Defendant: Aoki, Shoichiro, Civilian
Guard, Umeda Bunsho POW Camp, Osaka Area, Bonshu, Japan
Docket Date: 34/ May24-25, 1946, Yokohama, Japan
Charge: Violation of the Laws and Customs of War: 1. Did wilfully and
unlawfully commit cruel, inhuman and brutal acts, atrocities, and other
offenses against certain American POWs
Verdict: 30 years confinement at hard labor
Reviewing Authority Recommendations: Record is legally sufficient to
sustain the findings and sentence of the commission.
Reviewing Authority: Paul E. Spurlock, Reviewer, Judge Advocate Section
Defense Arguments: 1. Accused only slapped or hit prisoner when the prisoner
was caught lying or stealing. 2. Denied having mistreated prisoners on
any other occasions. 3. Denied knowing who the individuals accusing him.
4. Accused stated that this could be a case of mistaken identity because
there was another person named Aoki in the camp personnel.
Judge Advocate's Recommendations: 1. Interesting to note that it continues
to matter to the authorities trying these cases whether or not there is
proof of actual perpetration of crimes. This person is found guilty of
4 of the 7 specifications. The reviewer only addresses those specifications
of which he is foung guilty and not those of which he is found not guilty.
2. Interesting treatment of "why" commission found for the prosecution:
"There is a conflict in the dates in the affidavits concerning the
mistreatment of Turner. This was probably caused by the confused minds
and memories of prisoners in captivity. However, this could not have misled
the accused because the facts were corroborated, the crime specified,
and prior to trial, the accused was properly informed of the crimes charged
against him." There seems to be a hole in the reasoning...