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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: Hara, Mokichi, Guard, Hiroshima POW Branch Camp No. 1

Docket No./ Date: 39A/ July 1-31, 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 offenses against certain American, British and other Allied POWs.


Verdict: 1 year confinement at hard labor

Reviewing Authority's Recommendations: Record is legally sufficient to sustain the findings and sentence of the commission. From the evidence the guilt of the accused is established. There is no evidence that the accused was not sane at the time the alleged aacts were committed.

Reviewing Authority: Paul E. Spurlock, Reviewer, Judge Advocate Section

Prosecution Arguments: 1. Accused beat a prisoners with hands, fists and a bamboo stick without explanation. 2. Accused was "one of the guards who beat prisoners" regularly, "perhaps once or twice a week."

Defense Arguments: 1. Was instructed that errant prisoners could be sent to the office or, if they "did any violent act toward them, they would be allowed to strike them in self protection." 2. He slapped a prisoner in three instances: twice when prisoner failed to heed his orders and once when prisoner was laughing at him.

Judge Advocate's Recommendations:

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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