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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: Nishioka, Shigeru, Civilian attached to Hokodate First Branch PW Camp, Muroran, Hokkaido, Japan

Docket No./ Date: 43/July 26 - Aug. 9, 1946, Yokohama, Japan

Charge: Violation of the Laws and Customs of War: 1. Did willfully and unlawfully commit cruel and brutal acts, atrocities and other offenses against certain Allied PWs.

Specifications: beating using bamboo pole with strips at the end, stick, wooden bar, fists

Verdict: 15 years CHL

Reviewing Authority's Recommendations: Accused was a civilian at the PW camp who was identified as being responsible for the acts alleged. Accused beat PWs without the slightest provocation. Accused also stole foodstuffs intended for the PWs and personal items of the PWs in order to sell them. The PWs were threatened with a beating about telling the camp commander.

Reviewing Authority: 1. PWs mistook action of the accused. Part of accused's job was to carry food from the warehouse to the kitchen which forced them to walk past the barracks of the PWs. 2. Accused denied the specifications as charged. He admitted striking PWs but only for infractions on camp regulations such as stealing. 3. Concerning one incident alleged, he left this job before this incident was supposed to have happened.

Prosecution Arguments: Record is sufficient to support the findings. Accused admitted to striking PWs on occasions.

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

Judge Advocate's Recommendations:

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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