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Yamashita's gold, also referred to as the Yamashita treasure, is the name given to the alleged war loot stolen in Southeast Asia by Imperial Japanese forces during World War II and supposedly hidden in caves, tunnels, or underground complexes in different cities in the Philippines. It was named after the Japanese general Tomoyuki Yamashita, dubbed as 'The Tiger of Malaya' who conquered Malaya within 70 days from the British. Though there are accounts that claim the treasure remains hidden in the Philippines and have lured treasure hunters from around the world for over 50 years, its existence has been dismissed by most experts. The rumored treasure was the subject of a complex lawsuit that was filed in a Hawaiian state court in 1988 involving a Filipino treasure hunter, Rogelio Roxas, and the former Philippine president, Ferdinand Marcos. Looting of gold Prominent among those who have argued for the existence of Yamashita's gold are Sterling Seagrave and his wife Peggy Seagrave, who wrote two books related to the subject: The Yamato Dynasty: The Secret History of Japan's Imperial Family (2000) and Gold Warriors: America's Secret Recovery of Yamashita's Gold (2003). The Seagraves contend that looting, including more than 6000 tonnes of gold, was organized on a massive scale, by both yakuza gangsters such as Yoshio Kodama, and the highest levels of Japanese society, including Emperor Hirohito. The Japanese government intended that loot from Southeast Asia would finance Japan's war effort. The Seagraves allege that Hirohito appointed his brother, Prince Yasuhito Chichibu, to head a secret organization named Kin no yuri (, 'Golden Lily'), after a poem that the Emperor Hirohito had written. It is purported that many of those who knew the locations of the loot were killed during the war, or later tried by the Allies for war crimes and executed or incarcerated. Yamashita himself was convicted of war crimes and executed by the United States Army on February 23, 1946, in Los Baos, Laguna, the Philippines. According to the Seagraves, numerous Golden Lily vaults were found by Edward Lansdale and Severino Garcia Diaz Santa Romana in caves north of Manila in the high valleys and the 'M-Fund', which was named after Major General William Marquat, was established from Santa Romano and Lansdale's work.
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