Movie: The Historical validity of Blood Oath

22nd August 2011

SIX HUNDRED MEN ENTERED AMBON ISLAND POW CAMP.
THREE YEARS LATER,
ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-THREE WERE BARELY LEFT ALIVE.

Australian War Crimes Trial, Ambon, Indonesian Archipelago, 1946.

★★★

An oppressive mood hangs over the small island of Ambon, Indonesia, where hundreds of Australian prisoners of war have been massacred by their Japanese guards. World War II is nearly over and two officers, Captain Cooper (Bryan Brown) and Lieutenant Corbett (Russell Crowe), must prosecute those Japanese officers responsible. The stories of sadistic torture and systematic executions in the ensuing trials sent shockwaves throughout the world. But, in an explosive showdown between Australian justice, American politics, and the Japanese warrior code, Bushido, will justice be found? (Prisoners of the Sun, DVD cover, 1990)

★★★

In December 1941, the Pacific War broke out, and in February 1942 Singapore fell to the Japanese, most of the British SE Asian fleet was lost, leaving Australia exposed. The defeat of the British and Australian troops during the early stages of the Second World War, as well as the following occupation of Southeast Asia, forever “shattering of the myth of British imperial protection” and superiority (Beaumont, 2003, p.3). The post-war years saw a shift, by Australia, away from their colonial tie to the motherland toward a developing relationship with “America, free of any pangs as to [their] traditional link or kinship with the United Kingdom” (Samuels, 2001). It also for Australia resulted in a reevaluation of its role in the Pacific region as a whole. The insurgence of Australia’s role into the Pacific and Americas post-war protection of Japan as its Eastern bastion in the war against communism are arguably, what have contributed greatest to the economic position that Japan holds today.

Prisoners of the Sun (Blood Oath) is a movie that is of particular interest to scholars of Australian History, as it attempts to reconstruct the war crime proceedings against the Japanese following their surrender after the Second World War. Unfortunately, despite its success and its portrayal of these crimes, it is only loosely based on historical fact, records and evidence. The post-war trial transcripts, Brian Williams, author of both the film script and the book, discovered in his father’s garage, brought to light an inquiry that was the largest war crime trial in history, bigger than the infamous Nuremberg trials [1] (Blood Oath, 2002). The film appears to look with hindsight on Australia’s involvement in the post-war cleanup and the significant events leading to the development of not only Australia’s increased regional role in Southeast Asia but also the development of its relationship with America.

Throughout the course of the movie, both the trials themselves and the other events that the picture hinges upon are told from the recollections of Captain John Williams who was the Military Australian prosecutor during the war crimes trails and courts-martials held on Ambon. Based on the facts presented, the trial and its subsequent findings, this trial became significant to Australia, given that upward of three-quarters of the Australians captured on Ambon died prior to the camps liberation. Most of the movies Japanese characters are based on real Japanese soldiers. Ninety-one Japanese soldiers were tried and four were executed for their mistreatment of soldiers and civilian prisoners. Williams acknowledges in the books introduction that this story is based on the records of the war crimes, but also that it is in no way a factual account. Rather Williams says, that although it “is based on series of war crimes trials of the Japanese on Ambon and Morotai, Indonesia, in early 1946 … [it] is a dramatic synthesis of those events. It in no way purports to reveal the ‘truth’ of what happened. Rather, it seeks to illuminate the kinds of forces that were to shape the post war world, forces that still have direct effect on the present” (Williams, 1990). As such the events portrayed in this movie, including the movie’s interpretation of Australia’s war crimes trials and postwar relations with Japan and the United States, provides limited historical validity. To clarify this statement it is necessary to briefly examine the factual history and several of the “key points” of the movie more thoroughly [2].

