Civilian Internment Camps in Japan

  • Source for below material is from Enemy Alien Internment by Mayumi Komiya (Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kobun Kan, 2009). Dec. 1941 data compiled from Gaiji Geppo (Foreign Affairs Monthly Report), December 1941 issue, Tokyo, Japan.
  • As of December 1941, there were 2,138 civilians of Allied nations in Japan -- 1,044 Americans, 690 British, 188 Canadians, 109 Dutch, 41 Australians, 38 Belgians, 19 Norwegians, and 9 Greeks (General Conditions of External Police Affairs, Mid-1941, Vol. 1). Total Allied civilian internees of the Japanese estimated to be 132,895 (50,740 men, 41,895 women, 40,260 children); of these, there were 15,000 deaths (Bernice Archer, The Internment of Western Civilians Under the Japanese, 2004).
  • A total of 152 Allied civilians, including 76 from internment camps, left Japan aboard the first exchange ship, the Asama Maru, on June 17, 1942. On July 30, 1942, 60 British internees left on the 2nd exchange ship, the Tatsuta Maru. A group of 73 internees boarded the 3rd exchange ship, the Teia Maru, on Sept. 13, 1943. See The Exchange and Repatriation Voyages During WWII for a good study about the Gripsholm exchanges.
  • Figures do not include Japanese-Americans (Nisei), who, in accordance with wartime directives issued by Japan's Ministry of Home Affairs, were to be treated as Japanese nationals. As for the numbers of Nisei in Japan, "Japanese figures show that in 1937 there were 50,000 American citizens of Japanese ancestry residing in Japan" (Gentlemen of Japan by Haven, 1944) -- the Japan Foreign Office urged these kibei shimin (American returnee citizens) to return to the US. Approximately 20,000 Nisei were living in Japan in 1940 (Zaibei Nihonjinshi, 1940). According to an estimate by the U.S. Consulate in Yokohama, some 15,000 Nisei were residing in Japan at the end of the war, 10,000 of whom were eligible to return to the United States (Rafu Shimpo, March 22, 1947). See Were We The Enemy? by Rinjiro Sodei for further information. See here for number of resident aliens of Japanese descent as of June 1942. Forthcoming book by John J. Stephan will cover this subject in detail. For further info and extensive data on ethnic Japanese and Japanese Americans in the US prior to and during WWII, see my EO9066 website, The Preservation of a People, dealing with the evacuation and relocation of people of Japanese ancestry (assembly and relocation centers, internment camps, etc.).
  • Per U.S. Prisoners of War and Civilian American Citizens Captured and Interned by Japan in World War II by Gary Reynolds (2002): 7,300 US civilians were interned by Japan, 13,000 Amerasians with US citizenship "hid during this period" and never interned (Stenger). There were 13,979 US civilian internees (including War, Navy, and Merchant Marine personnel) held by the Japanese, with approximately 1,530 deaths, or 11%. (Office of the Army's Provost Marshal General). [NOTE: Throughout Asia, many civilians, instead of being placed in internee camps, were held in POW camps along with Allied soldiers.]
  • Links under "Prefecture" are for prefectural civilian internment camp groups which I have compiled from archival documents; [APUJ] = Allied POWs Under the Japanese, webpages; "Name" links will direct to related websites; "Location" links will bring up GoogleSightseeing maps; GoogleEarth KMZ links will eventually be made available.
  • For timeline of camps showing number of internees and their movement among the various camps, see Chronology Chart of Civilian Internment Camps: Internee Strength & Movement
  • For foreign resident population and locations as of June 1942, see Foreign Resident Population in Japan: Nationality and District of Residence
  • A list of 309 civilians who were processed through Bilibid Prison Camp in the Philippines can be found here (click on the CIVILIANS tab at bottom right of page).
  • For an excellent comparison of civilian internment under the Imperial Japanese, see Lou Gopal's website, Victims of Circumstance - Santo Tomas Internment Camp. Another very moving film is So Very Far From Home about civilian internees in China. For civilians in Hong Kong, see Hong Kong War Diary. See also Ron Bridge's British Civilians Interned by the Japanese during WWII and this Brief History of Civilian Internment in the Far East.  A list of Japanese Civilian Internment Camps WWII is also helpful.
  • As with all such documents, transcribing issues due to legibility are noted by question marks. For clarification, as well as any other questions you may have, please contact me.
Rev. December 27, 2016
Prefecture Name Location Nationality and Number of Internees Deaths
Dec. 1941 January to August 1945

