Both Luzon and Mindanao has the highest number of Japanese treasure deposits in their regions. In Luzon, most hidden treasures consists of “small to medium-size” volume of deposits. Although, there are only about 9 large deposits and some of them has already been recovered. In Mindanao, there are actually more hidden deposits which consists of “small to large-size” volume of deposits. And unlike in Luzon, most of them are yet to be recovered.
Luzon has already undergone a lot of renovations and development made either by the government or commercial establishments. Large structures such as malls, parks, hotels and government offices are now constructed all over the place. As a result, it’s quite impossible to recover any Yamashita treasure deposit within or nearby such places. Anyway, there are still a lot of good places that remains untouched with possible treasure deposits on them.
In Mindanao, the majority of its entire region are yet to be developed. Thus, their natural environment are well preserved. Perhaps the reason why there is a very little improvement is due to the ongoing conflicts between the government and the rebel army. Because of their their conflict, only few commercial establishments can take the risks of setting up their businesses in the region. But for THs (treasure hunters), Mindanao offers the best opportunity to uncover hidden Yamashita treasures because most of the places remains preserved since the previous second World War.
Former President Ferdinand E. Marcos and the Japanese Treasures in Mindanao
During the Marcos Regime, former president Ferdinand E. Marcos secretly conducted a treasure hunting operation in Mindanao. According to the “Philippine Daily Inquirer” that was issued in January 3, 1995, there were 96 soldiers who came out and pressed charges against Marcos. These 96 soldiers claimed that they were new recruits and newly trained soldiers at that time. But, their orders was to dug a certain Yamashita treasures in Mindanao.
Based from the statements of the soldiers, they spent 12 years excavating treasures consisting of about 60,000 metric tons of gold bars. Other than gold bars were jewelries and precious artifacts.
The file complaint of the soldiers was that, they haven’t even received any compensation for their efforts in the Yamashita treasures they found. In fact, Senator Enrile and Ex-president Ramos knew about this secret activity of the Marcos Regime. It was because they also worked under Marcos as high ranking government officials. Ramos used to be the Chief of Staff of the Philippine Constabulary while Enrile was the Secretary of National Defense.
WW2 Japanese Imperial Soldiers in Mindanao
You might be surprised to know that there were two Japanese Wartime Soldiers that still lives in Mindanao. According to the Japanese newspaper, they were “Yoshio Yamakawa“ (87 years old, from Osaka) and “Tsuzuki Nakauchi” (85 years old). At the near end of WW2, they claimed that they got accidentally separated from their divisions. They really wanted to go back home but they were afraid that they might face their government’s Court Martial for withdrawing from action during the war.
Currently, the Japanese diplomats are still trying to verify the true identities of Yamakawa and Nakauchi if they were really Japanese Nationals and if they wanted to go back home.
There was actually a third Japanese Wartime Soldier in Mindanao with a more surprising case than the two above. He was an Intelligence Officer named “Hiroo Onoda”. When he was found alone somewhere in the Jungle of Mindanao in 1974, he thought that the Second World War was still being fought. Due to this reason, no one can convince him to come out of the jungle and surrender.
The Japanese government along with Onoda’s former retired commander had to travel from Japan to the Philippines. When the two met together, his commander had formally informed him that the war was over. Fortunately, Onoda was convinced and he finally surrendered.
Just recently, Japan’s Sankei Shimbum Newspaper claimed that there were still around 40 Japanese soldiers living in Mindanao. And, all of them were hoping to get back home.
Is it possible that these Japanese Wartime Soldiers doesn’t want to surrender under the Philippine government due to the reason that they may end up getting secretly tortured to reveal the location of their valuable hidden loots?