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Jakarta Post

From out of the jungle

  • The Jakarta Post

  /   Fri, September 21 2012   /  10:44 am

Deserted: Two rusting amphibious tanks from World War II sit amid coconut plantations near Daruba, Morotai’s capital. This tank had bullet holes on one side from a long ago battle.After General Douglas MacArthur determined to make Morotai a base to attack the Japanese in the Pacific during World War II, approximately 50,000 Allied troops made the swelteringly beautiful island their home. Japanese soldiers numbered about 500, Morotai’s before the arrival of combatants: 9,000.

Today, Morotai’s population approximates the number of soldiers stationed there during the war. According to the Central Statistics Agency, there were 52,000 residents in 2010.

After WWII ended with the Japanese surrender on Aug. 15, 1945, not all soldiers returned home, including Teruo Nakamura, a conscript in the Imperial Japanese Army. Months earlier the private had
fled into the jungle wit...