Souseikan Branch Office
27 Kaigan-cho, Muroran British

Angels Hospital Higashi 3-chome, Kita Ju-ichi-joh, Sapporo Norwegian

Budojo Martial Arts Hall
37 Shimizu-cho, Otaru

American Aleuts from Attu: 13 men, 12 women
Aomori Catholic Church
85 Hama-cho, Aomori


Yokote Church of Christ Yokka-machi, Yokote, Hiraka-gun American

Catholic Church Kemanai, Towada-cho, Kazuno-gun     Italian Embassy personnel and families 48 0
Tateai Industry Association 52 Usui, Omonogawa-cho, Hiraka-gun     Women, children, elderly from Yokohama 27 6
    British 17  
    American 4  
    Dutch 3  
    Greek 2  
    Norwegian 1  
71 Kawara-koji, Osawa, Morioka



St. Dominic Convent Dai-11 Jiwari, Ueda, Morioka     French and German nuns 8 unk
Mototerakoji Church
161 Mototerakoji, Sendai
American 11

British 2

Canadian 40

Kakugorocho Church 8, Kita-Gojunin-cho, Sendai     34 Indonesian men from captured Dutch vessel, Op ten Noort; one American 35 1
Tatamiya-cho Church 31 Tatamiya-cho, Sendai     Canadian nuns 26 0

Catholic Church 3 Karino, Fukushima Canadian 1

Notre Dame Convent 12 Hanazono-cho, Fukushima     Passengers from captured British vessel "Nanking": 106 men, 34 women: 81 British, 20 Greek, 17 Chinese, 6 S. African, 5 Arabian, 4 Australian, 2 Indian, 5 other nationalties
140 4
St. Terejia Dormitory Sakae-cho, Aizu-Wakamatsu     Canadian nuns 4 0
Toyama Takaoka High School of Commerce, Teacher's Residence
759 Nakagawa, Takaoka British 1

Hall No. 14
3-14 Shiritarisaka-dori, Kanazawa
American 1

British 1

Canadian 1

Evangelical Mission Church
445 Hyakken-cho, Maebashi
British 3

Canadian 2

1129 Matsugamine-cho, Utsunomiya Canadian 1

Ibaraki Mito Catholic Church 1253 Goken-cho, Mito Canadian 1

Nagano Manpei Hotel, Miyama-so Resort, others Karuizawa     Evacuation district for citizens of neutral and Axis nations (Swiss, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, etc.). After German surrender, over 200 German families and other citizens of former Axis nations were living here.    
1-6-chome, Tokiwa-cho, Urawa Canadian 2

St. Francisco Convent 563 Kami-kizaki, Urawa     Catholic priests, Japan-resident men 56 0
    American 3  
    British 10  
    Canadian 31  
    Greek 7  
    Belgian 3  
    Dutch 2  
Sumire Girls High School of Home Economics
Tamagawa Denenchofu, Setagaya-ku
American 13

British 9

Canadian 5





Seibo Hospital and Convent 2-670 Ochiai, Yodobashi-ku     Nuns, Japan-resident women 36 0
Nihon Women's College Gymnasium Mejirodai, Bunkyo-ku     German Jews, and others 18 0
Tokyo Seminary
19 Sekiguchidai-cho, Bunkyo-ku

One man; 20 women, including nuns: 10 American, 4 British, 3 Belgian, 2 Dutch, 2 Canadian


Yokohama Racecourse 29 Negishi-minosawa, Naka-ku, Yokohama (Total = 59)
American 24

Yokohama Yacht Club
[formerly Yokohama Amateur Rowing Club]
3-7 Shin-Yamashita-cho, Naka-ku, Yokohama (Total = 34)
British 47

Canadian 1

Dutch 3




Internment Camp No. 1 Uchiyama, Kita-Ashigara-mura, Ashigara-kami-gun     Catholic priests, Japan-resident men 44 6
    American 6
    British 20  
    Greek 3  
    Canadian 13  


