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Unconfirmed: Two Living, Ex-Japanese Soldiers Found in Philippines (Mindanao)
Mainichi News in Tokyo (in Japanese) (linked) ^ | 26 May 2005 | Mainichi Shimbun in Japan (in Japanese)

Posted on 05/26/2005 8:12:52 AM PDT by AmericanInTokyo

Edited on 05/27/2005 12:51:25 AM PDT by Sidebar Moderator. [history]

Just only a quick blurb in the top news segement today, but Mainichi News reports that two elderly Japanese men in their 80s have turned themselves into or otherwise presented themselves to Japanese authorities in the southern Philippines in Mindanao, apparantly "surrendering" or at least talking to them, after holding our for nearly 60 years in the Philippines following Japan's WWII defeat.

A remarkable story if true.

Japanese-language Mainichi news story is linked. It is unclear what their Imperial Army unit was, if they knew the war had ended, and other details. They were said to be talking now with Japanese officials in a hotel on the island of "General Santos".

________________________________________

UPDATE!

The latest from what I can tell (3:00 a.m. Eastern Time Friday, May 27, 2005). And by the way, thank you for your kind comment.

A veteran of the Pacific War living in Saitama Prefecture in Japan, a "Teraishi san", who works with the War Survivor's Group, collects the remains of fallen Japanese soldiers. He is in his mid 80s.

He received a call from another man who is married to a woman in the Philipines, who was working to collect word in a forested area in Southern Mindanao. It was only yesterday that Terauchi received this international call from the Philippines which was rather frantic.

The woman had apparantly crossed into or had been in Muslim extremist controlled territory and had heard throught Moro fighters of the existence of "two elderly men from the Japanese army". Further, she got the information that they wanted to get out and passed it on to Japan, where it got to Terauchi.

Terauchi of course worked with the Japanese government who, through the Embassy in Philippines, to get the information.

There are still some survivors around from those days (much as WWII survivors are in the States), and they still look out for their own. Terauchi was in tears in the interview, saying the men were afraid of "Japanese Military Court Martial" if they returned to Japan, but of course he urges them to get back to Japan. This is from Yomiuri news. It is in Yomiuri, Mainichi, Fuji, NHK, Asahi, you name it.

I'll try to post any links to Japanese TV about this. The Moderate might also put (UPDATE) after this thread title if they could do so. Done.

________________________________________

Families of the men in Japan are reported as amazed, shocked and ecstatic.

In the case of (Sgt?) Nakauchi, his sister thought he was dead all these years. She stated that even before the WWII ended, they received a report he was killed, and they even "received his remains" after wards (ikotsu, literally, 'bones') and had buried him and it was all behind them.

They even had a funeral service when the 'body' was returned to the town, but since it was not recognizable I suppose they would have no way of knowing. At any rate, they want the men home ASAP.

Yamakawa's brother said "he sure hung in there," and expressed the same thoughts.

Nakauchi's mother died some 23 years ago. The Japanese authorities had given notice to the family in June 1945 that Nakauchi had been killed. Nakauchi's relative said that if the mother were alive she would be very happy.

Nakauchi's 'gravesite' can even be visited in Kochi Prefecture. It just says his name and rank, and "June 15, 1944, Killed in the War, 28 years old" on it. By the way, I'm getting that the men apparantly are not both (83), but one I believe is 87 and the other 85--so the age might have been an inaccuracy.

War buddies of the two men, a few still around, such as one fellow in Hiroshima, a "Nagai" (84) only had reflective thoughts of how bloody their battles were and "well, that's amazing. 60 years. I want to say "yoku yatta" when he returns ('you really hung in there').

Another relative expressed some trepidation about returning after all these years, and the fact there may be Philippine families effected because (one or both, not sure) the men married locally there.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government; Japan; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 2005; 80s; army; banzai; embassy; imperial; japan; mindanao; nippon; philippines; soldiers; surrender; teikoku; wwii
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Probably the usual good natured FR jokes will come in here as well, but it nevertheless is an intriguing story.

This kind of thing has not happened for at least 25 years. Perhaps more details will be known soon on these two Japanese soldiers 'in the service of the Emperor' and how they lived for all that time down there.

1 posted on 05/26/2005 8:12:53 AM PDT by AmericanInTokyo
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To: AmericanInTokyo

Turn them loose on the jihadis.


2 posted on 05/26/2005 8:13:45 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Anyone who thinks we believe Hillary on any issue is truly a moron.)
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To: AmericanInTokyo

Took them sixty years to surrender? I can admire that, unlike the French who surrender in 60 seconds! :-)


3 posted on 05/26/2005 8:14:58 AM PDT by Bluegrass Conservative
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To: AmericanInTokyo

That feudal nobility of duty thing is impressive, I'll say that for them. Whew!


