Hakodate Main POW Camp
Bibai, Hokkaido

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2650 Bibai-Machi, Sorachi-gun, Hokkaido Island

1 Dec 1942:
Established temporarily at the site of Hakodate Quarantine, 27 Dai-machi, Hakodate City
26 Dec 1942: Officially established
7 Jun 1945: Moved to 1-2695 Bibai-cho, Sorachi-gun, Hokkaido

Satellite map: Port location - Bibai location
Aerial: Port location 1948 - Bibai location 1947 (courtesy of Japan Map Archives)
Map: lower Hokkaido showing Hakodate Port (RG 407)
Area map of Hakodate camps

NOTE re Hakodate Camp Group (per Japan POW Network):
The Hakodate POW Camp Group was officially established on December 26, 1942, and initially controlled the branch camps on Hokkaido Island and part of the Tohoku (northeastern Japan) area. However, upon the establishment of the Sendai POW Camp Group in April 1945, the Tohoku camps were redesignated.
Camp Commanders:
First period - Col. Toshio Hatakeyama
Second period - Lt/Col. Shigeo Emoto
Third period - Col. Atsuo Hosoi

Additonal Research by Netherlands researcher, John Slootmaekers regarding Red Cross records:
Camp Commandant as of 11 Jan 1945 was Lt Col Shigao Emoto (per Intl Red Cross Committee).

Deceased POWs at this camp.
A 7-page PDF file at the Japanese POW Research Network (click on Hakodate Main Camp link). This is based solely upon Japanese records and may not always be accurate as many documents were unreadable.
Port location: Prisoners were used by Hakodate Ship Building Company, Hakodate Port Transportation Company, etc.
Bibai location: POWs were used by Mitsui Mining Company.

Hell Ships:
In the post war "Adachi" report, the first shipment of POWs from Singapore arrived on the Tofuku Maru. Departed 27 October 1942 and arrived at Moji on the 27th of November 1942. 1200 POW embarked, 27 died en route. It is understood these men had earlier been captured on Java. A second group appears to have arrived on the Wales Maru that departed Singapore 16 May 1943 and arrived Moji on 7 June 1943.
War Crime trial regarding this shipment of POW.

John Fisher: RAF (84 Squadron) vet lives in California
Video Interview (no longer available?)

Record of Work (PDF) - excerpts from this booklet owned by British POW W. Holmes (dating from Jan. 1943). Scan also includes some of the Japanese currency presumably paid to Holmes. (Courtesy of Margaret Saville-Brown, whose son found these while cleaning out a neighbor's garage.)

Rosters: (as of 15 August 1945)
Total = 396 POWs (283 British, 53 Dutch, 50 American, 10 other nationalities; 114 deaths)
American, Dutch, Canadian & Estonian

See Hakodate Overview for archival originals of rosters.


Men at time of rescue (
courtesy of British POW Jim Crinion):

Group 1
(another scan, reverse side shows names)

Group 2

Photos and text courtesy of Raymond Webb, son of POW Stanley Webb:

I have recently finished reading the book, UNBROKEN, and found a link to your website, and was amazed to see the same photograph that my father had in his possession. On the reverse of the photo, some one has written all the names of the men in block letters, which looks like it is in pencil, and is easily readable. My father's name was Mr Stanley Webb, Royal Air Force AC1, deceased 2006. He was a POW at Hakodate Main Camp, Bibai-Machi, in the Group 1 photo.

I am also including another photo of my father in a group photo sitting on the wing of either a Spitfire or Hurricane, I don't know where it was taken. My father told me he was in the 65 Squadron and the 232 Squadron, 1939 - 1945. Have found a few more photo's, not sure if they are relevant to your webpage or your historical interest, but if they are of interest, all good:
Webb_hanko_stamp.jpg - wooden stamp with POW number