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Sparrow Photo 50 After math Tatsuo Little Glass Eye Tsuchiya before the Yokohama War Crimes Commission sentencing He is flanked by Maj Louis Geffen prosecutor and Lt Col John Dickinson defense attorney 5 January 1946 Photographer Tom Shafer Bettmann CORBIS Victor s Justice The trial of the vanquished by the victors cannot be impartial no matter how it is hedged about with the forms of justice U S Senator Robert A Taft October 5 1946 The momentum of the Western World and Modern Japan collided at Mitsushima Prisoner of War Camp Isolated in the Tenryu River valley of Japan s Central Alps a Lord of the Flies scenario played out where Bushid culture and Western hypocrisy argued about how prisoners of war should be treated How prisoners of war should be treated became the Rules of War Japan ratified the Hague Convention Japan a military run government did not sign the Geneva Convention of 1929 though in 1942 it did promise to abide by its terms Among the ruins of Japan s defeated capital one of the Mitsushima guards would become the first person to be tried for war crimes against the Rules of War At the Yokohama War Crimes Tribunal the concept of the Rules of War would set the legal precedent upon which every successive trial would rely Every murder beating summary punishment brutal treatment forced labour medical experimentation starvation rations and poor medical treatment would rely on the effectiveness of the trial of a civilian guard and injured former corporal with the nickname Little Glass Eye
Sparrow  Photo 50   After-math  Tatsuo    Little Glass Eye    Tsuchiya before the Yokohama War Crimes Commission sentencin...
Sparrow After math With so much depending on the result one would have expected every loose end to be firmly tied Instead any first year law student sitting through the trial of Tatsuo Tsushiya would have felt embarrassed to be present To be fair one can imagine the prosecutors sifting through all the affidavits to find some consistency between statements for what would appear to be a straightforward first case a slam dunk Thousands of complaint forms were filed sorted then witnesses would need to be found Remember most prisoners of war were on their way home But Mitsushima Camp had five different names Matsushima appeared on the Gibbs Camp Report Tokyo 2 Detached Camp appeared on Red Cross reports Tokyo 3 B or Number 3 Branch on Japanese reports and later in the war it was renamed Tokyo 12 B or Number 12 Branch The description of Tsuchiya varied greatly between affidavits Another guard at the camp Sadaharu Hiramatsu had the nickname Big Glass Eye as well as Glass Eye The prosecution argued that Tsuchiya s nickname in several affidavits was Glass Eye Mark Gayn a former Tokyo correspondent of The Chicago Sun who witnessed the trial wrote in his book Japan Diary As evidence was unfolded doubt vanished that this mild looking ex farmer was a sadist who delighted in inventing cruelties to be inflicted on the prisoners in the camp in which he was a guard 193 Gayn however added We all felt embarrassed watching the prosecutors handle the case Their case was built on affidavits some of which would not have passed the scrutiny of a police reporter let alone a court of justice The affidavits argued with each other We snickered but we felt uneasy and ashamed 194 Nonetheless as Gayn remarked The purpose of the trials I am told is less to punish the guilty than to give the Japanese people a lesson in the futility of aggression 195 Thus it could and has been argued that MacArthur had more interest in establishing Rules of War for future international society than in ensuring only the guilty were punished 196 A fundamental of law is that an accused be tried That is why it is called a trial Much of the evidence presented was by affidavits from people who were not present to be cross examined by the defence Only a few witnesses were present at the trial None of them actually witnessed the beating of Robert Gordon Teas Amongst the affidavits compiled in the Mitsushima Camp folder at the National Archives and Records Administration in College Park Maryland was one by Raymond Kirch He was in the same building when Teas died He saw him die 193 194 195 196 Kogure Satoko Justice Reaches Dead End The Japan Times Tuesday Nov 2 2004 Ibid Ibid Ibid
Sparrow  After-math  With so much depending on the result, one would have expected every loose end to be firmly tied. Inst...