4 posted on 05/26/2005 8:15:00 AM PDT by Frank_Discussion (May the wings of Liberty never lose a feather!)
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To: AmericanInTokyo

wierd... just last week I was asking my stepdad when the last such surrender occured...


5 posted on 05/26/2005 8:15:27 AM PDT by King Prout (blast and char it among fetid buzzard guts!)
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To: AmericanInTokyo

Pretty remarkable - there were sniper holdouts that preyed on the Filipinos well into the 60's, and a couple of soldiers were found in the early 70's as well.


6 posted on 05/26/2005 8:15:47 AM PDT by 11th_VA
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To: AmericanInTokyo

I remember that episode on Gilligan's Island.


7 posted on 05/26/2005 8:15:48 AM PDT by Deguello
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To: AmericanInTokyo

Sushi & Angin sound like they might be trying to cash in ($$$) on a good thing they saw a few years ago. What's the odds AITok?


8 posted on 05/26/2005 8:16:33 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It!)
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To: AmericanInTokyo
"Just sit right back
and you'll hear a tale
a tale of a fateful trip..."
9 posted on 05/26/2005 8:16:33 AM PDT by Air Conditioned Gypsy
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To: AmericanInTokyo

The link only leaves me with question marks.


10 posted on 05/26/2005 8:17:58 AM PDT by BipolarBob (Yes I backed over the vampire, but I swear I didn't see it in my rearview mirror.)
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To: AmericanInTokyo

AIT....could you ping me to any follow up stories about this....thanks.


11 posted on 05/26/2005 8:18:41 AM PDT by Dog
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To: stainlessbanner; Constitution Day

Y'all could learn a thing or two frem these 'ol boys.


12 posted on 05/26/2005 8:18:43 AM PDT by Tijeras_Slim (I have more handguns than some European countries.)
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To: AmericanInTokyo

Quite a find on your part.

Thanks.


13 posted on 05/26/2005 8:19:01 AM PDT by cvq3842
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To: AmericanInTokyo

LOL, the babelfish translation of the story on the Japanese website:

Old Japanese soldier: With the Philippine & Mindanao island information of existence? < The Manila Osawa sentence protection > When on the 26th, 2 men of 80 year old generations which are thought as the old Japanese soldier with the Philippine southern Mindanao island asked the interview with the ambassador staff, it made the resident in Philippine Japanese embassy clear. The ambassador staff on the 27th, interviews with 2 people at the hotel of the same island general sun toss city. According to the embassy authorized personnel, information of interview request from another Japanese of the Mindanao island residence was offered to the embassy. You say that 2 people live in Yamanaka who is close to the same city, possess those which show the fact that it is the Japanese soldier. The name 2, the information regarding the original permanent duty station, without knowing the termination of war of the World War II, living, it was it lives in the mosquito net and some kind of state whether, and so on, it is unclear. Everyday newspaper 2005 May 26th 23:05


14 posted on 05/26/2005 8:21:00 AM PDT by eyespysomething (Peace - that brief moment in history where everyone stands around reloading.)
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To: AmericanInTokyo

And John Kerry couldn't take 4 months.


15 posted on 05/26/2005 8:21:06 AM PDT by Bogey78O (*tagline removed per request*)
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To: AmericanInTokyo

Boy! Do they have a lot of BACKPAY coming!...........


16 posted on 05/26/2005 8:21:42 AM PDT by Red Badger (I woke up this morning and discovered my Memory Foam mattress had Alzheimer's......)
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To: All

By now their uniforms must smell very bad?


17 posted on 05/26/2005 8:21:42 AM PDT by Bringbackthedraft (FR ID'S ARE ON GOOGLE WITH YOUR POSTS. BEWARE WHAT YOU SAY, HILLARY IS WATCHING.)
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To: AmericanInTokyo


"Ha ha - you rook in all rong places, never find us!"
18 posted on 05/26/2005 8:22:34 AM PDT by reagan_fanatic (The theory of evolution is the great cosmogenic myth of the twentieth century - Michael Denton)
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To: SAMWolf; snippy_about_it; Valin; Darksheare; alfa6

ping


19 posted on 05/26/2005 8:22:53 AM PDT by Professional Engineer (Memo to republican party - YOU'RE FIRED.)
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To: AmericanInTokyo
Unfreaking believable.

If true we can count on some great television. Parades, interviews, etc.

20 posted on 05/26/2005 8:23:33 AM PDT by aculeus (Ceci n'est pas une tag line.)
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To: Bluegrass Conservative

The French usually don't even take that long. Try six seconds.

