SCAP Report Ikuno POW Camps
Osaka POW Branch Camp #4

Ikuno Main

Source: RG 331 Box 921; Mansell NARA 5 RG 331 Osaka Box

IMPORTANT NOTE: This report was prepared post war by interviews with local Japanese who had every reason to portray their behavior at humane and within the Geneva Conventions. Please accept information with this fact in mind.


9 February 1946

Re Investigation of IKUNO Prisoner of War Camp

By direction of the Chief, Investigation Division, Lt. J B Ammon and Lt. S Walters, accompanied by T4 Toda, as interpreter, proceeded to Ikuno, Japan and made an investigation of the POW Camp there.
(This report to supply information for the prosecution of War Criminals)

1. LOCATION: The address of Ikuno POW Camp is: Kuchigindani, Ikuno-cho, Asago-gun, Hyogo Prefecture.
Military Objectives: This camp is on the outskirts of Ikuno village, about 800 meters from the Ikuno Mine Surface Plant, that is the nearest military objective. See Exhibit A. The roofs of the buildings were not marked until after 15 Aug 1945, when large letters PW were painted on.

2. DESCRIPTION: The main entrance to the camp is reached by crossing a bridge. The camp lies along the river bank and is surrounded by a board fence 10' high with sharp stakes on top. Just inside the gate were the Japanese offices, quarters, dining room, kitchen, guard quarters, and one cell. The cell was 15' x 9' and had one small window.

There were ten barracks. Not all of these were used as quarter for the POW's however. Barracks nos. 1 and 2 were identical, one story buildings constructed of wood with a mud plaster covering. Dimensions 36 meters [118 ft] x 5.4 [17.7 ft] meters. Each barracks contained eight rooms 12' x 12'. Barracks No.1 was used by the PW officers for about 10 days and then they moved to barracks No. 10. There were 40 officers in all. No. 2 barracks was used as a clothing and equipment warehouse. Outside were 2 wash throughs and 2 latrines, one for each barracks.

Barracks Nos. 3,4, and 5 were wooden one story buildings with mud plaster covering, dimensions 41 meters [135 ft] long and 4.8 meters [15 ft] wide. Each barracks contained seven rooms 15' x 12' and quartering ten POWs. AT the end of each barracks was a latrine consisting of a urinal and five toilets. Between the barracks were two wash stands.

Barracks No. 6 was never used as quarters, but as a sort of auditorium where the Prisoners put on shows, etc.

Barracks Nos. 7,8,9 and 10 were all of the same design and dimensions, 36 meters long and 5 meters wide. All of barracks No. 7 and one half of barracks No. 8 was used as quarters for the enlisted POWs. 18 men slept in each of the rooms, which were 9 meters x 4 meters in size. Straw mats covered the floor boards. The other half of barracks No.8 and all of No.9 were used as food, clothing, and equipment warehouses.

No. 10 barracks was POW officers quarters, 5 officers having a room 4 meters x 4.5 meters, crude wooden bunks with straw mats had been constructed in the officers' barracks. Each of the latter four barracks has a wash stand and a latrine with urinal and toilets.

The hospital was a building 29 meters long and 6 meters wide. Half the building was used as sleeping space for the average number of patients, which was between fifteen and twenty. The rest of the building contained treatment room, medical supply room and office.

The POW bath was in a wooden building 12 meters x 5 meters, with a cement floor. The bath was cement, 10 feet long and 8 feet wide. There were also eight showers in the building.
The remaining building, 15 meters x 5 meters contained a PX, a canteen, tailor shop and shoe shop in which the Prisoners worked.

3. UTILIZATION: [slave labor use] The Ikuno POW Camp was opened to provide the Ikuno Copper Mining Co. with labor.
Clothing: The prisoners were issued Japanese Army summer uniforms plus cotton fatigues ot wear at work. For shoes the Jap canvas shoe was provided and some prisoners still had their own GI shoes. The men working underground were given a miners' safety type cap. (This of very cheap construction)

4. PRISONER OF WAR PERSONNEL: On 29 May 1945, 400 Prisoners arrived from Tanagawa and Wakayama Camps, American and English.

On 31 March 1945, 40 prisoners from Kobe and Naruo - Officers.
On 22 August 1945, 6 officers transferred to Wakinohama.
On 31 September 1945, 14 officers transferred to various camps.

5. GUARDS: See attached roster of Japanese Army personnel.

6. WORK: All the prisoners from this camp worked for the Ikuno Copper Mine (Misubishi Kogyo Kaicha, Ikuno Koyo Sho)
In the mine the prisoners shoveled, ran drill machines, did timbering and operated mine locomotives. On the outside they did mechanical work, ore-sorting and ore transporting. The officers worked in the camp gardens. One American Captain (Name unknown) had mining experience. He worked underground as advisor and safety man. One Jap laborer or warden to every 15 POWs while at work.

Work hours:
0700 Left Camp
0800 Start work
1130 lunch [the POWS were lucky to get 30 minutes]
1300 start work
1500 quit
30-40 minute walk from camp to mine.

All the prisoners got Sunday off, they had the run of the camp on that day.
Pay 1 yen per day, this paid to army; workers rec'd 20 sen.
Red Cross - none distributed at Ikuno. The POW's brought some Red Cross supplies with them from other camps.
The Prisoners were allowed to hold church services.

7. FOOD: An average days menu as follows:

Breakfast - rice and soup
Lunch - every other day either rice or bread. Sometimes a type of canned vegetable (this given the PWs by the company)
Dinner - rice, soup, usually a vegetable
The Company furnished the food, the army paid the company for it. Gardens were kept in the camp to supplement the diet.

8. MEDICAL: There were no deaths at the Ikuno Camp. Medical personnel consisted of one company doctor who came very rarely. Two prisoner doctors and one POW dentist, three Jap medics and six POW medics. Medical supplies were furnished by the Company plus Red Cross supplies.
Injuries were mainly bruises and cuts, although there was one fractured leg. There was an average of 20 patients in the hospital at a time. The most common diseases were beri-beri, pneumonia and colds.

9. SANITATION: see 2 above.

10 AIR RAID SHELTERS: None provided in the camp, a shelter provided on the outskirts of the village for Jap civilians, ex-guards said that in case of air raids it was planned to use this. As mentioned above, the buildings weren't painted to distinguish them form the others until war's end.

11. PUNISHMENT: Nothing that would lead to belief that any atrocities occurred in this camp was brought out. When questioned ex-guards stated that all punishment was left up to the superior officers among the prisoners.

12. During this investigation no leads were uncovered to show any atrocities of any kind.



We, S. Walters, Lt. O-1332112 and J B Ammon Lt., O-1185962, certify that the above contained facts are true as we saw or as were told to us during our investigation of Ikuno POW Camp on 7-9 February, 1946.

Osaka, Japan
9 February 1945

JAMES B. AMMON 2d Lt. O-1185962
Investigating Officer
Legal Section GHQ SCAP

SAMUEL E. WALTERS, 2d Lt., O-1332112
Investigating Officer
Legal Section GHQ SCAP