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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: Munehiro, Genichi, Corporal, Japanese Army, Civilian Guardd att Fifth Branch Camp (Innoshima PW Camp), Hiroshima Area, Honshu, Japan

Docket No./ Date: 140/ June 25 - Jul 24, 1947, Yokohama, Japan

Charge: Violations of the laws and customs of war: 1. Did willfully and unlawfully mistreat and abuse PWs (spec 1-5, 8, 9) 2. Did willfully and unlawfully mistreat PW (spec 11, 15)

Specifications: beating using among others bamboo stick, fist; forcing PWs to kneel for a long period of time; kicking;

Verdict: 3 years CHL

Reviewing Authority's Recommendations: Accused beat, struck, kicked and mistreated PWs for no apparent reason (none cited by the reviewer).

Reviewing Authority: Accused admitted to kicking one PW for refusing to obey an order and for demonstrating an "attitude of resistance toward the accused." The accused admitted to punishing a PW for illegally having a lamp lighter but the punishment was kneeling on the floor of his office and punishment did not include striking the PW at any time. He also admitted to striking two other PWs for stealing articles from the company; on another occasion, he kicked a PW for lieing and for not being at roll call. He did not recall the others incidents alleged nor did he recall abusing any of the other PWs mentioned in the specifications. He reported some of these occasions to the camp commander

Prosecution Arguments: There are no procedural errors of irregularities which injuriously affect any substantial rights of the accused. There was sufficient legal evidence, "which is of such quality and quantity as practically to compel in the minds of conscientious and reasonable men the findings of guilty."

Defense Arguments: George R. Taylor, Reviewer

Judge Advocate's Recommendations: Allan R. Browne, Lt. Col. JAGD, stated that he felt the sentences were inadequate for the charges of which the accused was found guilty. He goes on to put down the same statement as used before in previous trials about the "blackest rogue" being entitled to an early trial under the "englightened rules of civilized nations."

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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