This is a reminder of the latent warrior culture of Japan, which all of Asia still fears. We exterminated most of it in WW2, but there's still traces of it there. They've got a tradition of duty and honor that goes back at least a couple thousand years.

They were horrendously effective enemies (embodying "no retreat, no surrender"), but they make excellent allies.


21 posted on 05/26/2005 8:24:22 AM PDT by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: eyespysomething

Yep, that is the "Everyday Newspaper" for you! (And Babelfish Translation does sound like Yoda, doesn't it?)


22 posted on 05/26/2005 8:25:18 AM PDT by AmericanInTokyo (**AT THE END OF THE DAY, IT IS NOT SO MUCH "WHO" WE STAND FOR, BUT RATHER "WHAT" WE STAND FOR**)
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To: AmericanInTokyo

Right I thought the guys in the 1980s were flat amazing? If these two are not a hoax, it is beyond amazing.

I do not remember any recent stories indicating that locals in the PI thought someone or something was foraging in their area? Have you seen such stories? The lack of such stories was part of what caused people to think all these soldiers were gone.


23 posted on 05/26/2005 8:26:06 AM PDT by JLS
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To: 11th_VA
I was always amazed that there were a few Japanese soldiers on Iwo Jima that survived past the war. They lived off of garbage from the U.S. base there, but finally surrendered after seeing newspapers with stories about Christmas activities in Tokyo. Late '40's, early '50's, IIRC.

Not as long as these two (if true), but Iwo's not a large place to hide.

24 posted on 05/26/2005 8:27:06 AM PDT by Fudd (I'm the only one in this room qualified to handle a Glock foe-ty....)
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To: AmericanInTokyo

Does this mean they won?


25 posted on 05/26/2005 8:27:17 AM PDT by Rebelbase (Seven disloyal senators sold the chance to crush the democrats for tv face time.)
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To: AmericanInTokyo
Service, Honor, Country.

To a fault.

The other extreme to the stupid no-right-to-live ding-dongs who ridicule patriotism.

26 posted on 05/26/2005 8:27:39 AM PDT by Publius6961 (The most abundant things in the universe are hydrogen, ignorance and stupidity.)
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To: AmericanInTokyo

The islamic terrorists have nothing on these two. Talk about determination and self-will, these two take the cake and eat it.


27 posted on 05/26/2005 8:27:48 AM PDT by lilylangtree (Veni, Vidi, Vici)
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To: AmericanInTokyo

I lived on Guam in '72 when the last Japanese solider finally "surrendered" there.


28 posted on 05/26/2005 8:28:07 AM PDT by Sthitch
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To: aculeus
Kyodo News is now reporting it too.

The two definitely produced ID that was of Japanese Imperial Army in nature, and further signed both their names in 'kanji' (Japanese script, from China) as well. They are Japanese.

Did not say much more outside of that.

29 posted on 05/26/2005 8:28:11 AM PDT by AmericanInTokyo (**AT THE END OF THE DAY, IT IS NOT SO MUCH "WHO" WE STAND FOR, BUT RATHER "WHAT" WE STAND FOR**)
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To: Spktyr; Bluegrass Conservative; AmericanInTokyo
traces, indeed
30 posted on 05/26/2005 8:28:14 AM PDT by King Prout (blast and char it among fetid buzzard guts!)
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To: Fudd

"I was always amazed that there were a few Japanese soldiers on Iwo Jima that survived past the war. They lived off of garbage from the U.S. base there,"

Kind of like Eric Rudolph in Western NC.


31 posted on 05/26/2005 8:28:16 AM PDT by Rebelbase (Seven disloyal senators sold the chance to crush the democrats for tv face time.)
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To: AmericanInTokyo

Fascinating. If you find more, I'd appreciate a ping.


32 posted on 05/26/2005 8:28:29 AM PDT by aBootes
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To: eyespysomething
...at the hotel of the same island general sun toss city.

Kinda rolls off the tongue.
33 posted on 05/26/2005 8:28:37 AM PDT by andyk (Go Matt Kenseth!)
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To: Rebelbase
I don't know. Could be.

But one thing is sure--they will be happy to see Japan's military power of today, as well as it's service to the far corner of the world -- name, Samawah Base in Iraq.

34 posted on 05/26/2005 8:30:03 AM PDT by AmericanInTokyo (**AT THE END OF THE DAY, IT IS NOT SO MUCH "WHO" WE STAND FOR, BUT RATHER "WHAT" WE STAND FOR**)
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To: Tijeras_Slim

35 posted on 05/26/2005 8:31:08 AM PDT by Constitution Day ("It's hard to get an answer when you haven't got a clue" - - The Futureheads)
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To: Junior

Pretty amazing, if true.


