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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: Furushima, Chotaro: Vice Mayor of Funatsu, Commanding Officer of Nagoya Area Prisoner of War Camp Number 1-D and POW Camp Number 3-B

Docket No./ Date: 3/ Dec. 28, 1945 - Jan. 11, 1946, Yokohama, Japan

Charge: 1. Violation of the Laws and Customs of War between 29 May 1944 and about 2 September 1945 as C.O. of Nagoya Area POW Camp Number 3-B, Funatsu, Gifu, Honshu, Japan and Nogoya Area POW Camp number 1-D, Kamioka, Gifu, Honshu, Japan, did unlawfully abuse, mistreat and commit other offenses against certain Amercan POWs and failing to control, permitting members of his command to commit cruel and brutal atrocities and other offenses against American PWs.


Verdict: Guilty verdict upheld/ Life imprisonment at hard labor

Reviewing Authority's Recommendations: The Judge Advocate stated that the accused "was rightfully and properly considered as responsible because he, as Commanding officer of both camps, could not but have known they were occuring." The evidence showed that the accused himself had committed brutalities toward the POWs.

Reviewing Authority: Paul E. Spurlock, Judge Advocate Section

Prosecution Arguments:

Defense Arguments: 1. Denied committing various forms of abuse and mistreatment of prisoners 2. Treatment of prisoners same as treatment of Japanese soldiers 3. Claimed to not have known about abuses by others, ie. Subordinates

Judge Advocate's Recommendations: Col. Sotaro Muratta (Docket No. 155), superior to Chotaro Furushima was called as a witness. It would be interesting to see what happened to him compared to his subordinate.

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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