Toyama POW Camp
Nagoya #7B- Investigation Report

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Source: NARA - RG 331 Box 942



APO 500
8 Feb 46

SUBJECT: Report on Investigation of Prisoner of War Camp, Nagoya Branch camp No. 7
TO: Chief of Investigation Division, Legal Section, SCAP.

1. By 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, Honshu, Japan, and made an investigation of the Prisoner of War Camp, Nagoya Branch Camp No. 7, between 11 January 1946 and 14 January 1946.

2. In formation contained in the following report was obtained through a physical inspection of both the remains of the camp and the place where the prisoners were employed, and the interrogation of the following informants:

[a] SHIMAKURA, Shiu; camp interpreter, c/o/ Hikomaro TOGANO, 1975 Yokata Machi, Toyama ken, Japan
[b] TANAKA, Hidekazo, Company Doctor, Nippon Soda Co. Ltd., 120 Shimoshin, Toyama City, Toyama ken, Japan.
[c] KATAOKA, Osamu, Labor Chief, Nippon Soda Co. Ltd., 120 Shimoshin, Toyama City, Toyama ken, Japan.

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

4. Data on Nagoya Branch Prisoner of War Camp #7:

[a] Location and description:
Camp #7 was constructed by the Nippon Soda Co. Ltd., on its own property about 300 meters from the Nippon Soda Factory where the prisoners form camp #7 were employed. The factory, itself, is located a mile from the center of Toyama City, Toyama ken, a city with a pre-war population of 165,000 and chiefly a manufacturing town. On August 1, 1945, the city of Toyama was leveled to the ground by a raid of some 200 planes, dropping incendiaries. Only five buildings were left standing. The camp and factory suffered only minor damage from this raid as most of the bombs fell on the heart of the city.

On July 20, 1945, a single demolition bomb was dropped only 75 meters from the camp compound and caused considerable damage, knocking out windows, causing some of the walls and roofs to fall in, and injuring some 10 to 20 prisoners with minor cuts and bruises. The factory itself also suffered considerable damage by the vibration. A single demolition bomb dropped on July 26, 1945, and landing quite a distance from the camp caused only minor damage by the vibrative effects.

The camp compound was built to accommodate 300 prisoners and was in operation from June 6, 1945 to 9 Sept. 1945. The camp consisted of four main buildings; the prisoners quarters and hospital in one building, the prisoner' kitchen and bath room in another, the camp Headquarters occupied by the Japanese army permanent staff, and the guards office. The buildings were wooden with concrete foundations and slate roof and clapboard wall. The hallways for the most part were earthen and the flooring below the bunks was wooden. The compound was enclosed by a 10' high wooden fence. No guard towers, flood lights, or bard wire was observed. For a detailed pictured of the camp, showing the area of the compound, size of the buildings and rooms and arrangements of the bunks, latrines, kitchen, bath, wash rooms, laundry, etc., attention is invited to the attached exhibits "A" and "B". [Not located in NARA file]

[b] Camp Personnel:
2nd Lt. Shoichi NEGISEI was the camp commander. His permanent staff consisted of three corporals and one private who handled the camp administration. There were seven army enlisted men who were detailed to the camp from nearby army units to act as guards. In addition, there were seven civilians who were employed by the army who also acted as guards. Other personnel that were familiar with camp operations were Shin SHIMAKURA, Nippon Soda employee who acted as interpreter and Dr. Hidekazu TANAKA, Nippon Soda doctor who attended the prisoners.

[c] Prisoner Personnel:
On June 6, 1945, 150 American prisoners arrived at the camp and on July 7, 1945, forty five more Americans arrived. Lt. Col. Guy H. STUBBS, Air Corps, was the senior officer among the prisoners. In addition to Lt. Col. STUBBS, Capt. FRIEDMAN, a DENTIST, and three warrant officers: Mr. WOOD, Mr, CREWS, and Mr. HOYT. Of the 195 prisoners received at the camp, only one died. The death was a result of acute pneumonia on July 8, 1945. For rosters of prisoner personnel, see attached exhibits "C" and "D".

[d] Quarters:
The prisoner's quarters was the largest building inside the compound. In one end of this building was located the camp hospital and a couple of large store rooms. The rest of the building was made of two rows of double decker bunks, one row on either side, two latrines, two wash-rooms, and a laundry room. The bunks were merely wooden planks with a space about 7' x 3' being allotted each prisoner. Their straw matting was furnished for mattresses. The number of blankets per prisoner was not disclosed. There were no separate rooms for the officers, but a partition was constructed on both ends of the rows of bunks to provide a bit of privacy for Lt. Col. STUBBS, Capt. FRIEDMAN, and the Warrant Officers. There were two latrines with 10 slits each. The wash room had 15 faucets each and the laundry room had 13 faucets and tubs. As the quarters were built to house 300 prisoners, only one row of the bunks was used. Prior to the air raids of July 30, the side next to the fence was used. After the raid, due to the greater damage occurring on that side, the prisoners moved to the row of bunks on the inside. There was adequate window space provided by the long rows of sliding windows on the long sides of the building. Most of the glass panes were broken at the time of the July 20th raid and after that, wooden panes or none at all were provided. There were no window screens. Electric lights were provided, apparently adequate, but only allowed to burn until 9 o'clock each night. The bath was in a separate building with the kitchen. It consisted of a tub and 10 cold-water showers. The tub was heated by an electric heater. Water in the wash rooms and laundry room was not heated. There was adequate running water supplied by a well on the grounds, pumped electrically into two large barrels on towers back of the kitchen. As the prisoners were at Camp #7 during the summer months, there were no stoves installed.

