Record Group 331, Box 942; Mansell NARA 7
IN THE MATTER OF WAR CRIMES COMMITTED BY
JAPANESE NATIONALS AND IN THE MATTER OF
THE ILL-TREATMENT OF PRISONERS OF WAR AT
TOYAMA PRISONER OF WAR CAMP
WALTER NORMAN RILEY make oath and says:
I am a medical practitioner and hold the degrees -M.R.C.S. L.R.C.P
(Lond). My permanent home address is now No 649, Leeds Road,
Bradford, and I am the assistant to Dr. David Black.
I have been qualified as a doctor since July, 1937.
On the 19th March, 1940, I volunteered for service with the Royal
Air Force and was called up on the 28th January, 1941. I was
granted a Commission as Flying Officer.
After service in England I sailed from England on the 8th December,
1941 and proceeded to Java. I served in Java, then Sumatra, again
Java, and was made a prisoner of the 8th March, 1942 by the Japanese,
due to the capitulation of the Allied Forces in the East Indies.
I have been a prisoner at eight camps under the Japanese, four
in Java, one in Singapore, and three in Japan. I was not the
senior medical officer at any of these camps, with the exception
of two, i.e., first at Nagoya 8B [actually
2B], Prisoner of War Camp, from 15th January, 1944 to
10th May, 1945, and from 10th May, 1945 to September, 1945, at
Toyama - British Prisoner of War Camp [actually
I arrived at Nagoya on the 15th January, 1944, having traveled
alone under escort from Osaka Prisoner of War Camp [most
likely Osaka 1B Chikko]. A few days
before I arrived there, four hundred British Prisoners of War
had been sent to Nagoya from Hong Kong. There was no officer
in charge of these men at all, and I was put in charge by the
Japanese in a purely medical capacity.
I had not previously been at this camp, nor did I know any of
the British personnel there. This was a new camp, which had just
This camp was built on the side of a steep hill, and was constructed
solely of wood. It was not well constructed, the place was very
flimsy, and quite inadequate for keeping out the cold. The side
of the buildings were of three ply type of wood, and the roofs
were of some wooden composition material. The floors were of
At first there were two large huts, each for the accommodation
of two hundred men, subsequently a third one was built to accommodate
two hundred Americans who arrived in August, 1944.
These huts were arranged in two tiers. The first tier was about
two foot from the ground; the second tier, reached by means of
ladders, was about five feet higher than the lowest one. It was
not possible to stand up properly in either tier. The prisoners
were not supplied with beds, but were given straw mats, approximately
six feet by three feet - one mat for each prisoner. For the pillow
we had a canvas container filled with rice husks. For the first
winter, the men there were each supplied with five blankets,
the the second winter it was cut down to three. There was not
so much snow at this place as it was near the coast, but we had
heavy frosts in the winter, and it was very cold.
The Japanese Officer in charge, i.e., the Camp Commandant, was
named Lieutenant Tanaka [TANAKA, Hiroshi]. From what I could
ascertain about this man, he was a University graduate, spoke
perfect English and his home was in Osaka. He was 26 years of
age, fairly tall for a Japanese, about 5'9' in height.
At first the impression gained of this was good, but as time
went on, his true character became apparent. He was always issuing
petty instructions and mass punishments. He would not allow the
prisoners to wear greatcoats until the 1st of January, although
the month of December was cold. He was disliked by his own Japanese
My main complaint against him was on account of his attitude
toward sick personnel. He always insisted that full working parties
be sent out, irrespective of the number of men who were unfit
for work. This was a very difficult task as far as I was concerned.
The number of sick personnel allowed was being continually limited,
irrespective of occasional epidemics. Once the figure for the
permitted sick was fixed, I do not now know this figure, but
it was gradually lessened on his instructions. I had to parade
the sick men before the Japanese Medical Orderly, who varied
from time to time. Each evening after the daily sick parade any
new patients who I wished to keep in camp the following day had
to be paraded before this man. The patients and myself would
frequently be kept standing for half an hour awaiting his pleasure.
Although I took particular care to select only those patients
who were genuinely unfit for any type of work, it was seldom
that permission was granted for all the men to remain in camp,
usually there would not be more than five new patients of this
kind. For every patient who received permission to remain in
camp the following day one old patient had to be sent out to
the factory to take his place in the working party. This meant
that I had to be continually selecting sick men to put on the
Working Party List. This put me in a terrible position. As far
as I can gather these arrangements were followed on orders from
a higher authority.
The prisoners were engaged upon work in a heavy industry factory;
this factory was situated in the City of Nagoya about twenty
minutes traveling distance away from the camp by train. The factory
was engaged in the manufacture of heavy locomotive engines. I
was given the opportunity on one occasion of visiting this factory.