Internment Camp No. 2 4573 Izumi-cho, Totsuka-ku, Yokohama     All women: 18 Australian nurses (captured on Rabaul), 1 American teacher from Attu [Etta Jones]
19 0
Fujiya Hotel, Hakone Park Hotel, others Moved to Hakone     Evacuation district for citizens of neutral and Axis nations (Swiss, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, etc.). Total = 1,194 (Aug. 1945)*
2852 Takamatsu-shikichi, Shizuoka American 3

Catholic Church 2058 Nishiboribata-cho, Tsu American 1

Japan Church of Christ 17 Miyajiri-cho, Uji-Yamada American 1


Mukaihata, Baba, Otsu
American 4

Dutch 1

Catholic Church
Kawara-3-jo Kudaru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto
American 4

Canadian 1

Belgian 1

Sanuki Hotel
1-25 Kita-horie Kami-dori, Nishi-ku, Osaka
American 2

British 2


Aichi Kosaiji Temple Ishigase, Ishino-mura, Nishi-kamo-gun     Italian civilians 15 0
Kotakuji Temple Ishigase, Ishino-mura, Nishi-kamo-gun     10 men, 11 women: Dutch electrical engineers and families 21 1
Tenpaku Dorm Yagoto, Tenpaku-mura

Nara Catholic Church 10 Nobori-Ohji-cho, Nara American 1


Canadian Academy
Eastern Lodge

Aotani-cho, Nada-ku, Kobe (Total = 35)
1-24 Kitano-cho, Kobe-ku, Kobe (Total = 9)
American 6

British 25

Dutch 8

Belgian 1




Chikuba Gakuen School for the Handicapped Futatabi-san, Fukiai-ku, Kobe     All men: 129 American (127 from Guam), 20 British, 7 Canadian, 4 Dutch, 1 Belgian, 1 Norwegian, 1 Guatemalan
163 12
Seishin Girls High School
260 Kami-ifuku, Okayama
American 11

British 1

Aiko Health Facility
1741-1 Miyoshi-cho, Futami-gun
American 1

British 3

Belgian 3



Aiko Health Facility 1741-1 Miyoshi-cho, Futami-gun     29 men, 15 women: All Dutch nurses and medical officers from captured Dutch vessel, Op ten Noort 44 0
80 Kitabori-cho, Matsue American 1

Catholic Seminary 49 Ohori-cho, Fukuoka Canadian

Fukuoka Catholic Bishop's Residence 39 Josui-dori, Fukuoka French

Mt. Hiko Monastery 1432 Hiko, Soeda-cho, Tagawa-gun     French and Italian nuns and priests 28 0
Saga Inn (in front of Kiyomizu-dera Temple gate) Kiyomizu, Ogi-gun     Japan-resident French, Portuguese, and others
[list of names]
21 0

St. Mary's Academy
Shiroyama-cho, Nagasaki
American 5

British 4

Canadian 6

Dutch 4

Belgian 2

Knights of Our Lady Seminary 196 Hongouchi-cho, Nagasaki     6 men, 35 women: 30 British, 6 Canadian, 3 New Zealander, 1 American, 1 Belgian (including 6 married couples)
41 0

1047 Takahamamura-kou, Amakusa-gun British 1

345 Kutama-mura, Amakusa-gun Dutch 1

Nazareth Child Welfare Institution 84 Naga-machi, Yatsushiro Belgian 1

Oyama Inn Tochinoki, Choyo-mura, Aso-gun     Polish nuns and priests, and others 38 0
    French 12  
    Italian 11  
    Polish 10  
    German 2  
    Spanish 1  
    Czechoslovakian 1  
    Yugoslavian 1  
TOTALS: British=100; American=93; Canadian=73: Dutch=23; Belgian=16; Greek=14; Other=23 342 463 men, 146 women: 177 American, 165 British, 73 Dutch, 58 Canadian, 34 Indonesian, 22 Australian, 30 Greek, 50 other nationalities
609 50
Over 750 foreign civilians in Japan were interned, with over half of this number (389) being forcibly brought to Japan from other Japanese-occupied countries. Over half of all civilians interned who were living in Japan prior to the war were missionaries and nuns.

* After Germany surrendered on May 8, 1945, some 3,000 resident Germans throughout Japan became enemy aliens and lived quietly in areas such as Karuizawa, Hakone, Yamanashi and Kobe for the next 3 months. Italians had already become enemy aliens in Sept. 1943, two months after Italy surrendered to the Allies. (Interesting story of German civilian here.)

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