[e] Rations:
The kitchen staff was entirely prisoner personnel. Three meals a day, consisting primarily of rice and beans and a few green vegetables, were provided. The allotment of rice per prisoner per day was 4.8 grams (cooked). Meals were eaten out of army mess gear on tables set in the aisles between the rows of bunks. Almost no meat was furnished. And although the prisoners had a small garden within the camp, no crop was ever harvested. In the kitchen were five large pit type fireplaces, a store room and a couple of large tubs with faucets for washing utensils and the like. Information as to Red Cross foodstuffs was not obtainable.

[f] Clothing:
The prisoners wore their own or Japanese army clothing. Repair and laundry of clothing was up to each prisoner, Apparently the same clothes were used for work and off-hour wear.

[g] Hygiene and Sanitation:
As the work days were 12 hours long, there was not much time for fresh air and exercise. The prisoners were never allowed outside the camp except to go to work. There were drainage ditches around each of the buildings and adequate facilities for drainage in the washrooms, bathroom, and kitchen. Garbage was buried, and human waste was used by the neighboring farmers. All sterilization of cooking and eating utensils and all cleaning up quarters and camp area was done by the prisoners themselves. There were no screens over the windows but reportedly the prisoners had nets to sleep under as a protection against the mosquitoes.

[h] Medical Facilities and Inspection:
Captain FRIEDMAN, Dentist, operated the camp hospital, assisted by a Japanese corporal and a Japanese private, who kept the medical records. The hospital staff (sic) consisted of an examination room, a ward, and a room for the two Japanese medics and medical supplies and equipment.
Dr. Hidekazu TANAKA, doctor employed by Nippon Soda Co., made about 10 visits to the camp during the period the prisoners were confined there. His first visit was on June 3 or 4, at which time his examination disclosed that 30 prisoners [were] unable to work at all and another 30 men only able to do light work. According to Dr. TANAKA, he never made a complete examination of all the prisoners, his visits being taken up exclusively with examination of those reported ailing. All medical supplies and equipment were furnished by the army and there were no Red Cross medical shipments received. A smallpox vaccination was given by Dr. TANAKA on June 29, and typhoid inoculations were administered by him on June 15 and June 20. No inoculations were given by Dr. FRIEDMAN, according to Dr. TANAKA. Beri-beri was the most prevalent sickness. Vitamin shots were given the beri-beri patients.
The only death occurring at the camp was on July 8 when one of the prisoners died from acute pneumonia.

[i] Special Services:
Inquiry on this matter disclosed little. Apparently there were no recreational facilities provided the prisoners, nor were there facilities for religious services. Mail was received, reportedly, only once or twice and there is serious doubt as to any Red Cross supplies being received. Although there was a small garden for the prisoners, there was no crop harvested.

[j] Work:
The Nippon Soda factory was engaged in the production of steel alloy which was used in the manufacture of war materials. At the outset, when there were 150 prisoners at Camp #7, 130 prisoners were used at the factory. Hen the prisoner personnel increased to 195, there were approximately 175 used. He prisoner work may be divided into three categories: Melting, Forging, and Miscellaneous. Each of the three types of work engaged about the same number of prisoners. Prior to the first bombing, July 20th, no night work was done by the prisoners, but subsequent to July 20th, about 65 prisoners were used on the day shift and 65 on the night shift at both the melting and forging work; however, no prisoners were used at night on the miscellaneous jobs. A shift was 12 hours long and the company paid the army 1 yen per day per prisoner. Two days rest per month was allowed and cotton gloves and aprons for the furnace jobs were the only types of protective equipment or clothing supplied the prisoners. No officers worked and the three warrant officers were used only as group leaders.
While at work, the prisoners were under the supervision of the plant foreman, and were guarded by factory employees know as "stick guards" because of the small stick they carried. (See Exhibit "E") [not found in NARA file]
Although there were several air raid shelters and fox-holes scattered about the factory, there is evidence that the prisoners were forced to continue working during air raids. Factory methods were very obsolete and inefficient. Almost no safety precautions were noted at the factory and the majority of the labor was by hand, very few machines being used.

[k] Safety precautions:
In this regard, it should be noted as mentioned in the previous paragraph, that almost no safety measures were employed at the factory itself. For fire protection at the camp, there were only two or three fire extinguishers and no pumps. Water drums and sand were the only other provisions against fire. There was an air raid shelter within the compound and several fox-holes but they would in no way accommodate the entire prisoner personnel.

[l] Punitive Measures:
There were jail-type cells in the guards' office building. But little information was obtained as to how often these were used. There was no evidence discovered as to any instances of group punishment and all evidence of cruel and inhuman treatments of the prisoners was found either hearsay or of a very unsatisfactory nature.

[m] Miscellaneous"
Concerning matters of pay, publications of rules and regulations, camp inspections, judicial proceedings, etc., little information was developed. It was learned that the camp was never inspected by a representative of the I.R.C. (International Red Cross} or the protesting power during the war and that the chief complaints of the prisoners were of their diet and failure to receive mail.

[n] Summary:
Although there was some evidence of mistreatment of prisoners discovered, there was not sufficient competent legal evidence found to warrant further investigations or prosecution. Unquestionably the diet of the prisoners was unsatisfactory, but as there was only one death during the period, there appears to be nothing in this regard to warrant further investigation. It must be kept in mind that Camp #7 was constructed to house 300 prisoners, and 195 was the most at one time, and further that the camp was only in operation from June 6th to Sept 9th of 1945, a period of only a few months.

[o] Undeveloped Leads:
1st. Lt. Shoichi NEGISHI, Camp Commander, reported to be in prison at present.

/s/ Joseph G. Breaune
Joseph G. BREAUNE, 1st Lt., CMP
Investigating Officer,
Legal Section, GHQ, SCAP

/s/ Richard H. Wills Jr.
Investigating Officer,
Legal Section, GHQ, SCAP