Record Group 331, Box 943; Mansell NARA 8 image IMG_0128
SUPREME COMMANDER FOR THE ALLIED POWERS
NAGOYA PRISONER OF WAR CAMP
BRANCH CAMP No. 11
29 January 1946
SUBJECT: 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.
1. LOCATION AND DESCRIPTION
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.
2. CAMP PERSONNEL:
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")
3. PRISONER PERSONNEL:
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.
7. HYGIENE AND SANITATION:
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.
8. MEDICAL FACILITIES AND INSPECTIONS:
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.
9. SPECIAL SERVICES:
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.
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
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.
11. SAFETY PRECAUTIONS:
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
12. PUNITIVE MEASURES:
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
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.
15. UNDEVELOPED LEADS:
Lt. ARAKI, Shoichi, Camp Commander, reported to be in prison
JOSEPH G. BREAUNE, 1st Lt., CMP.
Legal Section, GHQ, SCAP
RICHARD H. WILLS, Jr., 1st Lt., CMP
Legal Section, GHQ, SCAP