Archive footage showing Hiroo Onoda returning from the Philippines in 1974
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Japan WWII soldier who refused to surrender, dies

A Japanese soldier who refused to surrender for 29 years after the end of World War Two has died.

Hiroo Onoda, who was 91, remained on duty on Lubang Island near Luzon in the Philippines until 1974, because he did not believe that the war had ended.

Still wearing his uniform, Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda was eventually persuaded to leave the Philippines by his former commanding officer.

He was welcomed back to Japan as a hero, as Rupert Wingfield-Hayes reports.

  • 17 Jan 2014
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