During World War II, Japanese forces captured and occupied most of south East Asia. Early on, they had taken control of the Island of Ambon (Ambonia), Indonesia, about 800 km north of Australia, an island the Japanese had hoped to be the springboard for the Japanese invasion of Australia. On 26 October, 1942, there were 528 Australian, 14 American and 7 Dutch, a total of 548, prisoners of war in Japanese custody at Tantoei Camp, Ambon (AHU) [3]. At The Allied POW camp Ambon Tantoei, which was maintained by the 20th Japanese Naval Garrison Unit during this time, the prisoners held were beaten, starved and tortured until August 1945 when the camp was finally liberated. “Of the 548 prisoners at Tantoei Camp Ambon in October, 1942 only 139 were recovered by Australian Forces when the Japanese capitulated, and many of this 139 were in such a debilitated and diseased condition that they died subsequent to their repatriation” (AHU). The majority of the prisoners had died through systematic beatings and torture, as well as through the denial of rudimentary medical supplies. Many of the surviving men were in urgent need of medical attention with several dying shortly after their repatriation.

In addition to the crimes committed against those interred at the camp, the trials deal with the fate of nearly 300 Australian soldiers who were executed by the Japanese at Laha [4] in early February 1942 shortly after the capture of Ambon. In December 1945, using information about the general location of the executions provided by the Ambonese, Williams had the Japanese excavate the mass graves, into which they had reluctantly admitted interring the victims of the Laha executions. The Japanese claimed that the executions had taken place upon being given direct orders from Vice Admiral Ichise, who had taken over the command of Ambon a few months before the surrender. Unfortunately they were unable to prosecute the Japanese officers who were responsible for ordering the executions as they were either dead or had been long re-assigned back to Japan where they were now part of the U.S. pacification and reconstruction strategy for post war Japan.

The mass trial of 91 Japanese, officers and soldiers, who were charged with ill-treatment of Australian and Dutch P.O.W at Tantoei Camp, Ambon during the period February, 1942 and August, 1945, commenced at Ambon on 2 January, 1946 and ended at Morotai on 15 February, 1946 (Nelson, 1991). These were the largest Allied War Crimes trial, of alleged B and C class Japanese criminals, conducted in the Pacific or Japan during the post-second world war period. A class crimes were conducted in Tokyo (Utsumi, 1997). Following their surrender of Ambon Island in September, 1945, Japanese officers and soldiers were charged under the Australian War Crimes Act, 1945 with deliberate and concerted ill treatment of Australian and Allied POWs and under international law for crimes against the civilian population on Ambon (Piccigallo, 1979, p.125-135, Sissons, 1997). Until such time as they were cleared of charges or proven guilty they remained remanded to the custody of the Australian occupying forces that were now present.

There were 15 separate charges presented before the tribunal. These generally fell within the categories of, assaults; withholding of adequate food, medical supplies and treatment; and the imposition of unreasonably heavy and dangerous labor [5]. Of the numerous cases of attacks and assaults, mostly upon individuals, there were also two specific cases of large-scale prolonged beatings entered in trial records. These according to Sissons occurred, “in July 1942, [when] thirty-three Dutch P.O.W were beaten for some two hours for conveying messages to their families without permission [and] in November 1942 [when] twenty-five Australian P.O.W were systematically beaten and tortured (some for as long as eleven days) for procuring food from the native population” (Sissons, 2007). In each of these cases deaths and serious injuries were recorded. Of the 548 POWs in the camp in October 1942 379 died of illness, 17 were executed, 13 escaped and in August 1945 there were only 139 survivors (Papas, 1998, p. 206) [6].

During the following months, trials were conducted at 3 different locations, prosecutors presented large quantities of evidence which in the limited time available became almost an impossible task to connect specific evidence of war crimes to individual defendants. Of the original 91 defendants: 11 were released early due to insufficient evidence, 44 were acquitted of all charges and 36 were found guilty [7]. Of those found guilty 4 were sentenced to death by firing squad [8]. What is perhaps the most important aspect of these trials to note is that despite the atrocities that were committed, in what is now known to be the Japanese POW camp with one of the highest mortality rates in the entire Pacific War, the judicial system maintained its presumption of innocence and the ideal that every suspect deserves a fair trial. “The Australian ethos of a ‘fair go’ could not have had a more paradoxical setting” (Blood Oath, 2002).

