Nagoya POW Camp No 11 (Iwase)
Nihon Soda
SCAP Investigation Report

Iwase Main      Home

Source: NARA Record Group 331, Box 943; Mansell NARA 8 image IMG_0128



29 January 1946


report on Investigation of Prisoner of War Camp, Nagoya Branch Camp # 11

By the direction of the Chief, Investigation Division, 1st Lt. Joseph G. Breaune and 1st Lt. Richard H. Wills, Jr., accompanied by T/4 Hiroshi L. Okada, as interpreter, proceeded to Toyama City, Toyama Prefecture and made an investigation of Prisoner of War Camp, Nagoya Branch Camp #11, between 12 January 1946 and 15 January 1946.

Information contained in the following report was obtained through physical inspection of both the camp and the place the prisoners worked and interrogation of the following informants:

TSUGANE, Shusaku, Labor Chief, Nippon Soda Co., Iwase Factory, Toyama-shi, Toyama-ken, Japan.

HANAKI, Yasuzo, Liason Clerk between factory and camp, Higashi-Iwase 144, Toyama-shi, Toyama-ken, Japan.

FURUKORI, Takao, Production Chief, Nippon Soda Co., Iwase Factory, Toyama-shi, Toyama-ken, Japan.

Contact was made with S-2, II Bn 136 Inf. and 42 Area CIC but no pertinent information was obtained.

Camp #11 was located on the property of Nippon Soda Co., Ltd., adjacent to its Iwase Factory about four miles from the city of Toyoma. The Iwase Factory was engaged in the production of ferro alloys to be used in the manufacture of war materials. An aluminum factory and a steel factory are located nearby and the city of Toyama itself is a manufacturing town. On August 1, 1945. the city was burned to the ground as a result of an incendiary raid by 200 planes. The Iwase Factory itself did not suffer damage from the August 1st raid but did suffer minor damage from a single demolition bomb dropped on July 25th about 150-200 meters from the camp compound.

A 9' (ft) fence with a single strand of barbed wire enclosed the camp compound. The area enclosed amounted to approximately 250 square yards. There was one guard tower located on the top of the guards' office building and there were two guard shelters at opposite corners inside the compound.

The Japanese Army personnel consisted of a permanent staff of four: Lt. Shoich Araki; Corporal Tanabe, a medic; Corporal Sato, Fiscal clerk; and Corporal Kuramoto, administrative clerk. There were eleven army guards who came from nearby army units and worked 15 day shifts. In addition, there were two civilians who were hired by the army as guards. No interpreter was used at Camp #11 due to the fact that Lt. Araki was able to speak and understand some English. (See Exhibit "H")

Investigation revealed that there were 148-150 prisoners in the camp, their arrival date being 2 June 1945. A breakdown as to nationalities shows that the majority was Dutch and the rest American and British. There were two officers, Navy Lieutenant HENRY [Floyd Clifford], who was the senior officer, and Captain BELFINKY [Belinky, Nathan Donald], who was a medical officer and supervised the camp hospital. There was one Warrant Officer and about 10 non-coms in addition to 137 prisoners. For camp roster, see Exhibits C and D. [parts missing]

It will be noticed from a study of Exhibit A that the building occupied by the prisoners was partitioned into many rooms. The four largest rooms were used as sleeping quarters but as there were only 150 prisoners it was only necessary to use two rooms at any one time. Prior to the July 25th bombing, the rooms on the side opposite the latrine were used. As a result of broken windows and cracked plastering caused by the bombing, the prisoners moved to the two rooms on the other side of the building where the damage was less.

The four large sleeping rooms were located in the center of the building. The kitchen, bath, and store rooms were on one end of the building and the officers quarters, laundry room, wash room, and medical examination room were on the other end.

The bunks were the usual type, wooden planking in double decks with 7' x 3' being allotted each prisoner. A thin straw matting was furnished for a mattress. The number of blankets furnished was not determined. As the prisoners were at Camp #11 in the summer months only, no stoves were installed. The windows were half glass and half wooden and offered sufficient light and ventilation. There was adequate electricity for lighting but no lights were allowed on after 2100. The building itself was a very substantial structure and except for the absence of a ceiling between the high roof and the upper row of bunks, should have afforded good protection from the weather.

The wash room consisted of a long tin-covered through with 21 faucets of running water. There were 13 toilet spaces in the latrine and the bath had 8 cold water showers in addition to a tub that was heated by an electric heater. There was running water available at all hours.

The kitchen, operated by a prisoner staff of six or seven, was located in one end of the quarters building and consisted of six pit type fire places, three wash tubs with running water, and two store rooms. Meat was rarely, if ever, supplied and rice made up the greatest part of the prisoners' diet. A notice found during the camp inspection and attached as Exhibit E indicates the daily ration was changed on July 1 from 700 grams of rice daily to 600 grams of rice and 100 grams of soy beans.

The was an adequate supply of running water furnished from a well next to the camp. Drinking water was boiled in the kitchen.

