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Mr. Onoda was a second lieutenant in the Imperial Japanese Army during World War 2.
He was sent to a remote island in the Philippines and his last formal order was to conduct guerilla warfare.
Thirty or so years after the end of World War 2, no one told Mr. Onoda the war had ended.
He continued to follow his orders until his senior officer, Major Taniguchi, ordered him to surrender in March, 1972.