I was invited by the then Japanese Medical orderly- Sgt. Haisahi,
but I later learned that much of the power had been turned off
during my visit. The hours of work were approximately 8 a.m.
to noon and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m day shift. In the middle of
the morning they had a break of ten minutes, this was repeated
in the afternoons. Work was carried on every day, including Sunday,
and the men received one day's holiday every fortnight, this
usually fell upon a Wednesday.
The type of work at the factory varied; the men were divided
up into seven working parties, the personnel in each party varied.
The largest party was engaged in the Moulding Shop, and this
wrok was of an extremely heavy nature. Party No. 7 was composed
of men who, under normal circumstance, would never be allowed
to do any work at all.. Most of the men on No. 7 party suffered
from malnutrition diseases, beri beri, etc. The party was first
formed by the Camp Commandant as a 'wangle' to reduce the camp
official sick figures. Their work consisted of sweeping, carrying
pieces of scrap metal, making string, sorting nails, etc. This
factory was run by civilians. Each workshop had its own civilian
leader or honcho. Unfortunately, there were also semi military
escorts, who conducted the men to and from the factory. These
men were called gunzuko. They were recruited from ex-soldiers,
who had received a war injury of an incapacitating nature. The
gunzuko in charge of the No. 7 Party was named Tanaka (the same
name as the Camp Commandant, but no relation). (He is shown on
the extreme right of the back row on the
attached photograph - standing, as
it appears on the photograph). This man was particularly cruel
to the men in No. 7 Party. He refused to allow them to sit down
and kept them on the move the whole time. I understand that the
civilian personnel at the factory treated the men fairly well
on the whole.
Prior to the men's departure from the Camp to the factory they
had to parade for roll call, and afterwards to march down to
the railway station. They would often have to wait half an hour
for the train. During this time, they were obliged to stand in
ranks and were not allowed to move about to keep warm. I remember
an incident on this parade, it was an American. He asked permission
to leave the ranks to void urine, and this was refused. He was
in agony, so [he] broke ranks and voided urine against the wall.
The gunsuko Tanaka was in charge, and he made the American (whose
name I do not remember) lick up the urine off the ground.
These men had to travel in an electric train, accompanied by
gunsukos and Japanese civilians known as 'Stickmen'. A dail incident
occurred aas the men were entering and leaving this train. The
stickmen used to puch the prisoners into the carriages, and the
last man to enter or leave the train as the case may be, received
a beating from these 'stickmen'. I complained many times to the
Camp Commandant about this, but without result.
On one occasion there was an air raid on Nagoya, and this was
during the time the men were on the train. The prisoners were
lock in the train and all the guards, etc., left the train to
take cover, The train, however, was not hit.
I produce a copy of a letter dated 22nd March, 1944 which I addressed
to the Japanese Camp Commandant at the Camp, and this deals particularly
with dietary deficiencies. [not scanned]
The prisoners were issued with second hand Japanese soldier's
clothing. For the winter the same clothing was used, with the
addition of an inner lining of ribbed thicker material. They
were also issued with greatcoats, some of them were second hand
Japanese issue, other were captured British garments. Each man
was issued with two pairs of long underpants as used by the Japanese
Army, and two pairs of thin white cotton socks. Footwear was
always a problem because of the difficulty in obtaining repair
materials; a certain number of the American boots were issued
from time to time, but the number issued was nothing like adequate
to supply the deficiences. For use in Camp, each man was supplied
with a pair of Japanese wooden clogs.
Regarding hygiene and sanitation:
Personal hygiene- A small issue of soap was made to each man
about once a month, this was distributed either in the form of
bar soap or powder. Men who were performing particularly dirty
work in the factory were allowed a little extra soap powder by
the Factory authorities for the purpose of cleaning their hands,
a regular issue of tooth powder was made. The bathing facilities
at the camp were very good. Each man received a hot bath once
a week, and in the summer in addition to the weekly hot bath
each man was allowed a cold shower in the evening. The bathroom
was spacious, and contained one large bath (communal) and about
12 showers. Wash basins, supplied with cold running water, were
attached to the barrack room, and facilities for drying and airing
clothing were totally inadequate. Requests were repeatedly made
for increased facilities for airing blankets, but without avail.
In the summer time and to a less extent during the winter, the
Camp was grossly infected with fleas. These interfered with the
mens' sleep to a very great extent. During the night, the latrines,
where at that time the only light was available, was full of
men stripped, picking the fleas off their night clothes. A small
amount of insecticide powder was supplied time to time, but the
effect of this appeared only to irritate the fleas and make them
more lively. I asked for chemical sprays but these were not allowed.