The prisoners wore either their own or Japanese army clothing. The factory furnished no work clothes so the prisoners had to use whatever clothes the army furnished them for both work and off hour wear. A sewing machine and some cobblers tools were supplied but all repair work was done by the prisoners themselves. Any replacement of worn-out clothes and shoes were made by the army for there was no evidence of clothing being received from the factory or the Red Cross.

The prisoners were never allowed outside the camp compound except when working or when the sick were allowed to tend to the prisoners' garden. There were no screens on the windows and all sterilization of eating and cooking utensils and all cleaning of the living quarters and the area was done by the prisoners.

Adequate drainage was supplied by a ditch along the sides of the camp and drainage canals in the kitchen and bath room. Human wastes were used for fertilizer but no information as to the disposal of garbage could be obtained. The prisoners washed their own clothing in cold water and what soap they could get from the army and the factory.

Captain BELFINKY was in charge of the camp hospital. His office, examination room and pharmacy were in one end of the quarters building. The hospital ward itself was in a small building next to the quarters. A Japanese corporal assisted Capt. BELFINKY in the medical administrative work but no other medical assistance was provided. The factory doctor, Shozo HATA, was not allowed to visit the camp and only attended the prisoners when they were hurt at work.

The factory supplied some medicines and medical equipment at the outset but none later. Whatever supplies were available must to have been furnished by the army or through the Red Cross. However there was no evidence of receipt of any Red Cross shipments.

If any inoculations were administered they must have been by Capt. BELFINKY. Two deaths occurred among the prisoners. The cause was not determined but it was learned that one of the two had arrived at the camp as a stretcher case. It was also learned that lots of the prisoners were too sick to work, the cause being beri-beri in most cases.

Little information was discovered in this regard. Only one, if any, Red Cross shipment was received. There were no recreational facilities furnished nor any facilities for religious services. A garden was maintained by the sick prisoners a short distance from the camp but no crop was ever harvested.

10. WORK:
The officers did not have to work but the enlisted men, with the non-coms as leaders, were employed at the factory about 300 meters from the camp. The work done by the prisoners was divided into three categories: handling raw material and charging furnaces in the ferro-silicon section; handling raw materials and charging furnaces in the carborundum section; and similar work in the ferro-chrome section. About 110-120 were employed each day and worked from 0700 to 1630 on the day shift and from 1800 to 0700 on the night shift. Two days off per month were allowed and the factory paid the Army 1 yen per day per man for the prisoner labor.

The prisoners were escorted to and from work by factory stick guards who also guarded them while at work. The work itself was supervised by factory foremen. Lists of the stick guards and foremen were supplied by the factory officials and are attached as Exhibits F and G.

Factory methods were quite out-moded and inefficient. Much labor was by hand that could have been done by machine. Very few safety precautions were noticed in the factory. Dr. HATA related five or six injuries received at work and only one of these was considered serious.

One of the factory officials interviewed said there was no trouble encountered in working the prisoners and that their work was 10% better that that of the Japanese workers at the factory.

Reportedly the prisoners were to return to the camp during air raids but there is no evidence that this occurred although there were at least three different raids during the period the prisoners were at Camp #11.

As mentioned in the preceding paragraph, the prisoners at work were to return to the camp in case of air raids. The only large shelter for protections against air raids was located just outside the compound. As it had been filled in at the time of the inspections, the capacity of the shelter couldn't be determined. However there is serious doubt that it would accommodate 150 men.

There were no fire extinguishers in the camp and the only facilities for fighting fires were a two man pump and several drums of water at various spots inside the camp.

The lack of safety precautions at the factory had already been mentioned.

No evidence of group punishment or cruel or inhumane treatment was established. It should be noted however that in contrast to several other camps inspected by this team, Camp #11 had a guard tower and two guard shelter houses within the compound and there was a strand of barbed wire above the wooden fence enclosing the camp. There were two jail-like cells in the guards' office but no information was obtained as to how often prisoners were confined there.

Only bits of information were obtained as to matters of mail, complaints, camp inspections, judicial proceedings, etc. One informant who was inside the camp quite often stated he had never seen or heard of the prisoners receiving mail. There were no inspections of the camp by the I.R.C. [Intl Red Cross] of the Protecting Power [Switzerland] during the war. Lt. ARAKI, the camp commander who acted also as interpreter, spoke very little English so there is good reason to assume that it was difficult for the prisoners to deal with him satisfactorily.

For whatever value it may be, a report prepared by the factory on the request of the Japanese Army at Nagoya is attached as Exhibit H.

Inasmuch as Camp #11 was in operation only from June to September 1945, and only two persons died during that time and no evidence of mistreatment was disclosed, it is hard to establish criminal guilt against any persons connected with the camp management. It is not intended to paint a rosy or whitewashing picture of Camp #11 for undoubtedly the prisoners confined there led anything but a satisfactory existence. The diet was unquestionably sub-standard and clothing and other necessities of life were at a minimum. However, it is felt further investigation unless specific leads should be presented, would prove unfruitful.

Lt. ARAKI, Shoichi, Camp Commander, reported to be in prison at present.

Investigating Officer
Legal Section, GHQ, SCAP

Investigating Officer
Legal Section, GHQ, SCAP