A former Japanese Imperial Army sergeant who hid in the jungles of Guam for 28 years rather than surrender said today (Wednesday) that Japan was defeated in World War Two because of insufficient weapons and aircraft.
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Background: A former Japanese Imperial Army sergeant who hid in the jungles of Guam for 28 years rather than surrender said today (Wednesday) that Japan was defeated in World War Two because of insufficient weapons and aircraft.
At an emotional homecoming in Tokyo ten days after his discovery on the Pacific island, Shoishi Yokoi, aged 56, said that when he recovered his health he would write a book on the last days of the war in Guam. More than 40,000 Japanese soldiers were killed in bloody fighting when the Americans recaptured the island in 1944.
First off the special charter flight were the remains of two of Yokoi's comrades who died in a cave near his own eight years ago.
Looking pale and fragile after his lonely ordeal, Yokoi was supported by two attendants as he set foot in his native land for the first time in 31 years.
A crowd of several thousand waved national flags and shouted "Banzai" (long live). There to greet Yokoi on behalf of the Japanese government was the Welfare Minister, Noboru Saito.
The airport arrival was televised throughout Japan to an estimated 70-million viewers by all the Japanese networks.
At a press conference in a nearby hotel, Yokoi said: "I have shamefully survived difficulties in the jungles which I cannot describe in words."
He went on: "As soon as I get well I shall write a book on the last days of the war on Guam. I don't know when Japan may go to war again, but my experience may be of some help."
Yokoi said he had brought home with him the rifle, as he put it,"I was given by the Emperor." On Guam, he had said that it was his faith in the Emperor that had kept him alive.
From the airport the veteran soldier was taken to a state hospital in Tokyo for observation and treatment.