NARA - RG 331 Box 942
REPORT ON INVESTIGATION OF PRISONER OF WAR CAMP
NAGOYA BRANCH CAMP NO 7
R E S T R I C T E D
SUPREME COMMANDER FOR THE ALLIED POWERS
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
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"
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
/s/ Joseph G. Breaune
Joseph G. BREAUNE, 1st Lt., CMP
Legal Section, GHQ, SCAP
/s/ Richard H. Wills Jr.
RICHARD H. WILLS JR, 1st Lt, CMP
Legal Section, GHQ, SCAP