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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: Iwata, Yagoheiji, Sergeant, Japanese Army, Mess Sergeant, POW Camp No. 2, Fukuoka, Japan

Docket No./ Date: 135/ March 31 - April 3, 1947, Yokohama, Japan

Charge: Violation of the laws and customs of war: 1. Did willfully and unlawfully mistreat and torture PW (spec 1, 2, 3, 5)

Specifications: beating using among others fists, sticks, wooden clubs, water-soaked piece of roap;throwing on the ground; hanging by his hands from a post; holding his head back and forcing him to swallow sea water;

Verdict: 12 years CHL

Reviewing Authority's Recommendations: Accused beat, abused, mistreated and tortured POWs for violations of camp rules (stealing, illegal items in possession) or in cases of misunderstandings or for no reason at all. The accused was usually the ranking Japanese among the others who participated in the incident and in several of the specifications, the accused began the beatings/torture and ordered subordinates to continue the beatings/torture.

Reviewing Authority: Accused admitted to striking the victim in spec 2 only 2 or three times, lightly, on the buttocks, and to throwing the PW on the floor 2 times; the specification was wrong in the scope of the incident. IN the case of spec 1, the accused saw the incident happening, but he could not do anything because he was not the ranking senior. When the accused found mess kits dirty, couple of the PWs were made to wash these kits and the remainder of the PWs stood until the washing was complete. He could not recall any other incidents mentioned. Furthermore, he had no authority to put PW into or take PW out of the guard house.

Prosecution Arguments: The record fails to reveal any error which injuriously affected the substantial rights of the accused or any failure to accord him a fair trial in every respect. The evidence supports the findings beyond a reasonable doubt. There is no evidence that accused was not sane at the time the alleged acts were committed and at the time of trial.

Defense Arguments: F. J. Grogan, Captain, JAGD, Assistant Staff Judge Advocate

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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