Source: NARA RG 331 Box
R E S T R I C T E D
SUPREME COMMANDER OF THE ALLIED POWERS
9 Jan 1946
SUBJECT: Report on Investigation of Prisoner of War Camp, Nagoya
Branch Camp No. 6
TO: Chief of the investigation Division
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 Okada, as interpreter, proceeded to Takaoka City.
Toyama Prefecture, Honshu, Japan and made an investigation of
the Prisoner of War Camp, Nagoya Branch camp No. 6, between 1
January 1946 and 6 January 1946.
2. Information contained in the following report was obtained
through a physical inspection of the remains of the camp and
interrogation of the following informants:
(a.) KATO, Junichi, Vice Manager if Nomachi Factory on whose
property the camp was located and at which many of the prisoners
(b.) KANEHIRA, Tsutomu, Business Manager of Nomachi Factory.
(c.) TOMIOKA, S-----, Director, Hokkai Denka Company, Fushiki,
Takaokashi, at which many of the prisoners were employed.
(d.) YOSHINO, Hiraki (Kei) - Doctor, Takaoka City, Shinminato,
3. Contact was made with S-2 of II Bn, 136 Inf. And 42 Area
CIC but no pertinent information was developed.
4. DATA ON NAGOYA BRANCH PRISONER OF WAR CAMP #6:
(a.) LOCATION AND DESCRIPTION: Camp #6 was located
on the property of the Nomachi Factory, a ferro-alloy smelting
company located in Nomachi, a suburb of Takaoka City, Toyama
Prefecture. The Takaoka area was not subjected to serial bombardment
although there were numerous factories in the area that were
producing war material.
The camp compound was constructed by the Nomachi Factory and
operated from September of 1944 to September of 1945. See exhibits
A,B, and C for detailed drawings of the camp. These drawings
are the plans made by the Nomachi Factory. The parts lined out
indicate where there was no actual constructions as planned.
On December 21, 1945, all but one corner of the prisoner quarters
building was burned to the ground, reportedly as a result of
potato drying operations. Because of this and the fact that the
ground was covered with snow at the time of the inspection, it
was impossible to get a definite picture of the prisoners' quarters.
However, considering the foundation of the quarters and the location
and type of buildings not burned it is believed the camp was
constructed as pictures in exhibits A,B, and C.
The compound was inclosed by a 10-foot high board fence and apparently
there were no guard towers or floodlights. The area inclosed
amounted to approximately 16,000 square yards. There were six
buildings within the compound: prisoners quarters and infirmary,
guard quarters, guard office, camp office and a storage house.
The buildings were all of concrete foundation, wooden structure
and tile roof. The prisoner quarters and the camp office were
the only buildings with platered walls.
(b.) CAMP PERSONNEL: The Army personnel consisted of one
officer, Captain Keiji NAGAHARA, two non-commissioned officers,
1st Sgt. Eyoe KURODA and Sgt. Hideo YOSHIDA, and twelve privates
whose names were not determined. The Army guards were on dut
at the compound and also accompanied the prisoners to and from
their places of work. While at work the prisoners were guards
by the plant employees (se Exhibits E and F). There were two
civilians who were employed as interpreters, Masao MATSUMARU
and Yoshio KAMEI. Another civilian, Dr. Kei (Hiraki) YOSHINO,
visited the camp weekly.
(c.) PRISONER PERSONNEL: The prisoner personnel consisted
of a high of 303. On 8 September 1944, 150 Americans arrived
from the Philippines and on 21 May 1945, 150 English arrived.
In addition to these, three officers were brought in sometimes
in March of 1945. Three sick prisoners were transferred to a
hospital near Tokyo and 13 prisoners died. At the time of their
liberation, there were 287 prisoners at the camp. There were
five officers among the prisoners and the remainer was divided
about evenly between non-commissioned officers and privates.
No rosters were found available. The officers' names reported
to be Major Brene; Captain M. Bernstein (MC); 1st Lt. Sence;
1st Lt. Whiting; and 2nd Lt. Abreson. Of these, four were American
and one English.
(d.) QUARTERS: The prisoners were all quartered in one
building (see Exhibit A), the officers having a room to themselves
and the enlisted men occupying the rest of the sleeping quarters.
