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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: Minemoto, Yoshinari, Corporal, Japanese Imperial Army, Tanagawa Branch POW Camp No. 4, Osaka Area, Honshu, Japan

Docket No./ Date: 14/ March 13, 1946, Yokohama, Japan

Charge: Violation of the laws and customs of war: 1. Did wrongfully and unlawfully kill a PW

Specifications: beating using among other club;

Verdict: 10 years confinement/ Sentence Upheld

Reviewing Authority's Recommendations: "Unexpected development" of having the superior and the doctor's statements amount to a confession of the crime of the murder of the said POW. The commission correctly assessed the crime as having been the beating of the POW rather than murder despite pr

Reviewing Authority: James M. Prestwood, 2nd Lieutenant, Assistant Staff Judge Advocate

Prosecution Arguments: Accused beat the PW, already being punished in the guardhouse for escaping.

Defense Arguments: Admitted to having struck the American POW but denied the scope of their beatings. Also denied participation in the conspiracy to kill the prisoner.

Judge Advocate's Recommendations: "Jointly and in pursuance of a common intent" was taken out of the original charge. It is interesting because of the difference between the idea of conspiracy in Tokyo and in the lesser trials.

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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