UC Berkeley War Crimes Studies Center
Home > WWII Pacific Theater > Document Archives > Yokohama Reviews
World War II Pacific Theater Case Synopses from Judge Advocate's Reviews Yokohama Class B and C War Crimes Trials

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."

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

© Copyright 2007 UC Berkeley War Crimes Studies Center