Tendo, Jiro, Commanding Officer, Hakodate PW Camp 2-B, Akahira, Hokkaido,
Docket No./ Date: 57/June 9-19, 1947, Yokohama, Japan
Charge: Violation of the laws and customs of war: 1. Did unlawfully disregard
and fail to discharge his duties as commander of said camps by faiing
and neglecting to provide for adequate food, clothing, medicine, medical
supplies and treatment, correspondence and sanitation, thereby contributing
to the suffering and ill health of numerous American and Allied PWs. 2.
Did willfully and unlawfully misappropriate and withhold Red Cross supplies
intended for the use and benefit of PWs. 3. Did unlawfully cause the destruction
of official records pertaining to American and Allied PWs. 4. Did unlawfully
disregard and fail to discharge his duties as commander of said camps,
to protect American and Allied PWs from violations of the laws and customs
Specifications: stealing and misusing Red Cross supplies; refusing PWs
necessary medicine, medical supplies and treatment; forcing PWs to perform
hard labor, when physically unfit for such work;forcing PWs to work for
excessive number of hours under dangerous, hazardous and unhealthy coditions;
mistreatment; abuse; beatings
Verdict: 2 years CHL/ Not Guilty on Specification 1 and 2
Reviewing Authority's Recommendations: Accused was the commanding officer
of the PW camp. Accused destroyed records by burning them and he ordered
those in charge of other camps under his command to destroy all records
by burning them. Accused received reports about the conditions in which
the PWs worked and reports about the beatings and mistreatment of the
PWs. Accused made inspections of the work site. Accused made "no
effort to stop or correct the abuse of the PWs by the guards at the mine"
and made no effort to prevent those under his command from stealing and
misusing Red Cross supplies. He also failed to stop those under his command
from sending out sick PWs to labor detail. THese specifications happened
and the perpetrators were under the accused's command.
Reviewing Authority: Denied forcing PWs to work an excessive amount of
hours: the company may have required that the PWs work more but he did
not have authority over the PWs except at the camp. Orders were received
directly from headquarters to destroy and burn the prison records: he
did so only in compliance with the orders. Accused never misappropriated
Red Cross supplied: no persons complained about the lack of medicine,
medical supplies, medical treatment or clothing. There were no complaints
about PWs being overworked and no other complaints about mistreatment
at the mines. In the case of specification 4a, the particular prisoner
was punished for failing to carry out work instructions and for striking
the mine supervisor.
Prosecution Arguments: "There is sufficient legal evidence in the
record of trial, which in itself supports the findings and sentence of
the commission, in view of the compelling evidence of guilt properly in
evidence, which is of such quantity and quality as practically to compel
in the minds of conscientious and reasonable men, the findings of guilty."
In regards to the issue of superior responsibility, "the camp commander
has a duty to protect the prisoners and, by the use of diligence he must
determine that they are not being mistreated. If he should know, and by
negligence does not know, he has committed an offense. From the evidence
herein, the accused Tendo had been informed and advised" about the
specifications. Accused failed to even follow his orders concerning the
8-hour workday and he knew of those orders. There was presented extenuating
and mitigating circumstances revolving around "his neglect"
and "his failures to discharge his duties" and the commission
Defense Arguments: George R. Taylor, Reviewer, Judge Advocate Section
Judge Advocate's Recommendations: Lt. Col. Allan R. Browne, JAGD: "The
action of the Commission in enlarging the time involved in Sub-specification
4p was not authorized and convicted accused Tendo of offenses during a
period for which he had no advance opportunity to prepare his defense.
This necessitates disapproval of the findings under that sub-specification.
Even with that element eliminated, the sentence is still grossly inadequate
and out of line with the sentences of other Commissions for similar offenses...It
is illogical and unjust to relieve the commander for atrocities of which
he knew or must have known as here, where a pattern of cruelty exists
in the camp, and to hold only the actual perpetrator...Close scrutiny
of the record fails to reveal the 'extenuating and mitigating circumstances'
mentioned by the Commission."