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WWII Japanese soldiers found in the Philippines... ALIVE!

 
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Alias



Joined: 24 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2005 6:46 am    Post subject: WWII Japanese soldiers found in the Philippines... ALIVE! Reply with quote

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Ten weeks short of the 60th anniversary of Tokyo's second world war surrender, diplomats were today investigating claims that two octagenarian Japanese soldiers had emerged from the mountains of the southern Philippines.

According to Japanese media reports, the men were separated from their division six decades ago. Although they wanted to return home, they feared they would face a court martial for withdrawing from action.

But attempts to prove the identities of the two one way or the other suffered a setback when they failed to attend a meeting with Japanese embassy officials on the island of Mindanao.


Japanese newspapers named the men as Yoshio Yamakawa, 87, from Osaka, and 85-year-old Tsuzuki Nakauchi.

Shuhei Ogawa, a press attache to the Japanese embassy in the Philippines, told Reuters he was now "doubting" the reports, but a government spokesman in Tokyo said the growing presence of the news media in the area might have put the two men off.

Through a mediator, Japanese diplomats had arranged to meet the two men in a hotel in the city of General Santos today in order to find out whether they were Japanese nationals and wanted to return to the country.

Mr Ogawa said the mediator had not been in touch with embassy officials since yesterday.

The reports were reminiscent of the case of the intelligence officer Hiroo Onoda, who believed the second world war was still being fought when he was found in the Philippine jungle in 1974.

Onoda refused to surrender until the Japanese government flew in his former commander to formally inform him that the war was over.

Claims that more second world war soldiers were still in the Philippines - which were invaded by Japan in 1941 and the scene of heavy fighting with US forces at the end of the war - surfaced after a Japanese national searching for the remains of soldiers said he had been contacted by the two men.

Quoting unnamed sources, Japan's Sankei Shimbun newspaper said there were around 40 soldiers living on Mindanao, all of whom hoped to return home.

Goichi Ichikawa, the chairman of a veterans group in Japan, said he had learned of at least three Japanese men living in the mountains of Mindanao from someone who went there late last year. "It's amazing they were able to survive for 60 years," he told reporters. "I was stunned."

The last known Japanese straggler from the war was found in Indonesia in 1975.

The Japanese prime minister, Junichiro Koizumi, said he hoped the mystery would be cleared up soon. "We are checking it now," he told reporters. "It is a surprise if it's true, but we have to check first."
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Ya-ta Boy



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Established in 1994

PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2005 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amazing if true.

I can just see them getting off a plane in Japan. One looks around and turns to the other one and says, "And we LOST the war?"
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Derrek



Joined: 15 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2005 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kind of makes you wonder what an Iraqi might say in 50 years.
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rok_the-boat



Joined: 24 Jan 2004

PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2005 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A great story!

Where's the link to the original story? Could you provide it?
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Alias



Joined: 24 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2005 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Article Link


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