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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: Araki, Kuniichi, Staff Sergeant and member of the medical staff of the Armed Forces, Hokodate First Branch POW Camp, Muroran, Hokkaido, Japn

Docket Date: 45/ June 12-18, 1946, Yokohama, Japan

Charge: Violation of the Laws and Customs of War: 1. Did willfully and unlawfully commit cruel, inhuman and brutal acts, atrocities and other offense against certain Allied PW's

Specifications:beating, water torture,

Verdict: Hanged by the neck until dead

Reviewing Authority Recommendations: Prosecution presented 17 unsworn affidavits to support charge of specification 1: prosecution charged that beating, making the PW stand for roll call contributed and accelerated death. Prosecution presented many affidavits and certificates to support specification 2: prosecution charged that the PW was "beaten..out of the hospital" while in sick bed and discharged, thereby contributing and accelerating death. Other instances of beating was presented, many of whom were "ill." Statements were also provided about specification 4.

Reviewing Authority: (Could not read)

Prosecution Arguments: (could not read opinion) The death sentence, even if findings under specifications 1 and 2 were justified, is not warranted because the accused has not been found guilty of homicide: "they do not support a sentence of death as though the accused had been found guilty of homicide." Reviewer recommended that the sentence be commuted to 30 years CHR because specification 1 and 2 had been disapproved as charged.

Defense Arguments: Cyril D. Hill, Lt. Col. Assistant Staff Judge Advocate

Judge Advocate's Recommendations: Lt. Col. Allan R. Browne, Army Judge Advocate disagreed with the reviewer concering the findings that specification 1 and 2, as charged, was not proved. He claimed that while 2 was not proved, 1 was. Furthermore, in regards to the recommendation for mitigation of the sentence, he declared that the law "denied the right of anyone wrongfully to shorten the life of another no matter what the latter's life expectancy may be. Such action may be considered murder. 'The law declared that one who inflicts injury on another and thereby accelerates his death shall be held criminally responsible therefor.' 26 American Jurisprudence 192."

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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