17:14 17 January 2014
Hiroo Onoda, the Japanese Second World War soldier who refused to surrender until 1974 thinking that the war hasn’t ended has died at the age of 91.
As WW2 neared its end, the then Lieutenant Onoda was cut off on Lubang Island near Luzon as US troops came north. He was given orders not to surrender – a command he obeyed for nearly three decades.
Talking to ABC in an interview in 2010, he said: "Every Japanese soldier was prepared for death, but as an intelligence officer I was ordered to conduct guerrilla warfare and not to die.”
"I became an officer and I received an order. If I could not carry it out, I would feel shame. I am very competitive," he added.
After nearly three decades peppered with unsuccessful communication including an air drop that Onoda dismissed as American propaganda, Onoda’s aging former commanding officer was flown in to see him to reiterate his orders in person that he give up the fight. He was finally persuaded to emerge.
On his return to Japan, he was greeted as a hero, although he drew criticism for apparently killing some locals on the island in what was effectively peace time.
Following his surrender, Mr Onoda ran a ranch in Brazil and opened a series of survival training schools in Japan.
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