The English prisoners were in ine half and the Americans in the
other. Beds consisted of wooden shelves, in two decks, about
7 feet long and 18 feet wide for 6 persons. Straw mats were used
for mattresses and from four to six blankets were furnished each
prisoner. The sleeping quarters were lighted by electric lughts
and were heated by four wood or coal burners, two in the aisle
of each half of the quarters. The officers had a regular stove
in their room that burned either coal or wood. There was a small
window, about tewo feet by four feet, with glass pane, opposite
each row of bunks, both upper and lower. There were twenty four
toilet spaces, a wash room, and a bath consisting of three cold
water showers and a large tub with heated water. Water for the
tub was heated by a pit-type fire next to the tub.
(e.) RATIONS: The prisoners supplied their own kitchen
staff and prepared their own food. Three meals a day, consisting
primarily of rice and vegetables, were served. There was a well
inside the compound which supplied adequate potable water. Meals
were cooked and water heated over a large wood-fed brick pit
fire. The prisoners used their own or Japanese Army mess gear
and ate in the aisles of the sleeping quarters. The factory is
reported to have served a small lunch to the work details in
addition to the three meals prepared at the camp. There was no
chance to buy extra food but the prisoners did have a small garden
of their own from which they obtained some supplemental vegetables.
There was apparently almost no meat and very little fish and
f. CLOTHING: The prisoners wore either Japanese Army clothing
or their own and what little was obtained from two Red Cross
shipments received at the camp. No information was obtained as
to the amount of clothing furnished or whether there were facilities
(g.) HYGIENE AND SANITATION: The prisoners who were physically
able worked 12 hours a day so there was little opportunity for
additional fresh air or exercise. Whatever sterilization of mess
and kitchen equipment there was was done by the prisoners themselves.
There were no screens over wither the kitchen or toilet windows,
Garbage was fed to the hogs kept by the prisoners and human wastes
were taken for fertilizer. The prisoners themselves cleaned the
barracks and had a laundry room for cleaning their clothing.
(h.) MEDICAL FACILITIES AND INSPECTIONS: One of the prisoners,
Captain M. Bernstein, MC, operated the camp infirmary and three
enlisted prisoners assisted him. It was a wooden structure and
was heated only by charcoal burners, No medical help was supplied
by the Army except that a civilian doctor, Hiraki (Kei) Yoshino
made weekly visits to the infirmary to assist Capt. Bernstein.
Only one examination was made by Dr. Yoshino to all of the prisoners
and that was in October of 1944 when there were 150 prisoners
at the camp. All other examinations by Dr. Yoshino were limited
to person confined to bed or the infirmary. The only immunization
given the prisoners was a typhoid inoculation in March 1945.
The Army furnished very few medical supplies and the majority
of supplies was obtained through the Nomachi Factory and the
two Red Cross shipments.
There was an average of from 4 to 6 persons in the infirmary
every day. Others were confined to their beds however, and there
is reason to believe that many who should have been in bed were
sent to work. Of the 13 prisoners who died between September
1944 and September 1945, nine of then died of pneumonia in the
winter of 1944. Two prisoners died as a result of malaria, one
died of beri beri and another died of concussion from being hit
on the head while at work. Dr. Yoshino's opinion of the reason
for so many pneumonia deaths was the change in climate from the
Philippines and the fact that the buildings did not offer adequate
protection from the cold. He also said that the type of diet
could have caused some of the sickness.
Records concerning the medical history of the prisoners were
apparently kept only by Captain Bernstein and the Army. Investigation
disclosed no further information in this regard.
(i.) SPECIAL SERVICES: Investigation disclosed and inadequacy
in this field. The prisoners were confined to the compound except
when on work details or when tending their small garden located
about two hundred yards from the compound. There was no canteen
and Red Cross supplies were received only twice in the year the
camp operated. Apparently religious freedom was allowed but no
facilities for services were provided. A few toilet articles
were supplied by the Army and the factory furnished a phonograph
and records and some toilet articles.
(j.) WORK: The rpisoners at the camp were employed at
the Namachi Factory, adjacent to the camp itself, and at Hokkai
Denka Company about two miles distance from the camp in a suburb
of Takaoka, called Fushiki. Both plants were smelters of ferro-alloys
used in the manufacture of steel products. The prisoners who
worked at the Nomachi Factory had to walk about 300 to 400 yeards
from the camp. The ones at Hokkai Denka had a 7 minute walk to
a nearby river and then a 5 minute boat ride.
Prior to May 1945, when the 150 English prisoners arrived, about
60 prisoners were used at the Nomachi Plant and about 80 at Hokkai
Denka. After May 1945, about 120 worked at Nomachi nad 145 at
Hokkai Denka. The officers were not forced to work and there
were always some prisoners too sick to work in addition to those
who were at the camp on kitchen and hospital details.