A further point of interest to consider is the American interest in Baron Takahashi’s [9] [10] acquittal. Determined to solidify an alliance with their defeated enemy, the Americans refrained from aggressively pursuing a case that would reflect negatively on the Japanese high command, many of who played important roles in the newly constructed postwar government of Japan. Takahashi, in regard to the movie, was a fictional character, a relative of the Emperor and therefore of interest to the Americans who had already excluded the Emperor from prosecution in the Tokyo Trial. Australia was opposed to the immunity granted to the Emperor and many of his senior staff, a position that is demonstrated clearly, in the film, through the dialogues of Captain Cooper and Major Beckett.

Cooper: The overriding fact in these proceedings is not the difference between the Japanese culture and our own or of two sides in an international war. It is the way in which power and privilege make the victims of those that have neither.

Becket: Baron Takahashi has been given a very important position in the pacification program in Tokyo… There is a bigger game…. A grander scale…. The future of the whole world is being worked out right now… we have to use people like Takahashi to serve our needs.

Cooper: We all recognize that the world must go on, but if a swift political solution to the pacific and the Far East can only be won at the expense of justice then our grief and our anger at the barbaric treatment of our prisoners of war will not be washed away this century

It is possible to surmise from this that Williams felt that it was important, that U.S policy for the reconstruction of Japan should become a focus for dramatic tension in the story, because these trials were operating against a global setting. The U.S. policy of the time, founded on the preservation of Emperor Hirohito, is important to any examination of the period. Through this it is possible to conclude that Takahashi’s acquittal in the film, reflects that of the acquittal of many of the Japanese High command and/or their non-appearance at War Crimes tribunals such as those held in Singapore and Java.

The character of Vice Admiral Takahashi is a fictionally compiled character, based partly on Vice Admiral Ichise [11] but also largely on one of his subordinate officers, Baron Takasaki. (Nelson, 1991, p.439) Takasaki was a British educated aristocratic officer, who’s ideas regarding the treatment of the Australian prisoners conflicted with those held by Lieutenant Hideo Katayama’s, resulting in conflict and tension. The movie’s, Lieutenant Tanaka was based on a Christian Japanese officer, Lieutenant Hideo Katayama, who had survived the bombing of Hiroshima, after being posted back there in July 1945. Katayama held a strong belief in both his duty and his officers, and turned himself in for trial. Though the film tries to avoid anti-Japanese sentiments, its Western bias is revealed through the arrival of Lieutenant Tanaka, the only Christian, and perhaps hence seen as the only “good” character, among the Japanese being held for trial. From the viewers point of view it is unfortunate and sadly ironic that he surrendered to the Australian War Crimes tribunal only to face charges of executing Australian pilots who had allegedly bombed civilians on Ambon.

Lieutenant Hideo Katayama was tried and sentenced to death along with two other naval personnel for the execution of four survivors from a R.A.A.F. bomber at Ambon on 16 August 1944. These trials were held independently of the Laha and Tantoei trials for which a large part of the movie focuses, though they were still conducted in Moritai [12]. According to Pappas the original story behind the executions of the 4 RAFF airmen was that they had crash-landed on an outlying island of Ambonia. From there they were taken to Galala POW compound to be interrogated by HQ 4th South Seas Fleet. An order was issued through Senior Officer Kawasaka to execute the prisoners; the accused saying that they believed that this had been done after the victims had been court-martialed for strafing an unarmed native village. Lieutenant-Commander Katayama and Sub-Lieutenant Takashi received the order and instructed W.O Uemura, commander of the compound guards to prepare the execution [13]. Katayama, Takashi and another carried out the execution while Uemura supervised the guards. W.O. Uemura had been in charge of the escort and burial party. Kawasaki was placed on trial on July 1947, where strong evidence was given to confirm that he had been in Manila at the time of the execution and had not returned until several days after it had been carried out. (Pappas, 1998, p. 217-218)