Sparrow After math No one bothered to ask Kirch to be present Kirch returned home to his old job in the United States Army Air Force In an interview here is what he had to say The Author What do you think actually killed Teas Kirch Well it wasn t actually the beating that killed Teas that time He was swollen with water with beriberi I tell you he was huge And this old Dutch doctor who was supposed to be a Dutch doctor this was early in the time because Dr Weinstein hadn t come in yet So he got a big hypodermic needle a great big one and a pan and he started drawing the water out this guy did The Dutch doctor did He was supposed to be a doctor He drew out one panful It went so well he decided to do a second On the second pan he was about half way through it and the guy went into shock My people don t know what that is but I found what happened and the guys who were there told me they witnessed it The second time he was being drawn he went into shock and died 197 Much of the evidence presented would breach the United States Constitution and the Articles of War The objections by the defence to such evidence were overruled by the U S military commission which argued that such protection could not be afforded to the accused as a former belligerent 198 By the end of 1943 275 prisoners of war passed through Mitsushima camp Of that number 54 died at Mitsushima Kanose or the journey home Of those who died in captivity 25 were Royal Air Force 9 were from The Sparrows and 18 were American Of the 221 liberated prisoners of war all of whom were interviewed in Yokohama or Manila only 64 laid a complaint about their treatment as prisoners of war Of this number 12 were from Royal Air Force 3 from The Sparrows 1 Dutch Doctor 1 Royal Naval Doctor and a staggering 47 were Americans In other words of the 67 Americans who survived the war 70 percent laid complaints Of the 162 British who survived 10 percent laid complaints Table 2 List of Mitsushima prisoners who laid war crimes complaints Rank L A C Sqd Ldr Maj Name Duffy James Blanchard William Thomas Cory Allan Murray Serial 965952 Cpl Capt Rogers Harold G Hewitt Walter J 979453 0 338977 T Sgt Roy John C 6896934 United States Army Affidavit Cpl Atwell John R 37042049 United States Army Affidavit 197 198 317610 Force Evidence Royal Air Force Royal Air Force Affidavit United States Army Testimony Questionnaire Statement Royal Air Force United States Army Questionnaire Statement Interview with Raymond Kirch Valparaiso Florida U S A 29 June 2004 Kogure op cit Trials Azuma Trial Nakajima Trial Nakajima Trial Nakajima Trial Nakajima Shichino Azuma Trials Shichino Azuma Trials
Sparrow  After-math  No one bothered to ask Kirch to be present. Kirch returned home to his old job in the United States A...
Sparrow After math Cpl S Sgt Pvt Pvt Pvt Gnr Cpl A C 2 A C 2 P F C Sgt Cpl Pvt Cpl A C 2 P F C Sgt Pvt P F C S Sgt P F C S Sgt Med Off 2nd Class P F C Lt Surg Cpl Bandish William E Bass James O Berry Cullen W Bitner James E Bolin Bedford F Bridger Kenneth Arthur Bullock Reginald Chow Swee Soon Chua Teong Swee Cupp Burlin C Duncan Joseph J Dunn Eugene C Ennis Earl E Evans Henry Gill Rajindra Singh Groves James T Marble Vernon B Martindale Donald A Richards William R Rouse Samuel J Spencer Paul R Sutterfield James E Van Slooten Nicolaas 6971025 6227209 6250483 13022538 34049133 Wasson Wayne N Whitfield R G S Campbell Kenneth C 38012123 P F C Dement David A 14014561 Cpl Peil George J 14042451 P F C P F C P F C Pvt Pvt Fg Off Gnr Sgt S Sgt Lilly Donald C Gavord Charles B Holland Pete B Kirch Raymond S Kolilis Fred L Power Christopher Telford John Wilson Jack D Mitchell Arthur J 15061732 20842474 14014943 14014390 20956487 S Sgt Pratt Dorris R 6960136 1st Sgt Snodgrass Clifton O 6824973 Sgt Tison Thomas P 6973420 A C 2 Capt Pvt Sjt 1st Sgt Sgt Sgt Sgt P F C Sgt P F C P F C Cpl Pvt L Bdr A C 2 Cpl Campbell Robert Addie Faulkner Ace E Fields Bernard A Fullock Leslies Edmond Goff Marshall W Gordon Albert R Holstein Jay Ivy John B Vallerga Simone N Brokaw Glenn D Grassick Paul A Hyde Revis C Jones Eugene Mann William H Quennell William J H Robertson John S Steele Arvil L 35001552 20843956 6472998 19052177 35100656 6977685 19050911 18049853 6842414 18050440 14002078 13001451 1826640 6286742 6864512 308907 7040173 6253514 12007158 20500721 6265784 19052525 32045386 35001515 6396050 6292899 33043704 1453708 6861252 United States Army United States Army United States Army United States Army United States Army Royal Artillery Royal Air Force Royal Air Force Royal Air Force United States Army United States Army United States Army United States Army Royal Air Force Royal Air Force United States Army United States Army United States Army United