“Yoshio Yamakawa” (87 years old) and “Tsuzuki Nakauchi” (85 years old) are both Japanese Imperial Army war veterans who hid themselves in the dense forest of southern Philippines, Mindanao. And surprisingly, after 60 years of hiding, they were finally discovered by a Filipina Businesswomen.
With a good intention to help the WW2 Japanese soldier veterans, the Filipina Businesswomen contacted her friend in Japan. And through her friend, an old former Japanese military doctor (93 years old) was consulted for help (based from the Kyodo News report).
When the doctor went into the Philippines to confront his two fellow soldiers, he came to know that both Yamakawa and Nakauchi refused to surrender because they were afraid of facing the court martial even though, they really wanted to go back home to Japan.
According to the Japan’s historical report, they belonged to the 30th Division of Infantry. According to The Sankei Shimbun Daily, they specifically belong to the “Panther Division” where almost 80 percent of their members died or went missing on their battle against the Allied Forces. And basing on the record, both survivors names are unfortunately listed on the WW2 lists of dead soldiers.
However, Japan’s curiosity prompted Foreign Minister, Nobutaka Machimura to go and visit the island of Mindanao to meet these two Japanese WW2 war veterans. And finally, a positive confirmation came from Goichi Ichikawa (89 years), Chairman Group of Army Survivors who stated that;
I am glad that they were able to survive for 60 years.
As of now, there are no further information about these two Japanese WW2 soldier survivors. Many people are actually trying to question about how they managed to live their lives in the past 60 years of hiding. Is it possible that the government treated such information highly confidential because their past actions involves hiding a Yamashita treasure? Since this is an interesting discovery, why limit the information about them to the public? Anyway, perhaps this will remain forever be a mystery.
Yoshio Yamakawa and Tsuzuki Nakauchi Back in Japan
When Goichi Ichikawa confirmed that both Yoshio Yamakawa and Tsuzuki Nakauchi are both WW2 war veterans of the Japanese Imperial Army, they finally went back home to Japan. It really does surprised their families because just yesterday, they were treated heroes who gave their lives in battles. But now, they are pretty much alive and so eager to see their families.
Let’s start with Yoshio Yamakawa. He actually have a younger brother in Japan who just recently died. If he was only found much earlier then he would have been able to see his brother alive. A person by the name Seiichi Tsurumaki who is a shop owner knew about Yamakawa’s brother for more than 60 years. And according to him, his brother often tell him about his older brother who bravely fought and died in the Philippines.
As for the second soldier, Tsuzuki Nakauchi, he met his sister-in-law who stated;
I was surprised, because I heard he died in the war.
Although, the husband of his sister-in-law who is the younger brother of Nakauchi already died several years ago.
Moreover, a report from Japan’s Sankei Shimbum newspaper claims that there are still around 40 Japanese WW2 war veteran soldiers living in Mindanao. Thus, if you see any of them who thinks that WW2 isn’t yet over then you have to convince them or report them to Japan’s Embassy. Tell them that the war was long over and it’s time to go back home to see their beloved families. Unless, they finally found their home in Mindanao and wanted to settle themselves for good like my friend “Kuitchi Takazagi“.
Fairfx Media – Surrender After 60 Years: Two Soldiers Ask to Go Home
http://bit.ly/fairfax-media [Last Accessed on September 4, 2015]
The Guardian – Japanese “Wartime Soldiers” Found in Philippines
http://bit.ly/the-guardian-9-5-20-15 [Last Accessed on September 5, 2015]
The Seattle Times – 60 Years in Hiding for WWII Soldiers?
http://bit.ly/seattle-times-9-5-15 [Last Accessed on September 2, 2015]
Telegraph – Japanese Army Pair May Still be Hiding 60 Years
http://bit.ly/telegraph-9-5-15 [Last Accessed on September 5, 2015]