36 posted on 05/26/2005 8:31:14 AM PDT by cjshapi
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To: AmericanInTokyo
Actually, in many cases at wars end, the Japanese servicemen weren't able to return home due to logistics and just merged with the locals. I knew someone whose Japanese father did that in Vietnam. It was the 1970's before he actually made it back to Japan with his Vietnamese wife.
37 posted on 05/26/2005 8:31:53 AM PDT by fso301
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To: fso301

Lots of cases like that, yes.


38 posted on 05/26/2005 8:32:38 AM PDT by AmericanInTokyo (**AT THE END OF THE DAY, IT IS NOT SO MUCH "WHO" WE STAND FOR, BUT RATHER "WHAT" WE STAND FOR**)
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To: Rebelbase

No. If past incidents are any example, they will be cleaned up, fixed up by the medics, issued new replicas of their original period uniforms, and flown to Japan, where the Emperor will order them to surrender. The surrender will be taken by the highest ranking US officer in Japan, and that will be pretty much it.

If true, they followed their last orders (go guerilla, resist the Americans, fight on for the Emperor) for over 50 years. They will be treated with honor and dignity by our military throughout the process. Remember, these are Japan's MIAs.


39 posted on 05/26/2005 8:32:42 AM PDT by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: AmericanInTokyo

Here they are...though there is something mighty fishy about this...

40 posted on 05/26/2005 8:32:42 AM PDT by joesnuffy (Taglines often reveal a lot about the inner person...)
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To: AmericanInTokyo

LOL wow...this is the stuff of weekly world news.


41 posted on 05/26/2005 8:32:50 AM PDT by cyborg (tagline under construction)
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To: AmericanInTokyo

That could be a lot of back pay.....


42 posted on 05/26/2005 8:34:12 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (Grant no power to government you would not want your worst enemies to wield against you.)
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To: Fudd
Japanese Holdouts Registry

http://www.wanpela.com/holdouts/registry.html

March 5, 1974 - Lubang Island - 2nd Lt. Hiroo Onoda Probably the most 'famous' of the Japanese holdouts, Onoda was the only survivor of a group of four. He surrendered 29 years after Japan's formal surrender, and 15 years after being declared legally dead in Japan. When he accepted that the war was over, he wept openly.

April 1980 - Captain Fumio Nakahira on Mindoro Captain Fumio Nakahira of the Japanese Imperial Army, held out before being discovered at Mt. Halcon in Mindoro.

43 posted on 05/26/2005 8:34:52 AM PDT by 11th_VA
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To: AmericanInTokyo

They might be disconcerted to learn that the war ended 60 years ago.


44 posted on 05/26/2005 8:35:00 AM PDT by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: cjshapi
I wonder if those two teikoku rikugun soldiers are still angry, and still looking for the other two beihei's who smacked them good and ripped off their cool flag?!


45 posted on 05/26/2005 8:35:40 AM PDT by AmericanInTokyo (**AT THE END OF THE DAY, IT IS NOT SO MUCH "WHO" WE STAND FOR, BUT RATHER "WHAT" WE STAND FOR**)
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To: AmericanInTokyo

Over the years, we would hear of another Japanese holdout emerging from the jungles---wasn't all that strange, if some soldier couldn't face defeat and "went native" rather than face the music. But now? Not one but two men survived out there, into their 80's? Doubtful. They probably have enjoyed some "shore leave," some regular contact with human society, all along. Because it just isn't too healthy, a jungle in Mindanao.


46 posted on 05/26/2005 8:35:44 AM PDT by Graymatter
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To: Spktyr

Doubt you would find any French still hold up.


47 posted on 05/26/2005 8:35:46 AM PDT by FearlessFreep
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To: AmericanInTokyo
Think of it! These guys know nothing of the atomic bomb, television, jet airplanes, the moon landing, computers, lasers, organ transplants, the Internet, and a thousand other things we take for granted.

Rip van Winkle had nothing on these fellows. Imagine how dazzled they will be when they see modern Japan.

-ccm

48 posted on 05/26/2005 8:36:33 AM PDT by ccmay (Question Diversity)
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To: AmericanInTokyo

Wow. I thought this was amazing when it happened 30 years ago.........but now?? Wow!


49 posted on 05/26/2005 8:36:41 AM PDT by ohioWfan ("If My people, which are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray.....")
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To: Spktyr
Or, they may just want to stay and die down there.

They won't know many people if they return to Nippon.

50 posted on 05/26/2005 8:37:00 AM PDT by AmericanInTokyo (**AT THE END OF THE DAY, IT IS NOT SO MUCH "WHO" WE STAND FOR, BUT RATHER "WHAT" WE STAND FOR**)
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