States Army United States Army United States Army United States Army Dutch Affidavit Affidavit Affidavit Affidavit Affidavit Affidavit Affidavit Affidavit Affidavit Affidavit Affidavit Affidavit Affidavit Affidavit Affidavit Affidavit Affidavit Affidavit Affidavit Affidavit Affidavit Affidavit Affidavit United States Army Affidavit Royal Navy Affidavit United States Army Affidavit Questionnaire United States Army Affidavit Testimony United States Army Affidavit Testimony United States Army Deposition United States Army Questionnaire United States Army Questionnaire United States Army Questionnaire United States Army Questionnaire Royal Air Force Questionnaire Royal Artillery Questionnaire United States Army Questionnaire United States Army Questionnaire Statement United States Army Questionnaire Statement United States Army Questionnaire Statement United States Army Questionnaire Statement Royal Air Force Statement United States Army Statement United States Army Statement Royal Air Force Statement United States Army Statement United States Army Statement United States Army Statement United States Army Statement United States Army Statement United States Army Testimony United States Army Testimony United States Army Testimony United States Army Testimony United States Army Testimony Royal Artillery Testimony Royal Air Force Testimony United States Army Testimony
Sparrow  After-math  Cpl. S Sgt. Pvt. Pvt. Pvt. Gnr. Cpl. A.C.2. A.C.2. P.F.C. Sgt. Cpl. Pvt. Cpl. A.C.2. P.F.C. Sgt. Pvt....
Sparrow After math All the British experienced the same conditions as the Americans and yet seven times as many Americans felt that they were the victims of war crimes How come The prisoners were either regular army before the war volunteers or conscripted They either endured traumatic captivity on Bataan neglect on the Siam Burma Railway farcical conditions on Java or reasonable treatment on Timor Each soldier s attitude was forged by their military and captivity experiences before they arrived in Japan Those interviewed spoke of an American bravado where if they weren t exaggerating their heroics in battle they were exaggerating their resilience in captivity It is true that the Americans did suffer on the Bataan Death March at Camp O Donnell Camp Cabanatuan and the hellship journey to Japan The number of deaths reinforce this However was what happened at Mitsushima the fault of all the guards who were punished Walter Hewitt promoted to Major after the war199 was instrumental in presenting evidence at the war crimes trials of Mitsushima and Kanose guards He relied heavily on the war diary of Les Chater who did not present evidence By his own admission Hewitt was present to balance the books 200 What balancing the books meant was a perception of proportionality for the deaths at Mitsushima An eye for an eye Vengeance Payback In other words in the eyes of Hewitt all the deaths at Mitsushima could not be avenged by the execution of just one guard To show the rest of the world that conditions at Mitsushima were worse than other camps the number of guards executed and imprisoned needed to reflect it The irony of the first war crimes trial is that Tsuchiya was found guilty of charges that he shouldn t have been found guilty of and cleared of charges that he probably was guilty of Tsuchiya was sentenced to life confined at hard labour After the San Francisco Peace Treaty in 1951 the Allied occupation ended Japan s full sovereignty was restored Japan was absolved from reparations to its wartime victims and war criminals were freed Tsuchiya was released in 1952 after serving six years at Sugamo Prison Retrospectively he probably served the right sentence While acknowledging the legal flaws and unfair nature of the trial their true significance was far greater argues Toshiaki Manabe a Yokohama based lawyer and co author of The Stars and Stripes At the Court which explores War Crimes Tribunals in Japan 201 Manabe believes that the most important aspect of the trials was not the rights and wrongs of so called victor s justice but that it was an attempt to establish an international justice system by standing accused war criminals before an international court 202 When the war appeared to not be turning in Japan s favour the Tokyo HQ for POW Camps reshuffled the guards and commanders The Mitsushima Camp 199 200 201 202 All United States personnel liberated from prisoners of war camps were promoted one rank Chater Leslie H with Hamid Liz Behind the Fence Life as a POW in Japan 1942 1945 The Diaries of Les Chater Vanwell 2001 Appendices Kogure op cit Kogure op cit
Sparrow  After-math  All the British experienced the same conditions as the Americans and yet seven times as many American...
