Defendant: Hashimoto, Shigeyoshi, Civilian Guard, Hiroshima POW Branch
Camp No. 1
Docket No./ Date: 39/July 1-31, 1946, Yokohama, Japan
Charge: Violation of the Laws and Customs of War: Did wilfully and unlawfully
commit cruel, inhuman and brutal acts, atrocities and other offense against
certain American, British and other Allied PWs.
Verdict: 10 years confinement at hard labor
Reviewing Authority's Recommendations: Specifications 2 and 6 were not
proved: both only mentioned that one prisoner was a victim and that the
perpetrator was the accused. However, the action was not disclosed.
Reviewing Authority: Paul E. Spurlock, Reviewer, Judge Advocate Section
Prosecution Arguments: 1. Accused beat, kicked, tortured, starved prisoners
for actual or supposed minor infractions of camp regulations.
Defense Arguments: 1.Because his hand was fractured in China, he cannot
move the fingers of that hand without feeling pain. 2. Charge and specification
are wrong in stating that he came to the Camp in 1943. He came in 1944.
3. Many of the civilian guards at the railroad station wore white gloves
and had somethign wrong with right hands: mistaken identity. 4. He was
forbidden to slap or strike prisoners but was allowed to "lightly
push" prisoners in certain directions due to the language barrier.
He believes that he was misunderstood by the prisoners because he did
not speak English. 5. Denied, beating, kicking or mistreating prisoners
except by accident and then, they never required medical attention. Furthermore,
he apologized on those occasions.
Judge Advocate's Recommendations: I think this case shows a sophistication
in terms of the review process. The legal reasoning and the "looking"
at the other trials as the markers for what sentences are adjudged to
be fair can be seen here.