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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: Shiba, Tsutomi, Sergeant of Medical Corps, Hokodate Main POW Camp, Hokkaido, Japan

Docket No./ Date: 20/ April 4, 1946, Yokohama, Japan(?)

Charge: 1. Committed cruel and brutal atrocities against POWs 2. Permitted ("failed to supervise, control or restrain") his staff to commit cruel and brutal atrocities against POWs


Verdict: 5 years confinement at hard labor

Reviewing Authority's Recommendations: 1.The accused "had authority to supervise his subordinates and the duty to report any mistreatment and abuse by them towards prisoners of war, and failing to do so bears corresponding responsibility for their acts…daily recurrences and the multiplicity of such instances in the present case leave no doubt that accused knew or should have known of them and nevertheless took no action to prevent them as was his duty." 2. Evidence presented by prosecution shows that the accused did beat prisoners, despite denials by the accused.

Reviewing Authority: John N. Schilling, Jr., 2nd Lieutenant, Assistant Staff Judge Advocate

Prosecution Arguments:

Defense Arguments: 1. Stated that "he was responsible for any improper treatment of prisoners of war by his orderlies and if any such mistreatment or abuse occurred it was his duty to report it to the camp commandant who would discipline the wrongdoer." Accused stated that he had no authority to punish his orderlies. 2. Stated that he had given orders not to beat patients 3. Accused "delegated" to another doctor the power to decide who would work and who would not, and no orderly had the power to overrule his order. 4. Accused admitting slapping 2 prisoners on two occasions, once when he had been drinking, but denied ever beating prisoners or striking prisoners with other objects. 5. Denied knowing of instances where his subordinates beat prisoners

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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