Sparrow After math Commander Sukeo Nakajima was sacked and replaced with his second incommand Capt Tatsuro Kubo Nakajima was then promoted to captain which conflicts with the so called reasons for him being replaced being the loss of so many prisoners in his charge Other guards involved with the reshuffle were mostly those known for their brutality Sgt Mutsuhiro Watanabe known as The Bird was relocated twice after Omori first to Noestu and to then Mitsushima In 1945 General Douglas MacArthur included Watanabe as number 23 on his list of the 40 most wanted war criminals in Japan 203 Only after the 1951 Peace Treaty did Watanabe emerge from hiding He became a successful life insurance salesman Other guards in the reshuffle included PFC Keitaro Fukijima and Sgt Kanemasu Uchida who were sent to Kanose POW Camp Fukijima was implicated with The Bird in several beatings at Omori HQ Camp Uchida accumulated a charge sheet of over forty separate incidents at three camps Colonel Kunji Suzuki only received a life sentence yet many of the guards and commanders under him were executed The second trial of Mitsushima guards was the trial of five including the Camp Commander Captain Sukeo Nakajima Only four former prisoners testified two British and two American There was general disappointment at the Tsuchiya verdict of life imprisonment The prosecution was going for death penalties The specifications of the charges ranged from negligence that resulted in deaths to stealing Red Cross supplies to physical acts of brutality The physical acts of brutality were well documented There was general consistency between affidavits war diaries and those interviewed Some of those who laid the complaints were however caught stealing Red Cross supplies and food meant for prisoners If the guards didn t deal harshly with a prisoner the other prisoners would deal to them At Kanose when a prisoner was caught stealing food Azuma beat the prisoner with a stick American M Sgt John Roy said If I was holding that stick I would kill that God damn son of a bitch Some specifications where guards punished prisoners for theft of food were dismissed All guards charged with stealing Red Cross supplies were found guilty The strange finding of the trial was that Shorty Rikio Shioiri the Medical Sergeant was given a life sentence but other guards were executed Shioiri was responsible for deciding who was fit to work and who wasn t He conducted naked physical inspections of prisoners outside in sub zero temperatures Most of the deaths at Mitsushima occurred under his care Sadaharu Hiramatsu known as Big Glass Eye was found guilty of being responsible for the deaths of prisoners during the period that he was absent on leave to care for his sick family He was a decorated soldier injured in China He was a disciplinarian not a sadistic brute He was also a local who had status No complaints of brutality were made against him He was executed due to Hewitt s balancing the books as well as confusion with Little Glass Eye Punk and Rivet Tooth were brutes They stole they beat but they did not kill 203 Hillenbrand Laura Unbroken Random House 2010
Sparrow  After-math  Commander, Sukeo Nakajima, was sacked and replaced with his second-incommand, Capt. Tatsuro Kubo. Nak...
Sparrow After math Mushmouth did kill He was the interpreter the link between the camp commander and the prisoners He was incompetent and he concealed it Nakajima s absence from camp handed power to Mushmouth Mushmouth went beyond his powers to decide who was fit to work He sent prisoners to their deaths The decision to execute Nakajima and Mushmouth were justified Based on the evidence collected the other guards should have received a sentence whereby they would have been released by 1952 Shioiri and Speedo Kirishita received the right sentences In other words three guards were executed on poor evidence and legal methods at the time The third trial of Mitsushima guards was a mismatch Smiler the second in charge of the camp was tried alongside Shichino and Big Speedo Nojima Shichino petitioned that he should not have been tried alongside the other two Based on the evidence collected at the time and since he should not have been tried at all In fact he should have received a medal for his bravery Shichino begged bought and stole medical supplies to treat prisoners He arrived at the end of January 1943 By that time 20 had died and the sickbay was full with more than 40 Twenty five would die of respiratory and digestive failure during the next five months that Shichino was at the camp No one spoke against Shichino No one blamed him for causing anyone s death He was caught in the midst of a witch hunt The other guards at the trial Big Speedo and Smiler were responsible for the food at the camp They fed barley and white rice to prisoners with sensitive digestive tracts the result of malaria and diarrhea The undercooked barley ripped through the intestines of the vulnerable prisoners causing inflammation It was only after Shichino s intervention that Nakajima started to observe the food being cooked and served Due to Nakajima s regular absences from the camp Smiler was effectively in control He should have reigned in Mushmouth and the other guards He didn t and prisoners died In the end his death sentence was warranted Big Speedo received a life sentence and was released in 1952 That sentence was fair The war crimes tribunal failed Shichino three times He tried to be heard separately and turned down He was then sentenced to 25 years Even the clemency requests were turned down Hewitt who had a copy of Chater s diary clearly stated that Shichino used his own funds to buy medicine for the prisoners Hewitt should have stressed this point He didn t which is a smear on Hewitt s character Hewitt also failed Hiroshi Azuma the Kanose Camp Commander Even though Chater Morris and Hewitt handed Azuma a signed a letter of commendation to protect Azuma from prosecution Hewitt gave evidence that led to Azuma receiving a 7 year sentence Only after protests from other prisoners did Azuma receive clemency The trials of other accused war criminals for the death of The Sparrows is just as disappointing The trial of Sergeant Major Eiji Yoshinari the commander of the Tofuku Maru and Ship s Master Shiro Otsu was clumsy On one 31 day voyage with two stops on the Mekong and Taiwan 27 died and most arrived in Japan sick The sick did
Sparrow  After-math  Mushmouth did kill. He was the interpreter     the link between the camp commander and the prisoners....