The Judge Advocate General (J.A.G.) advised that the findings and sentences against Takahashi and Uemura should not be confirmed, since Takahashi could not be expected to know that the order for execution was illegal and Uemura’s mere presence did not amount to participation in the crime. As regards Katayama, he advised that the fact that he was ordered to carry out the executions by a senior officer should be considered in mitigation (Sissons, 2007). Despite this advice, the Confirming Authority confirmed the findings and sentences against all three to death by firing Squad. Uemura was the first executed 3 March 1946. The executions of Takahashi and Katayama were deferred so that they could appear as Prosecution witnesses at the subsequent trials of superior officers (Sissons, 2007). The Prosecuting Officer petitioned that Takahashi and Katayama’s sentences should be reconsidered, on the grounds of the J.A.G.’s original advice and their 19 months already served in the condemned cells. He also noted that sentences passed in early 1946 were severe by 1947 standards. Despite the J.A.G.’s recommendations for reprieves following the matter was not resubmitted either to him or to the Confirming Authority; and Takahashi and Katayama were executed at Rabaul on 23 October 1947 (Sissons, 2007). These defendants were among the most harshly treated of all Japanese tried for war crimes before the Australian military courts. (Neilson, 1991, p.438)

Another area of discrepancy that that stood out plainly was the references made to “Double Jeopardy”. “Double Jeopardy” is a common law that has been passed from British laws into most of those of colonial background [14]. A variation of this law can also be found in the British Military Regulations and Laws. The ruling states that a person must not be put twice in peril for the same offence. This ruling is specifically applied to courts-martial through the Rules of Procedure No.36, which allows that a person accused may object to the trial proceeding on the grounds that the Court has no jurisdiction by offering a plea in bar of autrefois acquit on the grounds that he has already been convicted or acquitted of the offence [15] (Halse, 1962, p.14). In the Australian Regulations for the Trial of War Criminals, however, Regulation 4 directs that Rule No.36 shall not apply and Regulation 9 provides that ‘an accused shall not be entitled to offer any plea in bar’. In Rabaul, during May and June 1946, through the enactment of Regulation 4, defendants were ordered for re-trial on charges of which they had previously been acquitted (Sissons, 2007).

The movie, despite its lack of historical accuracy, is of some significance as an indication in the process of War Crimes Trials of that period. The general belief held by the Australian soldiers during the film, that the Japanese are guilty of the crimes, is never doubted. But apart from this conviction in character, what the film provides is a dialogue the day-to-day details of the trials, the denials by the Japanese officers, and the frustrations of the Australian Prosecutors in obtaining living, trial worthy, witnesses. The trials are made more difficult by the worlds of difference between the Australian and the Japanese ways of doing things: the legal precepts, the moral codes, and the conduct of honor. However, despite being an entertaining and informative depiction of the war crimes trials that took place, and their resolution, the film is not really about the war, but rather about Japanese society and the differences in national priorities that existed. It is a story about a proud nation of ancient traditions and how they both differ and reflect upon modern society. It is a “fictional drama, inspired by a real trial” (Nelson, 1991, p.432), a competent courtroom drama that unfortunately never matches the demands of its historical subject.

