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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: Nishida, Tsugio, First Lieutenant, Japanese Army, Omori PW Camp, Tokyo Area, Omori, Honshu, Japan

Docket No./ Date: 156/ May 5-7, 1947, Yokohama, Japn

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

Specifications: beating; causing civilian guard to mistreat PW; compelling PWs to beat each other;

Verdict: 9 years CHL

Reviewing Authority's Recommendations: Accused beat PWs; ordered subordinates to beat PWs; and forced PWs beat each other. No reason was given for such treatment but in one specification, accused beat a PW while that PW was undergoing other punishment.

Reviewing Authority: Accused admitted to striking a PW once who admitted to stealing carrots; he did so out of anger. Denied every other occasion of mistreatment alleged; denied knowing the PWs named in those other charges. Denied ordering subordinate to beat PWs.

Prosecution Arguments: There are no errors or irregularities which injuriously affect any substantial rights of the accused; there is no evidence that the accused was not sane at the alleged time of the offenses or at the time of trial. There is sufficient competent evidence in the record to support the findings and sentence of the Commission. Reviewer found that theses were not "simple assaults and of small consequence" as alleged by the defense but were "batteries of a grave type." The sentence is not excessive.

Defense Arguments: George R. Taylor, Reviewer

Judge Advocate's Recommendations: Allan R. Browne, Lt. Col., JAGD, stated that "as an officer and educated man the accused should be held to very strict accountability for his barbarous deeds, more so in fact than if he were of lesser degree." So, the sentence, "correctly reflects" this.

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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