Japanese holdout

Japanese holdout

Japanese holdouts or "stragglers" were Japanese soldiers who, after the official surrender of Japan after World War II, either adamantly doubted the veracity of the formal surrender due to strong, dogmatic, militaristic principles, or were not aware of it because communications were cut off by the United States island hopping campaign.

They would continue to fight occupying forces, and later, local police, years after the war was over. Many sources cite intelligence officer Hiroo Onoda, who surrendered in March 1974, as the last holdout; the last confirmed holdout appears to be Teruo Nakamura who surrendered in December 1974.

Japanese soldiers who surrendered after the end of World War II

* Sakae Ōba, did not surrender until three months after the war ended
* Yūichi Akatsu remained on Lubang from 1944 until surrendering in 1951 in the Philippine village of Looc [ "Three Jap Stragglers Hold Out on Tiny Isle," "The Lima (O.) News", April 8, 1952, p5 ]
* Shōichi Shimada, who continued to fight on Lubang, was killed in a clash with Philippine soldiers in 1954 [ "Onoda Home; 'It Was 30 Years on Duty'," "Pacific Stars and Stripes", March 14, 1974, p7 ]
* Private Bunzō Minagawa held out from 1944 until May 1960 on Guam [ "Japanese Soldier Finds War's Over," "Oakland Tribune", May 21, 1960, p1 ]
* Sergeant Tadashi Itō, Minagawa's commanding officer, surrendered days later, May 23, 1960 on Guam [ "Straggler Reports to Emperor," "Pacific Stars and Stripes", June 8, 1960, p1 ]
* Shōichi Yokoi, who served under Ito, was captured on Guam in January 1972.
* Kinshichi Kozuka, who held out with Onoda for 28 years until he was killed in a gunbattle with Philippine soldiers in 1972 [ "The Last PCS for Lieutenant Onoda," "Pacific Stars and Stripes", March 13, 1974, p6 ]
* Hiroo Onoda, who held out from 1944 until 1974 on Lubang Island in the Philippines with Akatsu, Shimada and Kozuka, surrendered to his former commanding officer in March 1974 [ "Onoda Home; 'It Was 30 Years on Duty'," "Pacific Stars and Stripes", March 14, 1974, p7 ]
* Teruo Nakamura was discovered by the Indonesian Air Force on Morotai and surrendered to a search patrol on December 18, 1974. [ [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,917064,00.html?iid=chix-sphere "The Last Last Soldier?," "TIME", January 13, 1975] ]


See also

* Operation Haudegen

External links


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