Sparrow After math not disembark at either stop medicine was not distributed The ship was not marked according to The Hague and Geneva Conventions indicating that prisoners of war were aboard Although Otsu was found guilty Yoshinari was acquitted There is no documentation indicating the sentence given to Otsu The only accused war criminal tried in Australia to be executed was Kempei Tai Lieutenant Colonel Yujiro Yutani Yutani was originally sentenced to 10 years with hard labour for killing Dummy Armstrong and Harry Martin while in custody For some unknown reason Yutani was transported to Rabaul and executed there Based on the evidence presented at the original Darwin trial Yutani should have been executed for the torture and death of the two Sparrow Force soldiers Hewitt s desire for balance is grossly undone by the precedent it set While the United States tried to sway the moral compass in its favour in order to set some type of moral high ground the way the trials were conducted generated a resentment amongst the Japanese The trials effectively became show trials due largely to the process and admissibility of evidence There is further resentment of the United States due to their conduct since the war crimes trials While the International Criminal Tribunal is built on the foundation of the war crimes trials after the war the United States do not want their soldiers to be subject to the same jurisdiction Satoko Kogure sums up the current state of the moral compass There is a direct line that can be drawn from the tribunals to the reinforcement of the Geneva Conventions in 1949 And later in 1993 the U N Security Council established the first international criminal tribunal since Nuremberg and Tokyo the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda followed it in 1994 And in July 2002 when the International Criminal Court ICC a permanent war crimes tribunal based in the Hague was established according to an international treaty of 1998 the process begun in 1945 appeared to have reached its logical and desired conclusion However by consistently opposing the ICC in order to exclude its own troops from accountability under a system of international law first established by its own government the United States is threatening to unravel much if not all of the progress of the last 60 years Military scandals such as Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay have forced the U S to drop its requests at the U N for exemption for its nationals from prosecution at the ICC but it has managed to secure bilateral immunity agreements with some 90 countries ostensibly by threatening the withdrawal of the U S economic and military aid And last July the U S House of Representatives passed a foreign aid bill that included the approval of an amendment prohibiting Economic Support fund assistance to any country that is a part of the ICC and has not yet signed the immunity agreement If it can be argued that MacArthur s bending of the rules of international law are justified because of the precedent they set and developments they
Sparrow  After-math  not disembark at either stop  medicine was not distributed. The ship was not marked according to The ...
Sparrow After math facilitated can the same be said of current U S actions that weaken accountability and reintroduce the notion of victor s justice with the greater good sacrificed for political expediency 204 The moral compass clearly sways according to who wins conflicts Might is right Herman Goering was not charged with the Blitz largely due to how the Allies bombed German cities like Dresden Stalin wasn t charged for the many atrocities against Germans No American was tried for bombing a Japanese civilian target The Second World War was won by the Russians doing the Allies dirty work Today whenever the UN Security Council raises concerns about human rights abuses China and Russia abstain or veto intervention The USA are not a member of the International War Crimes Court because they fear US soldiers would be tried even though the jurisprudence was founded by them at Nuremburg and Yokohama So much for moral high ground Effectively the way the United States conducted itself during the Class A B and C war crimes trials in Japan was Victor s Justice because the same standards applied to the Japanese were not applied to the conduct of their own soldiers 204 Kogure op cit
Sparrow  After-math facilitated, can the same be said of current U.S. actions that weaken accountability and reintroduce t...