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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: Ito, Eiichi, Civilian Employee at Yodogawa PW Camp: guard til Mar 1943, medical orderly until Oct 1944, supply clerk until May 1945

Docket No./ Date: 138/ August 14-21, 1947, Yokohama, Japan

Charge: Violation of the laws and customs of war: 1. Did mistreat and abuse PWs (spec 3, 6, 7, 9-11)

Specifications: slapping; beating to the point of unconscious in one instance; kicking; putting PW in shed overnight naked;

Verdict: 8 years CHL

Reviewing Authority's Recommendations: Accused beat POWs for no reason or for minor infractions of rules (not obeying orders, stealing foodstuffs, playing cards, trading shoes, going to the latrine without permission) or for small provocations (PWs injuring themselves on the job)

Reviewing Authority: Accused stated that in the case of the incident described in spec 3, he did hit the guilty individual involved 4 times with his open palm when he discovered who it was, but did not participate in the mass beating that the specification speaks of. Accused admitted sometimes giving a slap to individuals who stole or bartered items but he never beat them or did any of the other things alleged. Accused also admitted giving a slap to the victim mentioned in spec 5 but denied that allegations. Accused also admitted pushing two PWs heads when they ignored his orders to get on their feet and striking one PW across his face with a rubber shoe but never to the extent alleged.

Prosecution Arguments: There are no procedural errors of irregularities which injuriously affect any substantial rights of the accused. The findings of the commission were proved beyond a reasonable doubt except in the following instances: in specification 6, the commission felt "without a doubt the accused was guilty of other instances of mistreatment of the same victim during his tenure" although it felt that thhe accused's participation in the original offense insufficient to convince one of guilt beyond reasonable doubt. The accused, in essence, was convcited "erroneously" for instances not included in this specification but in specification 7. Therefore, he asked for the charge of guilty to be disproved because he felt that "it must always be certain that the same offense is meant and the change in date may not, as here, be so unreasonably different as to render it unable to be said that the specified date truly apprised the accused of the particular offense for which he was being tried." While the reviewer found the sentence to be substantial, he did not find it excessive for the crimes of which the accused was convicted because the offenses "show a pattern of conduct which closely approaches viciousness."

Defense Arguments: Edward A. Doering, Reviewer

Judge Advocate's Recommendations: (No Comments Made)

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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