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24 January
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Shoichi Yokoi

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The third to last of the Japanese surrenders 28 years after WWII ends.

Shoichi Yokoi Hole

Shoichi Yokoi Hole Flickr

Shoichi Yokoi was a sergeant in the imperial Japanese army during WWII.  He was discovered in Guam on January 24, 1972 by some shrimp fishermen.  He was 57 years old and couldn’t put up much of a fight when he was captured.  When he returned to Japan he said

“It is with much embarrassment, but I have returned”.

He had hide in a cave for 28 years.  While he was hiding he did see leaflets that announced the war was over, but he believed them to be false propaganda and ignored them.

He was the third to last to surrender.  The last was Private Teruo Nakamura, who was arrested in December 1974.  He was featured many times on Japanese television.  And in a US television documentary called Yokoi and His Twenty-Eight Years of Secret Life on Guam.

From the Japanese government he received $300 in back pay.  He married and settled down.  In 1997 he died at the age of 82 from a heart attack.  He has his own museum in Nakagawa-ku, Nagoya.

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