Rikitake, Yoichi, Commanding Officer of Prisoner of War Camp No. 3, Kyushu,
Docket No./ Date: 15/ Mar. 7-22, 1946, Yokohama, Japan
Charge: 1. Committing cruel and brutal atrocities against POWs 2. Failing
to control, and permitting members of his command to commit cruel and
brutal atrocities and other offenses against POWs.
Verdict: 15 years confinement at hard labor/ Sentence Upheld
Reviewing Authority's Recommendations: The accused "could not but
have known" that beatings were taking place for they were a daily
occurrence at the camp. The deaths of several prisoners "must be
attributed to lack of medicines, lack of clothing and being required to
work when unfit to do so. For these the accused may propersly be considered
as responsible." The JA also comments on the following about the
commission's recommendation for clemency dependent on accused's age and
"inadequacy," based on his training as a field grade officer
rather than a company grade officer. "Responsibility for crime does
not rest on inadequacy or age and age or inadequacy do not offer any cloak
of immunity for criminal acts" because these offenses were "violation
of the prisoner of war conventions and of the fundamental concepts of
Reviewing Authority: Howard H. Conaway, Captain, Assistant Staff Judge
Defense Arguments: 1. Common for superior officers to slap or strike
juniors 2. Had no authority to punish civilians employed at the factory.
He notified the overseers about the correct treatment of POWs on several
occasions. 3. Rations were regulated by orders from superiors. POWs received
same rations as Japanese soldiers in base camp 4. Guards were not authorised
to beat prisoners, to burn them or require them to stand at attention
for long periods of time. 5. "Fitness to work" was decided by
a set of standards arrived at by agreement between the prisoner and Japanese
medical officers 6. Denial of knowledge concerning specifications of abuse.
Judge Advocate's Recommendations: Prosecution argued that the accused,
"as camp commander, was responsible for the administration of the
camp and the conduct of the Japanese military and civilian personnel at
the camp and at the factory where the prisoners worked."