Washington, Jan. 18 ANI | 2 years ago

Hiroo Onoda, the last Japanese imperial soldier to emerge from hiding in a jungle in the Philippines and surrender, 29 years after the end of World War II, has died at 91.

Onoda died of pneumonia at St. Luke's Hospital in Tokyo after being sick since December, CNN reports.

Onoda was sent to the small island of Lubang in the western Philippines to spy on U.S. forces in the area in 1944.

But he refused to surrender after the Japanese imperial army was defeated by the allied forces, and stayed on the island with a few fellows hiding in the jungles, dismissing messages of the war getting over.

According to the report, his former commanding officer had to travel to the island to persuade him to surrender in 1974.

Onoda returned to Japan, where he received a hero's welcome, but he was a controversial figure in the Philippines as relatives of people he was accused of killing gathered to demand compensation when he returned to Lubang.

(Posted on 18-01-2014)

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