TRANSCRIBED BY KEVIN MENZIES
1. That I was formerly 814327 Captain S. G. Nottage of L Heavy Battery Royal Australian Artillery, RABAUL, NEW BRITAIN, and I was taken Prisoner of War by the Japanese on the 2nd day of February 1942.
2. that after capture I remained at RABAUL until 6th July 1942 when I sailed from RABAUL on the "Narute Maru." We arrived at Yokohama on approx the 14th July 1942. After three days quarantine and search we were sent to Zentsuji Prisoner of War Camp on the island of Sikoku. I remained at Zentsuji from the 19th July 1942 until 25th June 1945.
3. That conditions at the camp at the outset were reasonably good, by comparison with our previous treatment at RABAUL. In 1942 sleeping quarters were not overcrowded, the issue of blankets was five and we slept on the board floor of the hut platform on a straw mattress. The daily ration was 300 grammes of cereal which two meals and a loaf of bread approx 300 grammes for the third meal. The strength of the camp at this stage was about 200. Of this just over 30 Australian officers and the remainder were American officers and enlisted men. During this 1942 period there were not many Japanese recruits in the area. Later it became a training area; there were considerable numbers of troops; considerable numbers of prisoners were added to the camp strength and the position became progressively worse. By about December 1943 the camp strength was approx 670 prisoners, and by August 1944 this grew to 800 approx, and there were not only American and Australian troops, but British and Dutch as well. The result of this increase in personnel was a gradually decreased production and the rice ration which was subject also to what the Japanese called "seasonal fluctuation". In the summer months they would state that winter prospects appeared bad and that therefore they were imposing a ten per cent reduction in the cereal ration which would be replaced by winter; but the succeeding winter never resulted in the ration being raised. Early in 1944 the ingredients of the cereal ration were revised and became less nutritious. The soya beans disappeared and instead of the sixty per cent forty per cent barley ration, we were given in lieu as bulk Korean maise and Hungarian millet, or bird see. We received very little rice. The worst period for food was September to November 1944. During this time there were even occasional days when we received no food from the Japanese at all so far as cereal is concerned. All we would receive from the Japanese for the most part would be salted Daikon tops. We were able to supplement this from our own resources by using sweet potato tops. The total calorific amount of our total ration during this period would not exceed one thousand a day. The increase in personal required a re-distribution of blankets and we were reduced from five to three, and some of the junior Australian officers were deprived of their mattresses and forced to sleep above to store-room which had no protection against draught. In 1942 we were sleeping seven to a room, but in August 1944 this had increased to 16 a room.
4. That during the whole period I was in Zentsuji camp the Japanese ration did not suffer and all Japanese personnel were well fed. Considerable quantities of cooked rice were thrown out by the Japanese for pig food and many prisoners, including some senior American officers, were driven by the pangs of hunger to retrieve this from refuse bin when they could.
5. That in October 1942 a quantity of Canadian red Cross parcels was received. It was estimated that there were sufficient parcels for the issue of sixteen per man then in camp. In fact we received only one parcel every two months and this would be made only after repeated inquiries. During 1943 repeated protests were made that the Red Cross parcels were deteriorating in condition and requesting speedier issue so that they might be put to use. No response was received and in October of 1943 an examination of the store disclosed that a proportion of the supplies had gone bad, chiefly tinned meant, cheese and biscuits and tinned fruit. About forty percent of the original consignment went bad in this way and had to be destroyed. Late in November 1944 a second large consignment of Red Cross parcels was received. There were about ten thousand individual parcels. These were received the same day as Squadron-Leader Moulden R.A.F. died from starvation and malnutrition. Requests had been made for additional food for those sick who suffered badly from malnutrition, and a convalescent bay had been established for them. Early in October 1944 the Japanese had promised this extra ration, but only once had they made it. They expressed bland concern at the death of Squadron-Leader Moulden, particularly since they accepted that he had died from malnutrition, but they still provided no extra ration for the others. During this period, as at other times, pigs were kept on the surplus food which the Japanese threw away. I hold the Japanese Camp Medical Officer Sato responsible for the death of Squadron-Leader Moulden. On the 28th September 1944 Captain Lindberry United States Navy, advised all prisoners that he had been interviewed by captain Hositani, a camp administration officer. Captain Hositani advised that those prisoners who became patients due to malnutrition could be given extra food as medicine on the recommendation of Sato the Medical Officer. Squadron-Leader Moulden was in the convalescent bay for some weeks before he died, gradually becoming weaker and during this time was a patient of Sato. Some time in early 1945sx1794(? _ KM) Lt C.P. FURNER was admitted to hospital as a patient of Sato. He was suffering principally from malnutrition. Sato ordered no extra food for Lt Furner. Doctor Van Peenan, an American medical officer from time to time managed to obtain small extra quantities of food for Lt Furner which had been pillaged from the Red Cross store. On the 25th June 1945, despite this, Lt Furner died from Malnutrition.
6. That I hold Lt Nakajima responsible for maladministration of red cross supplies and for a large loss to the 1942 consihnment. Nakajima had the responsibility for the distribution of red Cross parcels. Nakajima was one of three Japanese officers who were openly hostile to prisoners and lost no at expressing their hatred. Nakajima was the Japanese whose attention was repeatedly directed to the condition of the Red Cross stores which eventually went bad and he took no action to increase the issue above one parcel per man every two months with the full knowledge of the deteriorating condition.
7. That I hold Lt Nataumoto and Lt Nakanishi, the two supply officers over the period 1943 to 1945 responsible for the inadequate ration to prisoners. They exhibited hatred and resisted all suggestion for the revision for alteration of rations to provide better nutrition. They would invariably express sympathy, but would never consent to any step for improvement even if they could raise no objection to it being implemented.
8. Beatings and kickings were frequent. Unreasonable punishments would be inflicted without reason or for minor offenses. It was common for men to be stood to attention in the cold for some hours and to be imprisoned in the summer without mosquito nets; in the winter without blankets. Lt Sato, medical officer, took his turn as duty officer and would control muster parades. His expressed policy was that prisoners must be made tough. Furthermore he deliberately set out to degrade officer prisoners in front of other ranks and Japanese personnel. He would walk through parades in cold weather and knock offscarfes; he refused permission for overcoats to be warn on parade. No overcoats were worn on parade for the whole of the winter of 1943, but in 1944 this order by SATO was countermanded by the Camp Commandant. I have seen SATO approach prisoners wearing American style caps over their ears to protect bad chilblains. He would strike the caps from their heads so that their ears would bleed. I am unable to recall any particular occasion when this was done to any particular man. This was his general custom.
9. That on very few occasions did SATO authorise medicine for prisoners of war reporting sick though large quantities were held in camp. It was common knowledge that when a man reported with bronchitis SATO would make entry to shgow that medecine had been prescribed. This entry would be made either by SATO or his staff and they would then take the sweetened cough syrup from the American Red Cross supplies which they used to sweeten their tea.
10. That from 1942 to 1945 there were five camp Commandants approximately. I consider that each and every one of them shares the responsibility for the maladministration in the camp as all were approached unsuccessfully with specific requests for better treatment, conditions and rations.
11. That I know the facts deposed of herein of my own knowledge except where otherwise appears.
SIGNED before me at KESWICK