Nevada Appeal at 150: Jan. 26, 1972: Japanese vet hides on Guam

Agana, Guam — Two fishermen have captured a man who told authorities he was a Japanese Army sergeant and had fled to the jungles and hid when Americans invaded the island almost 28 years ago.

Officials said the man, Shoichi Yokoi, 58, was dressed in ragged burlap but apparently was in good health.

The fishermen said they subdued Yokoi as he tended a fish trap in the Talofofo River, about four miles from the tiny village of Talofofo, 10 miles across the island from Agana, the principal city.

Officials said Yokoi told them he arrived on Guam with the Japanese Army from Manchuria in 1943 and that he and nine other soldiers fled to the jungle during the American invasion of 1944.

Yokoi told them he had lived alone for the past eight years. It was not clear what happened to the others. Two Japanese soldiers were captured in the jungle in 1960.

Yokoi said he learned about 20 years ago that the war was over, but he was afraid to come out of hiding. He said he lived on shrimp, fish and nuts.

This continues the Appeal’s review of news stories and headlines during its Sesquicentennial year.


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