Japanese WWII officer Onoda who refused to surrender dies at 91

TOKYO, Jan. 17 (PNA/Kyodo) — Hiroo Onoda, a former Imperial Japanese Army intelligence officer who continued fighting on a Philippine island for decades after Japan’s surrender in World War II, died of heart failure at a Tokyo hospital Thursday afternoon, his family said Friday. He was 91.

Onoda, who hailed from Wakayama Prefecture, returned to Japan in March 1974, after having remained in the jungle on Lubang Island in the northwestern Philippines for nearly 29 years after the end of the war. He did not believe information regarding Japan’s surrender at the end of World War II.

Onoda, who was drafted in 1942, received training at the army’s Nakano School for intelligence officers and was sent to the island in 1944. (PNA/Kyodo)