Camp guards escorted the prisoners to and from work. While at
work the prisoners were supervised by plant foremen and guarded
by employees detailed as guards (see exhibits E and G). The guards
carried a wooden stick about 2 feet long and two inches wide.
The working day was 12 hours long and prisoners worked both day
and night although the majority was employed on the day shift.
The companies paid the Army 1 yen per day per man and the men
were allowed one day off in ten. At the Nomachi plant the prisoners
returned to camp fir the noon meal but if working at Hokkai Denka,
they carried their lunch with them. A small snack was sometimes
provided by the companies in addition to the meals provided by
The work at the two plants was very similar. It consisted primarily
of mixing raw material (iron, coke and limestone) and either
shoveling it directly into the furnace or mixing it, pushing
it on carts about 100 to 200 yards and then shoveling it into
the furnace. There was also other work done around the furnace,
such as stirring the ore after it had been put in the furnace
to make it melt faster, and puddling the moulten (sic) steel
as it came out of the furnace. Some few prisoners were used in
the machine shop and as crane operators. At both plants the apparently
was no difference in the work done by non-commissioned officers
and privates. The work around the furnace was extremely hot.
Many prisoners were burned or blistered and some fainted from
the heat. It is known that prisonerers were slapped, kicked,
and pushed by the furnace leaders and other employees. Cotton
gloves were furnished and sometimes glasses were available but
other that this no protective equipment or clothing was furnished.
The Nomachi Factory may have supplied fatigue work clothes to
the prisoners but the clothing at best was merely a fatigue type
and offered no special protection against the heat. Methods at
both plants were obsolete and very inefficient.. The equipment
at the Nomachi factory was very poor and obsolete. At Hokkai
Denka the equipment was better but the methods were of a low
degree of efficiency. Very little work, if any, was done by machine.
The shoveling, mixing of ore, and carrying the ore to the furnace
was all done by hand. There was apparently a total lack of safety
precautions at both plants. During air raids they were returned
only of sufficient warning was given. Investigation disclosed
no such instance.
(k.) SAFETY PRECAUTIONS: As has already been mentioned,
there was almost a total absence of safety precautions at the
places the prisoners worked. Reportedly there were 30 fire extinguishers
and three hand pumps inside the compound. (In considering whether
this was adequate fire protection it should be kept in mind that
in December of 1945 the building used by the prisoners for quarters
burned to the ground). There was an underground air raid shelter
which is said to have been able to accommodate 300 men. As the
shelter had been filled in at the time of this investigation
it was impossible to determine if the shelter had that capacity.
There is serious doubt that it did.
(l.) PUNITIVE MEASURES: Due to the fact that the only
informant contacted who spent any time within the confines of
the camp was Dr. Yoshino, very little was developed in this regard.
Dr. Yoshino's visits, though weekly, were restricted primarily
to the infirmary and he denied knowing of any punitive measures
(m.) MISCELLANEOUS: Matters of monthly pay, right to elect
spokesmen and voice complaints, camp visits by the International
Red Cross or the Protecting Power, correspondence, judicial proceedings,
etc., were discussed with the informants but little of consequence
was uncovered. Informants advised that there were no camp inspections
or visits and that only two shipments of Red Cross supplies were
(n.) SUMMARY: Although considerable information regarding
Nagoya Branch Camp #6 was obtained in this investigation it must
be kept in mind that none of the informants contacted were closely
connected with the operation of the camp. For more reliable information
it would be well to contact one of the camp interpreters whose
names and addresses are set forth under the undeveloped leads.
IN considering the value of the information in this report it
should eb also kept in mind that at the time of the investigation,
the principle building of the camp, the prisoners' quarters,
had burned to the ground and that snow covered the entire area.
It is significant that thirteen prisoners died during one year
or less that the camp was in operation. Investigation indicates
that lack of proper medical supplies, inadequate diet both as
to quality and quantity played a big part in this high death
Although no mistreatment of prisoners was disclosed within the
confines of the camp, it was established the prisoners on work
details were subjected to undue risk to their person and inhumane
treatment by the plant employees.
(o.) Undeveloped Leads:
1. Captain Keiji NAGAHARA, Camp Commander now at Omori Prison.
2. KAMEI, Yoshio, camp Interpreter; now employed by Allied Forces
at Nagoya; address Nagoya Shi, Naka Ku, Kuana Machi, Nichone
4 (originally the Kusunoki Hospital)
3. MATSUMARU, Masao; Totori Ken Nishihaku Gun, Ostumura, Fukunari.
/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