Notes

[1] The Nuremberg Trials were a series of military tribunals, held at the Palace of Justice, in the city of Nuremberg, Bavaria, Germany, between 1945-46, by the victorious Allied forces of World War II, They were most notable for the prosecution of prominent members of the political, military, and economic leadership of the defeated Nazi Germany.
[2] Despite wishing to be as thorough as possible, the word limit and scope of this paper doesn’t allow for it
[3] AHU – Army History Unit, Australian Defense Force
[4] See Appendix 4
[5] The Hague Convention although not directly relating to the governance of prisoners of was, does remarks that the tasks assigned to prisoners of war should not be excessive and should in no way be connected with the operation of the war (Ch2 Article VI). The Hague convention also states that “prisoners of war shall be treated as regards to board, lodging and clothing on the same footing as troops of the government who captured them (Article VII)”. There were according to Piccigallo, a number of occasions through out the duration of the trials where Hague Conventions were cited.
[6] See Appendix 5
[7] 4 were sentenced to death – a naval captain (the commander of the garrison unit), a naval lieutenant (the deputy commander), a sub-lieutenant (the commander of the camp guard company), the camp manager (a civilian). The garrison medical officer (a lieutenant-commander) was sentenced to eighteen months imprisonment. Of the 31 other ranks found guilty, the sentences were: 12-20 years, 5; 5-10 years, 11; less than 5 years, 15.
[8] Of importance here is the trial of Paul Hideo Katayama (Appendix 3)
[9] The closest Takahashi that I can find note in reference to the trials directly is that of Sub –Lieutenant Toyoji Takahashi convicted in regard to the execution of RAAF airmen.
[10] Baron Takahashi was in fact a real person and post war became finance minister of Japan before his appointment as Prime minister. There was no direct or indirect American involvement in those trials conducted by the Australian Government.
[11] Vice-Admiral Shinichi Ichise also held the position of Chief of Staff between15 Oct 1940 and 25 Jul 1942
[12] See Appendix 3
[13] The report in Neilson, 1991 conflicts with the information presented here. There are many areas where data and information appears to conflict and without sufficient time and resources to devote in returning to primary documents it is impossible to determine which of these is correct. This is not the only area where conflict exists.
[14] This is possible through the Army Act of 1881 which says that civilians in time of peace were never subject to military law, but on active service, civilians were made subject to military law if they were “followers” of a force
[15] ‘ The only pleas known to the law founded upon a former trial are pleas of autrefois convict or autrefois acquit for the same offence.’ If a former trial had been abortive with no verdict, there was neither a conviction nor an acquittal (Enderby, 1964, p.109)

References

Beaumont J, Awters C, Lowe D, Woodard G. Ministers Mandarins and Diplomats: Australian Foreign Policy Making 1941-169. Melbourne University Press, 2003, pp 3.

Blood Oath, Blood Oath Pty Ltd and Australian Film Finance Corporation, Sydney, Charles Waterstreet and Seige Productions, 1990.

Blood Oath, 2002, Blood Oath, Blood Oath Prods., FFCA & Roadshow Entertainment [Online] Accessed: 21 July, 2011, http://www.bloodoath.com.au/

Enderby, K.E., 1964, Courts-Martial appeals in Australia, The Federal Law Review, Vol. 1,June 1964, pp. 95-121

Halse, R.C., 1962, Military Law in the United Kingdom, Military Law Review, January (DA Pam 27-100-15, 1 Jan 62) (pp.14-22)

Nelson, H., 1991, ‘Blood Oath: A Reel History’, Historical Studies, No.97, October 1991,
pp. 429–42

Pappas, C, 1988, Australia’s War Crimes Trials in the Pacific, 1943-1961, Doctoral Dissertation, University of New South Wales, Chapter 8.

Piccigallo, P.R., 1979, The Japanese on Trial: Allied War Crimes Operations in the East, 1945–1951, Austin Texas, University of Texas Press, pp. xi–xv.

Samuels, G., Hon. AC CVO QC, Tenterfield School of Arts, Tenterfield NSW, 24 October 2001. Inaugural Henry Parkes Oration, Australia in the 21st Century: Living in Peace and Freedom? [Online] Accessed: 2009 http://www.parkesfoundation.org.au/Projects_oration2001.htm

Sissons, D., 1997, ‘Sources on Australian Investigations into Japanese war crimes in the Pacific’, Journal of the Australian War Memorial, no. 30.

Sissons, D., 2007, The Australian War Crimes Trials and Investigations (1942-51), Berkley University.

Utsumi, A., 1997, ‘Changing Japanese views on the Allied Occupation of Japan and the war crimes trials,’ Journal of the Australia War Memorial, no. 30.

