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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: Yamada, Tomio, Civilian guard/Employee, Armed Forces, Umeda Bunsho POW Camp, Osaka, Honshu, Japan

Docket No./ Date: 32/May 13, 1946 - May 17, 1946, Yokohama, Japan

Charge: Violation of the Laws and Customs of War: 1. Did wilfully and unlawfully commit cruel, inhuman and brutal acts, atrocities, and other offenses against certain American POWs


Verdict: Life Imprisonment

Reviewing Authority's Recommendations: Record is legally sufficient to sustain the findings and sentence of the commission. From the evidence the guilt of the accused is established. There is no evidence that the accused was not sane at the time the alleged aacts were committed.

Reviewing Authority: Paul E. Spurlock, Reviewer, Judge Advocate Section

Prosecution Arguments:

Defense Arguments: 1. Customary in the Japanese Army to slap a man and let him off if his offenses are light. 2. Guards could not force a prisoner to work over Captain Nell's orders and there were no cases where they were forced. 3. Sometimes prisoners wanted to go to work, though on sick call, and were permitted. Incentive was extra food on the job and the work was light. 4. Accused was friendly and popular with the prisoners. Accused was not seen hitting any prisoners. In fact, accused was concerned for them and tried to make it easier for them. 5. Denied mistreating any prisoners beyond slapping for offenses, which was customary.

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

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