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World War II Pacific Theater Case Synopses from Judge Advocate's Reviews Yokohama Class B and C War Crimes Trials
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

Prosecution Arguments:

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...

Child Testifying in Court in Manila.
Photo: U.S. Army, courtesy of Bob Harmon

The trial records of Japanese War Criminals Tried at Yokohama, Japan, between 1946 and 1949 is broken into 2 sets:

  1. 59 reels - Records of Trials and Clemency Petitions for Accused Japanese War Criminals Tried at Yokohama, Japan (1946-1948)
  2. 5 reels - Reviews of the Yokohama Class B and C war crimes Trials by the 8th Army judge Advocate (1946-1949)

The following is a summary of the corresponding case found in the latter group (5-reel set of Judge Advocate's Reviews). Analysis Prepared by Stella Lee Researcher, War Crimes Studies Center

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