Defendant: Takeshita, Toshio, 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. 2. Did willfully and unlawfully take, steal
and carry away food, clothing and Red Cross supplies furnished and intended
for the use of Allied PWs.
Specifications: beating using belt among other things; kicking; forcing
PWs to stand in the cold of winter for prolonger period of time
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 with the slightest provocation or without any provocation,
usually using the studded belt that he wore. Accused was punished twice
by the camp commander for mistreating PWs. Accused stole foodstuffs during
the night and sold them to civilians outside the camp; the accused would
then report the PWs as being responsible for the theft. This would result
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. He also kept Red Cross supplied
of PWs for them at their request in the warehouse. 2. Accused was rumored
to have struck and beaten prisoners because of violations of camp orders
and regulations. 3. Accused was never seen to strike a prisoner. 4. Accused
treated PWs better than he was treated in the army: it was common to strike
new recruits when they did wrong. Although he was struck with bamboo fencing
sword, wooden rifles, oak pole shoes and slippers as a recruit, he only
used his fists or the palm of his hand. 5. Denied all the specifications
as being misunderstood by PWs or as having never happened.
Prosecution Arguments: Record is legally sufficient to support the findings.
Accused admitted to striking PW on occasions.
Defense Arguments: Paul E. Spurlock, Reviewer, Judge Advocate Section
Judge Advocate's Recommendations: