UC Berkeley War Crimes Studies Center
Home > WWII Pacific Theater > Document Archives > Yokohama Reviews
World War II Pacific Theater Case Synopses from Judge Advocate's Reviews Yokohama Class B and C War Crimes Trials
Defendant: Kondo, Kenichi, medical orderly in charge of sick by, Osaka Headquarters Main PW Camp

Docket No./ Date: 61/ Aug. 5 - Nov. 1, 1946, Yokohama, Japan

Charge: Violation of the laws and customs of war: spec 1-2: Did, willfully and unlawfully, mistreat and contribute to the death of PWs by forcing them to work when physically unable to do so, and by denying them necessary medical treatment. Spec 4-9: Did willfully and unlawfully mistreat PWs by striking them. Spec 10: DId willfully and unlawfully, mistreat and abuse numerous Allied PW by failing, neglecting and refusing to provide them necessary medical attention and by striking, kicking and beating them and forcing them to work when physicaly unfit to do so. spec 11: Did willfully and unlawfully mistreat certain PW by forcing them to work while physically unfit to do so.

Specifications: striking/beating using among others fists, leather slippers; kicking;

Verdict: 12 years CHL

Reviewing Authority's Recommendations: Accused acted according to the general Japanese Army instruction that "no prisoner, unless definitely sick (high temperature, broken bones) would be permitted to rest." He sent PWs to work even when the PW doctor recommended rest (spec 1, 2). Accused slapped, struck and kicked PWs for infractions of minor rules, for supposedly faking illness, and for not reporting to sick bay at the right time (spec. 4-9). Accused allegedly "often overruled the decision of the PW doctor:" he sent PWs to work over the advice of the PW doctor. The accused continued to beat patients at his subsequent places of work.

Reviewing Authority: Accused's superior reprimanded accused for having "too many patients" and was told that he needed to "raise the health standards of the camp." This was an order and meant that those with less than a certain temperature had to work. It was also ordered that those with light diarrhea had to work. This was the source of disagreement with the PW doctor. Accused was a good medical orderly: he received commendations twice for raising health standards and once for preventing the explosion of some carbide during a flood. THe medical officer of the day had the final decision but in cases of doubt, he decided. He remembered striking PWs on eight occasions but were all for infractions of the rules, for feigning illnesses or for absenting themselves from work. He did not kick them or hit them with a tick. He did not recall the specifications as charged.

Prosecution Arguments: (Could not read the opinion.) The reviewer recognized the technical standard put upon the accused when the accused sent sick prisoners to work. However, the reviewer did not see any legitimate excuse for the slappings, kickings and beatings committed by the accused. "All of these acts upon weak and sick prisoners reflect that he was not only sadistically inclined but a coward of the lowest and most despicable degree...It takes no knowledge of international agreements for one to realize that the beatings of sick prisoners are naturally wrong." The reviewer found the the accused could have justly received a more severe sentence.

Defense Arguments: Paul E. Spurlock, Reviewer, Judge Advocate Section

Judge Advocate's Recommendations: Lt. Col. Allan R. Browne, JAGD, in concurring with the reviewers opinion, chose to cite the words given by the accused for the treatment received during his imprisonment and the subsequent trial in order to commend the defense counsels, especially the Chief of Defense.


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

© Copyright 2007 UC Berkeley War Crimes Studies Center