UC Berkeley War Crimes Studies Center
Home > WWII Pacific Theater > Document Archives > Yokohama Reviews
World War II Pacific Theater Case Synopses from Judge Advocate's Reviews Yokohama Class B and C War Crimes Trials

Defendant: Shibata, Teruo, civilian employee, Kawasaki POW Camp 3D

Docket No./ Date: 59/60/ Dec. 4 - 11, 1946, Yokohama, Japan

Charge: Violation of the laws and customs of war: 1. Did willfully and unlawfully jointly mistreat a Canadian POW

Specifications: beating using among others fists, sticks and wooden rifles; kicking him; walking on his body

Verdict: 5 years CHL

Reviewing Authority's Recommendations: For violation of a minor regulation in the camp regulations, accused administered this beating. No permanent injuries resulted but the PW required treatment and hospitalization for injuries. The three accused was chastised by the camp commander and made to apologize.

Reviewing Authority: Accused was in charge of supplies: when he tried to turn in the PWs clothing at the office, he was reprimanded, told to investigate the PW and punish him if necessary to make him comply with regulations covering clothing mending. Accused admit to having slapped the PW and stated that when he did, the PW flew back and his elbow went backwards through the glass. Stated that accused Baba did as well. Accused Yamanaka did not touch the prioners. While leading the PW out of the room, encountered three company guards, who proceeded to beat the PW until stopped. He was called in front of the camp commandant but was not made to apologize.

Prosecution Arguments: The accusation against the three accused is that they, "in a concerted action, committed an aggravated assault" upon a PW. "No conspiracy is alleged nor is such allegation necessary to establish a joint offense. What is necessary is proof that the accused, acting with common intent or design, did together accomplish the alleged assault." The defense witnesses and the accused provide the more satisfactory and complete account of the incident and the causes which could lead to the conclusion that they are more credible. But, there are inconsistensies such as the light slapping causing the window to break. Even though the sole prosecution witness and all the defense states that Yamanaka did not participate, the affidavits accuse him directly. Thjs evidence, if credible, is sufficient for a finding of guilt.

Defense Arguments: Edward A. Doering, 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

© Copyright 2007 UC Berkeley War Crimes Studies Center