Sudo, Yoshio, 2nd Lieutenant, Japanese Army, Camp Commander at Tokyo Area
PW Camp 24-D, Kawasaka, Honshu, Japan
Docket No./ Date: 137/ April 28-30, 1947, Yokohama, Japan
Charge: Violation of the laws and customs of war: 1. Did willfully and
unlawfully cause, permit and condone the mistreatment of PWs (spec 1,2)
2. Did unlawfully disregard and fail to discharge his duty as Commander
to control and restrain members of his command and persons under his supervision
and control, by permitting them to commit the brutal acts, atrocities
and other offenses against PWs (spec 3a, b, g)
Specifications: command responsibility
Verdict: 7 years CHL
Reviewing Authority's Recommendations: Accused was present at the beating
of POWs and even when prevailed upon to stop it, he did nothing (spec.
1, 2). The acts alleged in spec 3 happened; the accused was the commander
of the camp; he did nothing.
Reviewing Authority: Being camp commandant was his first command experience:
he had previously had no contacts with Westerners and he had worked only
1 month before entering the army. There was no mention of corporal punishment
in the regulations; orders from the main camp stated that violations of
rules were to be punished "strictly and in cases of confinement they
were to be first tried. He directed the guards that in cases of violations
an individual was prohibited from punishing the men personally but a report
was to be made to the camp commander for action." During conferences
with the prisoner officers, they never complained about beatings or mistreatments.
The accused denied observing any instances of beatings.
Prosecution Arguments: The accused is charged with failure to control
and restrain his subordinates. He had a duty to protect the prisoners.
He failed in this duty. The evidence indicates that he knew of the mistreatment
and could have prevented it.
Defense Arguments: Cyril D. Hill, Lt. Col., CAC, Reviewer
Judge Advocate's Recommendations: The reviewer invokes the record of
the trial of the main perpetrator of the acts for which the accused was
found guilty of command responsibility. It is interesting because it was
the defense that called the particular individual. The evidence the his
trial records and his testimony provided was used by the reviewer to show
that the accused "knew of the mistreatment and could have prevented