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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: Kato, Masayoshi, Medical Orderly, Itchicka POW Camp and Yokkaichi POW Camp, Osaka, Honshu, Japan

Docket No./ Date: 124/ Jan 28 - Feb 5, 1947, Yokohama, Japn

Charge: Violation of the laws and customs of war: 1. Did willfully and unlawfully, mistreat and abuse POWs (spec 1, 2,4,5,7)

Specifications: beating using among others fists, belts, slippers, shoes/boots;

Verdict: 25 years CHL

Reviewing Authority's Recommendations: (could not read first part) Accused with other members of the staff beat POWs constantly. Accused drilled the POWs and with the smallest mistakes or smallest provocations (refusal to give accused a cigarette) would punish them with beatings and slappings. Many times, the accused would pull POWs from their beds in order to beat them; subsequently many of them died, their "hastened death being definitely due to the treatment they received."

Reviewing Authority: Accused admitted to beating 4 prisoners in all; once for repeated failure to give the correct prisoner count, once by order of superior for stolen medicines (3 POWs). And even on these occasions, he stated that he struck them lightly with his open hand and that was it. The accused denied all other alleged acts of mistreatment or abuse. He had made an error when he said that he had beat prisoners with a slipper at Yokkaichi POW Camp; he was in the prison when this happened.

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. The sentence is adequate for the specifications of which the accused was found guilty.

Defense Arguments: Cyril D. Hill, Lt. Col., CAC, 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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