Appendix 1

C – THE TANTOEI CAMP – AMBON
28. On 26th October 1942 there were 528 Australian, 14 American and 7 Dutch, a total of 548, prisoners of war in Japanese custody at Tantoei Camp, Ambon. Previously, in July 1942, 500 Australian and Dutch prisoners under the command of Lt-Col J. Scott had been moved from Ambon to Hainan Island.
29. Of the 548 prisoners at Tantoei Camp Ambon in October 1942 only 139 were recovered by Australian Forces when the Japanese capitulated, and many of this 139 were in such a debilitated and diseased condition that they died subsequent to their repatriation.
30. Of the 409 who perished at Tantoei Camp, 17 were executed and the remainder died of starvation, torture, beatings and the denial of medical attention.
31. From Sep 44 – Aug 45, the rice issued to PW averaged 6 ounces per man per day and very often was mixed with sand and dirt. This 6 ounces of rice was increased to a total of 25 ounces of food per day by the addition of sweet potatoes, sweet potato tops and tapioca, these additions being worthless from a nutrition point of view. Also, the 40 kgs sacks of rice were invariably under weight and the edible amount further reduced by decomposition. During the same period, Japanese troops received 13 ounces of rice per day plus other foods and were buying privately.
32. Requisitions for medical supplies were never completely fulfilled, the amount granted being hopelessly inadequate to give PW proper medical care – one month when there were 200 ulcer cases in the Camp, one only bandage was supplied.
33. For 6 weeks commencing November 1944 a form of torture was introduced, known as the “long carry”. This consisted of working parties of approximately 100 PW being forced to carry loads of bombs and cement weighting 90 to 150 lbs over 8 miles of rugged, precipitous country. The Japanese never used the bombs or cement and this treatment was designed to lower the morale of the PW and to accelerate their ultimate death. Infirm PW made progress on all fours and were clubbed along the track by the guards. Many PW were carried back by their comrades to camp unconscious and died without recovering consciousness.
34. For allegedly breaking out of camp and visiting a native village, 23 Australian PW were systematically beaten and tortured for a period of approximately 8 days. Some were bound to trees, others were strung up by cable wire bound around their wrists with their toes just touching the ground. They were beaten into insensibility with pick handles rubber hose and or lengths of wire, revived by cold water being thrown over them, then beaten insensible again and tortured by lighted cigarettes being thrust up their nostrils. The victims were given one rice meal a day with water. Sometimes after they had drunk the water, the Japanese would jump on their stomachs. At the end of the beating, all but 11 were returned to the camp suffering from broken bones, concussion and severe lacerations. The 11 who did not return to camp were subsequently executed.
35. The abovementioned details are not relevant to a number of separate trials of Japanese officers and other ranks in connection with specific murders and other war crimes at Ambon PW camp but rather with a mass trial of 91 Japanese officers and other ranks who were concerned with the administration, control and guarding of prisoners at the Ambon camp and as such were charged en masse with:
“Committing a war crime, namely ill treatment of prisoners of war, in that they in and between the months of Feb 42 and Aug 45, ill treated Aust and Dutch prisoners of war at Tan Toey Camp Ambon by
(a) physical beatings and torture
(b) compelling sick and infirm PW to go out on working parties.
(c) failing to ensure the provision of proper food supplies
(d) failing to ensure the provision of proper medical supplies and medical care.”
36. Of the 91 Japanese charged, 4 were sentenced to death, 32 to terms of imprisonment varying from 1 to 20 years, and the remainder acquitted.
37. Some of the most notorious amongst those sentenced were:
(a) Capt SHIROZU Wadami, Commander of the 20th Garrison Unit, who was responsible for the administration and guarding of the prisoners was sentenced to death.
(b) Civilian (Interpreter) IKEUCHI Masakiyo was sentenced to death.
(c) Lt MIYAZAKI Yoshio, camp commandant, and Commander of the Land Guard which supplied the guards for the camp was sentenced to death.
(d) Lt SHIMAKAWA Masaichi, in charge of the guards at the camp was sentenced to death.
(e) P/O TAKEUCHI Michio who constantly beat PW on working parties to such an extent that many of his victims were carried back to camp unconscious (2 died immediately after his beatings) was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment.
(f) P/O TANAKA Masaichi was responsible for many brutal beatings and was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment.

