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Japanese Soldiers, Still Fighting For Hirohito?


Sixty years after World War II ended, two elderly Japanese men have come forward claiming to be "stragglers," soldiers left behind in the Phillipines, never, for so many years, cognizant of Emperor Hirohito's unconditional surrender:

IT is either a cruel hoax, or a near miracle. Yesterday, Japanese diplomats in the Philippines were struggling to confirm the identities of two men, said to be former soldiers of the Imperial Army left behind in 1945 who have been living in the jungle for sixty years.

Despite initial optimism, and intense excitement in the Japanese media, officials from the Japanese Embassy in Manila were not ruling out the possibility of a hoax. But if true, the discovery of the soldiers would be one of the most remarkable survivals of the war.

Nakauchi Tsuzuki:



So, where have they allegedly been all this time?



This story is so unbelievable, that it must raise a healthy level of skepticism with just about anyone.

One likely scenario: The two probably were war "stragglers" at one point, maybe even for an extended period of time, but they decided to stay in the Phillipines for whatever reason.

Some background on other Japanese soldiers who held out for decades, not knowing the war was over.

Even if these particular cases turn out to be hoaxes, there have been other, similar cases over the years. That these men would hold out for so long underscores precisely the Japanese wartime ethos that compelled President Truman to make the fateful decision (a no-brainer at the time) to dispatch the "Enola Gay" with Little Boy and "Bock's Car" with Fat Man. As terrible as the nuclear fallout was, it likely hastened the end of the war, saving millions of lives.

Posted by Will Franklin · 27 May 2005 06:20 PM


How strange would that be to live like that for sixty years? ...That would be so wild to come back "home" after that long! Do you think that is really possible? I am not much of a camper,so I am sure I would have died by now. . . I love those beautiful photographs! Once again, thanks WILLisms.com for a fabulous blog job!

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at May 27, 2005 07:35 PM

Two Japanese soldiers hold out for decades, open Howard Johnsons.

Posted by: Rodney Dill at May 27, 2005 07:45 PM

That is a Long time to straggle! I suppose things have changed quite a bit. Imagine ...

Posted by: Linda at May 28, 2005 07:06 AM

This morning on the movie channel, John Wayne starred in The Flying Tigers. Kind of nice to wake up to a good old World WarII movie.

Posted by: Bob at May 28, 2005 07:36 PM

Claudett Colbert starred in one of my favorite movies ever! I think the name of it was Two Who Came Home? I am not sure about the name but it was another great World War II movie! A must see!

Posted by: Heidi at May 28, 2005 09:58 PM

Why does the Philippines seem to have so many problems? It seems like the Philippines attract some bad seeds.

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at May 29, 2005 10:05 AM

What was his horses name?...

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at May 29, 2005 06:02 PM

Very strange to conceptualize anyone living that type of existence. Even stranger to come back to civilization after being isolated for decades. Technology and the entire world has changed so much in that time. How is he doing? Did his family react to him positively? What is the Japanese government doing anything to honor his loyalty?

Posted by: Jody at May 29, 2005 06:35 PM

God Bless George Herbert Walker Bush! I am so thankful he survived! God Bless all our veterans! Thank you all for your courage and bravery! God Bless Sam Franklin!...

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at May 29, 2005 07:33 PM

God Bless the swift boat veterans and all our veterans and military who have put themselves in harms way to protect freedom and democracy!

Posted by: Bob at May 30, 2005 01:09 PM


Posted by: Kang cho at May 30, 2005 07:25 PM