• Short Summary

    Relatives of Sub-Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda have used balloons trailing messages and scattered leaflets in their efforts to persuade him to leave the jungle on the Philippine Island of Lubang.

  • Description

    AERIAL VIEWS Jungle (2 shots)

    SV Philippine Constabulary and Japanese relatives tracking through jungle (3 shots)

    GV PAN Search party using loudhailer at dusk

    SV Parents of shot soldier arrive for funeral (5 shots)

    SV, TILT DOWN Balloon being released; in flight (2 shots)

    SV Japanese relatives walk through jungle with loudhailers, scattering leaflets (4 shots)

    AERIAL VIEW Balloon over jungle (2 shots)


    "Twenty-seven years after the end of the Pacific War, search parties are scoring the Philippine Islands for a Japanese soldier who refuses to surrender because he never received the order from his commanding officer. On tiny Lubang Island, 90 miles south-west of Manilla, for almost a month Philippine Constabulary and Japanese relatives have been searching for a man believed to be Lieutenant Hiroo Onada. On October 19 a Philippine Army patrol surprised Lieutenant Onoda and his companion, Private Kinshicki Kozuka while they were raiding a local garden. With antiquated 25-calibre Japanese army rifles, the two stragglers exchanged fire with the Filipinos. Private Kozuko was killed and his body recovered; Lieutenant Onoda ran away."

    Private Kozuko's aged parents were flown from Tokyo for the funeral, held in Manilla. Since the end of the war they had believed their son dead. Then they learned that he had survived the years in the jungle only to die in a meaningless post-were skirmish. Special balloons were flown in from Tokyo, the kind used in Japan for advertising messages written on the streamers. This one said "Heroo-san, your brothers and sisters are here, it is safe." With loudspeakers, the relatives have been trudging through the countryside for weeks, making emotional appeals on bullhorns (megaphones) trying to lure Onoda out of hiding. copies of the surrender order, plus newspapers and written appeals from relatives have been scattered about the fields and pinned on tree-trunks. So far, no trace of the lieutenant. A former American caval intelligence officer in Manilla has said he thinks there may be as many as thirty armed Japanese hold-outs still roaming the jungles of Lubang Island and nearby Mindoro Island."

    In the jungle of Lubang Island in the Philippines, the search continues for a Japanese officer who won't surrender - and may not even know the war is over.

    Philippine police have called in the relatives of Sub-Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda to help persuade him to return to civilisation. Lieutenant Onoda was one of a group of Japanese fighting on Lubang Island when Japan capitulated in 1945. In the Forties, most of them gave themselves up, and it was generally assumed they had all been accounted for. Until Onoda and a companion were found raiding a garden for food. They fired at police with their ancient rifles. Onoda escaped but his companion was killed.

    The elderly parents of the shot man, Private Kinshiski Kozuka, were told that their son had not died in the war as they believed. He had survived another twenty-seven years only to die fighting an imaginary enemy. the couple were flown from Tokyo to the Philippines for their son's funeral.

    Special advertising balloons were brought form Japan to aid the jungle search. They were messages that Onoda's relatives were on the Island and that it was safe for him to come out.

    Meanwhile, Onoda's relations walked through the jungle with loudhailers. They also scattered leaflets telling the lieutenant the war really was over, some included special orders form Onoda's former commanding officer telling him to surrender. Some experts believe there may still be about thirty Japanese soldiers still living in the jungle islands of the Philippines.

    At first the Philippine Army was helping in the search, but President Marcos withdrew them because he felt the fugitive lieutenant would be unlikely to surrender to someone who was to him an enemy soldier.

    Initials ESP/1706

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Relatives of Sub-Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda have used balloons trailing messages and scattered leaflets in their efforts to persuade him to leave the jungle on the Philippine Island of Lubang.

    Sub-Lieutenant Onoda, aged about 50, won't surrender, and indeed may be unaware that the Second World War ended in 1945 with Japan's capitulation. He is one of about 30 Japanese officers believed to be still hiding in the Lubang Island jungle, still obeying their orders never to surrender. Fresh orders telling them to five themselves up are among the leaflets being distributed on the island, which is 90 miles (144 kilometres) south-west of Manila.

    Conda was wounded recently when he and a companion clashed with a police patrol as they were raiding a garden for food. the second man, Private Kinshicki Kozuka, was killed in the incident.

    This report is by John Rich of the National Broadcasting Company, USA. A Transcript of the commentary on the film follows; an alternative commentary appears overleaf.

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