Excerpts from Important War Crimes Trials
Pows Internees pt5 ch8
Australian Army History Unit (AHU)

Appendix 2

War Crimes Act 1945
– C2004C07834
– Act No. 48 of 1945 as amended
– Prepared 10 Oct 1945 by OLDP

WAR CRIMES ACT 1945 – SECT. 3.
Definitions.

SECT
3. In this Act, unless the contrary intention appears-
”any war” means any war in which His Majesty has been engaged since the
second day of September, One thousand nine hundred and thirty-nine;

”Australia” includes the Territories of the Commonwealth;
”military court” means a military court convened under this Act;
”officer” means an officer of any part of the Defence Force or of any
naval, military or air forces of any Power allied or associated with His
Majesty in any war;
”this Act” includes all regulations and rules made thereunder;
”war crime” means-

(a) a violation of the laws and usages of war; or

(b) any war crime within the meaning of the instrument of appointment of
the Board of Inquiry appointed on the third day of September, One thousand
nine hundred and forty-five, under the National Security (Inquiries)
Regulations (being Statutory Rules 1941, No. 35, as amended by Statutory Rules
1941, Nos. 74 and 114 and Statutory Rules 1942, No. 273),

committed in any place whatsoever, whether within or beyond Australia,
during any war.

. Act No. 48, 1945; assented to 11 October 1945.

Appendix 3

Appendix 4

report

Appendix 5

Appendix 6

Appendix 7

photo
IKEUCHI, COMMISSIONER FOR THE TAN TOEY PRISONER OF WAR CAMP.MOROTAI. 1945-09-26
photo
BATUMERAH, AMBON 1945-12-12. JAPANESE PRISONERS OF WAR DIGGING FOR POSSIBLE GRAVE SITES UNDER DIRECTION OF WAR GRAVES REPRESENTATIVES. THE MAN RESPONSIBLE FOR THE EXECUTION OF AUSTRALIAN AIRMEN, SOME OF WHOSE BODIES HAD JUST BEEN RECOVERED, DIGGING THE REMAINS OF ONE FROM ONE OF THE GRAVES. MASAKIYO IKEUCHI (RIGHT) HAD PREVIOUSLY CLAIMED THIS SITE WAS ONLY A NATIVE GARDEN
photo
MOROTAI, BORNEO 1946-01-25. LEGAL BRANCH, HEADQUARTERS MOROTAI FORCE. CAPTAIN J. WILLIAMS, PROSECUTOR, STANDING AT THE PROSECUTOR’S TABLE AS HE CONDUCTS AN EXAMINATION DURING THE TRIAL OF EIGHTY JAPANESE PRISONERS OF WAR ACCUSED OF WAR CRIMES ON AMBON. TO HIS RIGHT ARE CAPTAIN A. D. MACKAY, HIS ASSISTANT; NX168098 PRIVATE R. O. WALDER, A CLERK; NX105894 SERGEANT K. T. THORPE, A TYPIST; AND CAPTAIN L. LIM, AN INTERPRETER.
photo
MOROTAI, BORNEO 1946-01-25. LEGAL BRANCH, HEADQUARTERS MOROTAI FORCE. LEFT TO RIGHT: IKEUCHI MASAKIYO, 2ND LIEUTENANT SHIMAKAWA MASAICHI, CAMP COMMANDANT TANTOEI (TAN TOEY) PRISONER OF WAR CAMP; AND SURGEON COMMANDER NAKAYAMA. THE THREE WERE AMONG THOSE ACCUSED OF THE MOST SERIOUS OFFENCES DURING THE TRIALS OF EIGHTY JAPANESE ACCUSED OF WAR CRIMES ON AMBON
photo
MOROTAI, BORNEO 1946-01-25. LEGAL BRANCH, HEADQUARTERS MOROTAI FORCE. SOME OF THE EIGHTY JAPANESE PRISONERS OF WAR ACCUSED OF WAR CRIMES ON AMBON SEATED IN COURT DURING THEIR TRIAL.

Appendix 8

map

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