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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: Kawakami, Harushige, Civilian Guard employed by Nippon Kokan Kabushiki Kaisha, plant located near Tokyo Area PW Detached Camp No. 5

Docket No./ Date: 49/July 10-12, 1946, Yokohama, Japan

Charge: Violation of the laws and customs of war: 1. Did unlawfully beat and cruelly torture American PWs.

Specifications: beatings using leather belt, bamboo stick, rubber hose, wooden ruler, riding crop, and clubs; torture by burning

Verdict: 10 years CHL

Reviewing Authority's Recommendations: Accused was employed at the plant where prisoners from Tokyo Area PW Detached Camp No. 5 were required to work. Accused was nicknamed "Slick Pants" and was identified as being responsible for the beatings and torture of specified PWs.

Reviewing Authority: Denied beatings and torture of certain individuals: defense witnesses denied seeing the accused mistreating PWs. Accused admitted striking several PWs but they were under direct orders of a superior and as punishment for stealing foodstuffs. He stated that on two separate occasions when he acted without direct orders and caught PWs who had stolen foodstruffs, he struck them lightly to "prevent further punishment." He made many efforts to look after the welfare of the prisoners.

Prosecution Arguments: The record is legally sufficient to support the findings. The evidence supports the findings beyond a reasonable doubt. There was no evidence that the accused was not sane at the time of the alleged acts or at the time of trial.

Defense Arguments: Cyril D. Hill, Lt. Col. Assistant Staff Judge Advocate

Judge Advocate's Recommendations: Lt. Col. Allan R. Browne, Army Judge Advocate found that "in view of the compelling evidence of many and protracted tortures committed by each accused," the sentence was inadequate.

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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