Japanese Killed & Tortured POWs
Japan, driven by the frenzy of Militarism,
committed unspeakable war crimes and atrocities of such great magnitude
un-matched even by the Nazi.
Following table is a comparison of atrocities against PoW :
|US PoW captured & interned in WWII
|US PoW DIED while interned
( 38.2 % )
|US civilians captured & interned in WWII
|US civilians DIED while interned
( 11 % )
The Center for Civilian Internee Right, Inc.
Clinton Jennings of San Francisco survived through the savage
Bataan Death March
to prison Camp O'Donnell on April 9, 1942. It was 70 miles
5 days 5 nights death march in 100 degree heat, deprived of food and
water, 7,000 - 10,000 of 78,000 US and Filipinos PoWs died. "If a fellow fell down, he was either shot, bayonetted or beaten to death. I saw bodies strung along the highway." recalled Merle Lype of Thomasboro.
At a railhead, they were loaded into hot, crowded box cars. "If you
died in there, you couldn't fall to the floor even," said Rutter.
At their eventual destination, Camp O'Donnell, 54,000 prisoners were
crammed into facilities built for a fraction as many people. Malaria anddysentery killed thousands more.
They were then transported to Japan in "Hell Ships"
and elsewhere as slave labor in 2 months trip, with little protection from the January cold. "We were throwing American bodies overboard at the rate of 30, then 40, then 50 a day all the way to Japan," Mel Rosen said, "The Death March was a Sunday stroll compared to the 3 Hell Ships." Only 200 to 300 of the 1,600 prisoners loaded on the 1st ship made it to Japan.
When Rosen arrived in Japan, his weight had dropped from 155 to 88 lbs.
Of the 12,000 US PoW at Bataan, only 4,000 were alive by the end of war.
For 3-1/4 years, Melvin Routt toiled in coal mines. His weight dropped
from 163 pounds to 83. Like millions in Asia, Routt and Jennings were U.S. PoW
victims of the Japanese Army's wartime brutality. They were used as slave
laborers in violation of the International War Conventions.
The Borneo Death Marches of 1945 from which only
6 survived from approximately 1,800 PoWs.
Numerous inhuman Slave Camps were established in Japan and all Asia.
The so called "Hanaoka Incident" was probably one of the many similar
"incidents". It would never have become an incident if American occupation
had not caught employees of Kajima Gumi digging up a Mass Slave Grave to hide the
evidence of their Chinese slaves.
The slaves, recaptured after an unsuccessful attempt
to escape, many were tortured to death during the non-stop 3 days and 3 nights torture
without any food or water in the summer night of 1945. It was pieced together by
Nozue Kenji and Yachita Tsuneo in their years long search for the truth.
16,000 PoWs and 100,000 Asian slave labourers died for the construction of
the infamous 415 km Death Railway - Thai-Burma Railway which was made
famous by the movie - Bridge on the River Kwai.
Another movie Return from the River Kwai,
made in 1988, has never been released in North American markets. Its producer
Kurt Unger is now suing Japanese Sony Corporation and seeking $15 million in
damage for blocking release the movie. The court day is set in July 1997.
It tells the story of
allied PoW being shipped from Thailand to Japan to work as slave laborers in
coal mines. The ships were called "Hell Ships" by the PoW and some of
these hell ships including Arisan Maru and Rakuyo Maru were
torpedoed and sunk by US submarines with heavy loss of life because the
Japanese refused to mark the ships to allow allied forces to
distinguish them from combatant and combat support vessels.
Japanese distributor of movie "The Last Emperor" also intentionally edited out
the documentary footage of the Nanjing Massacre that Bernardo Bertolucci had
pointedly put into his film.
Another 1,400 U.S. PoWs were shipped to Manchuria, where
PoWs said they were used as human guinea pig or "logs" by the infamous Japanese medical Unit 731 & Unit 100.
Near the end of the war, Japan issued the infamous "Kill Order" to
its war camp commanders to kill all the remaining prisoners leaving no trace.
Many believe that the Atomic Bombs and no other reasons that had saved
the lives of all allied PoWs.
Frank James, now living in Redwood City, was shipped to
Shenyang (Mukden) in Manchuria as a PoW in November 1942.
The Japanese medical personnel wearing masks, sprayed
liquid into their faces and gave them injection, took
frequent blood samples and released fleas in the warehouse where the
When he returned to the United States in 1945, the U.S.
Army made him sign a document swearing never to discuss his 731 experiences
in the camps. For 40 years, he didn't breathe a word.
In Nov. 1976 Yoshinaga Haruko, producer of TV documentary after years research: "A Bruise - Terror of the 731 Corps." became convinced that American PoWs were also used as logs.
In 1980s, Morimura Seiichi, author of best-seller novel "The Devil's Gluttony" included assertion that Allies PoWs were used as guinea pigs that drew public attention.
In Oct. 1981, it was John W. Powell's article in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists - "Japan's Biological Weapons: 1930-1945, A Hidden Chapter in History" brought much wider public attention and pressured US congress to hold a hearing from PoWs in 1982 and 1986.
Frank James and Gregory Rodriquez Jr. testified to Congress in 1986.
However, the hearing lasted only half a day. No report was issued and no investigation was ordered.
On Aug. 13, 1985, British Independent Televison broadcast a documentary "Unit 731 - Did the Emperor Know ? ". It was producted by Peter Williams and David Wallace after years research, hinted broadly that Emperor Hirohito was aware of the human experiments. There was also an interview with retired Lt. Col. Murray Sanders, the first US investigator into Uint 731. Sanders claimed that Gen. Douglas MacArthur authorized him to make a deal with the Japanese if they cooperated with US Biological Warfare scientists.