Defendant: Yasuda, Katsuyoshi, Medical Orderly, Hokodate PW Camp 2-B,
Akahira, Hokkaido, Japan
Docket No./ Date: 57/June 9-19, 1947, Yokohama, Japan
Charge: Violation of the laws and customs of war: 1. Did willfully and
unlawfully misappropriate, withhold and steal Red Cross supplied intended
for the use and benefit of PWs. 2. Did willfully and unlawfully cause
the destruction of official records pertaining to American and Allied
PWs. (These charges were not in the reviews but I have written them this
way according to the summary of prosecution evidence against the accused.)
Specifications: stealing and misusing Red Cross supplies; destroying
records of PWs.
Verdict: 1 year CHL
Reviewing Authority's Recommendations: Accused was the only one with
the key to the medicine cabinet. Accused was seen carrying packages and
removing Red Cross supplies away from the store room. Furthermore, accused
did not keep a record of supplies nor would he permit a record to be kept.
Accused was seen with all the medical records of the prisoners and was
seen destroying the records by burning them. Accused forced prisoners
to go on labor duty despite being too sick to carry out the hard labor.
Reviewing Authority: PWs received medical attention, appropriate medicine
and sufficient food at the camp and at the work site. Denied stealing
or misusing Red Cross supplies, except on one occasion when he was ordered
to use Red Cross medicine for a Japanese by Dr. Okamura, who made all
such decisions. Accused denied sending sick PWs to work. He destroyed
records upon direct orders from the Camp Commander. Denied abusing any
PWs: complaints were never received about him.
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 int he minds
of conscientious and reasonable men, the findings of guilty.
Defense Arguments: George R. Taylor, Reviewer, Judge Advocate Section
Judge Advocate's Recommendations: Lt. Col. Allan R. Browne, JAGD: "Since
the 'little fellow' follows his superior's lead justice requires that
the latter's punishment be adequate." Browne found the sentences
inadequate; however, he definitely believes that responsibility should
lie with the superior rather than with the junior in regards to situations
where "a pattern of cruelty exists."