2N2MR7W6TLOIXOBG7GV9
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    13/03/1974
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:01:15:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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