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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: Toma, SeisakuHakadote Area POW Camp No. 2, Ohasi, Japan

Docket No./ Date: 121/ July 14 - 17, 1947, Yokohama, Japan

Charge: Violation of the laws and customs of war: 1. Did willfully and unlawfully mistreat POW (spec 2)

Specifications: beating;

Verdict: 1 year CHL

Reviewing Authority's Recommendations: Accused beat a POW for stealing fish; the POW was beat by the accused and other guards so severely that he bled from his mouth, nose, ears and from cuts all over his body.

Reviewing Authority: The accused admitted to striking the mentioned prisoners with his open hand.

Prosecution Arguments: The record fails to reveal any error which injuriously affected the substantial rights of the accused or any failure to accord him a fair trial in every respect. The evidence supports the findings beyond a reasonable doubt. There is no evidence that accused was not sane at the time the alleged acts were committed and at the time of trial. The sentence given, however, is inadequate.

Defense Arguments: Cyril D. Hill, Lt. Col., CAC, Reviewer

Judge Advocate's Recommendations: Allan R. Browne, Lt. Col. JAGD, stated that he felt the findings of guilty for war crimes "such as those established in this case demands a sentence greatly in excess of" those given. "Nevertheless, pre-trial confinement is in no way to be considered as confinement served in expiation for offenses of which an accused is later convicted. THerefore a reviewing authority should consider such restraint entirely separately from that adjudged by a commission. The blackest rogue is entitled to an early trial under the enlightened rules of civilized nations. When trials are postponed, as this one was, because of the great number of those awaiting justice, fair allowances should be made for undue pre-trial confinement regardless of the inadequacy of a sentence. THis is all the more true since commissions are instructed that pre-trial confinement is not to be considered in adjudging sentences."

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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