The latrines were situated immediately adjacent to the Barracks
rooms. Each consisted of a large concrete tank, defecation was
performed through a hole in the wooden floor of separate small
cubicles. These tanks were periodically emptied by a man who
came with a bullock cart loaded with wooden tubs.
The stench from these tanks was unbearable throughout the summer,
during which period the camp became infected with large flies
which bred in the septic tank. During an earthquake the fluid
in the tanks used to spill over in large quantities flooding
into the Barrack room.
Medical supplies were issued from three sources:
1. The Japanese Army; 2. The Factory; 3. The Red Cross. Certain
things were in reasonable supply, but the number of drugs which
were required were not obtainable. Japanese medicines are of
a very inferior quality and strength. The first consignment of
American medicines was received in April, 1944. This included
a fairly large consignment of multiple vitamin preparations,
and lasted about four or five months, but had to be used sparingly
because we did not know when to expect the next lot. The second
consignment was received in January, 1945, and consisted of five
large boxers of drugs of all descriptions. The administration
of the Red Cross supplies was not left entirely in my hands.
Treatment was often given against my wishes by the Japanese medical
orderly, and quantities of Red Cross medicines contunually disappeared
from the stock.
Owing to the distance of Nagoya from the Prisoner of War Camp
Hospital which had been set up by the Japanese in Osaka, it was
never possible to transfer any serious cases. The first Japanese
orderly, Sgt. Haiashi, was cooperative and did his best to meet
our requirements. On one occasion he arranged for us to have
the use of the small operating theatre [sic] at the factory,
where we were able to perform two appendicetomy [sic] operations,
and others of a more minor nature. After this man's departure
it was impossible to get anything done. I can remember one particular
patient, his name was John Erskine Yule Walker, a Lance
Corporal in the Hong Kong Volunteer Defense Corps [HKVD]. This
man suffered for several months from a sub-acute intestinal obstruction.
He was seen by the Japanese civilian doctor employed at the factory
and also by Nosu Chewi, the Japanese Military medical officer
in medical charge of the Osaka Prisoner of War Camps. These two
doctors agreed that an operation was very necessary, but no facilities
were provided. The patient was eventually evacuated in an American
Army plane. Generally speaking we did not receive either the
assistance or the cooperation which we ought to have done in
the hospital cases, the obstruction was generally placed in our
way by the Camp Commander, although some of the Japanese medical
orderlies tried to do their best for us, particularly Sgt. Haiashi.
Sgt. Haiashi's successor was Sgt. YAMANAKA. He was sent to the
Camp with the express purpose of reducing the sick figures, and
increasing the working party strength. His method of doing this
was to periodically parade all the sick men and pick out at random
individuals for work in the factory. On one occasion he used
violence to me as a result of a misunderstanding in the sending
of a sick man to the factory. He was particularly detested by
the British prisoners. He had no medical qualifications for making
About 100 pairs of boots and 300 blankets, and sufficient pyjamas
to issue one pair per man were received in February, 1944. In
April, 1944 each man received one American Red Cross parcel.
In addition to the food parcels we received a small supply of
toilet articles, e.g., soap, razor blades, toilet paper, etc.
The next Red Cross supplies arrived in November, 1944 and the
first distribution was made at Christmas. Altogether each man
received three parcels, a number of parcels were distributed
to the sick and a further number were used in the cookhouse.
From this batch of parcels, which numbered about 1950, approximately
20 were unaccounted for. From investigations made at the time,
I am of the opinion that these were used by the Japanese. I should
say that the Japanese responsible was probably Cpl. Meesno, as
he was the Camp Quartermaster, and had access to the Store where
the parcels were kept, but I have no proof of this.
During air raids which were frequent and heavy, all men working
in the factory were sent back to camp. By the time the men reached
the local railway station the bombers were usually overhead.
The men had to march up the road for about two miles. I drew
the attention of the Camp Commandant to the risk of such a large
body of men in Japanese uniform being observed from the air,
but this procedure continued to be followed. On one occasions
just after the men had entered the camp, one bomber flew low
and dropped a stick of bombs across the Camp. One Japanese was
killed and one prisoner slightly injured, Extensive damage was
done to the camp buildings, but fortunately all bombs landed
outside the boundaries of the camp. During the autumn of 1944
when air raids became more frequent, the construction of the
trench shelters within the barrack room was commenced.
Corporal punishment is a standard method of dealing with delinquents
in the Japanese Forces. For minor offences, this usually takes
the form of face slapping. This method of punishment was frequently
adopted toward the prisoners, and face slapping and minor beatings
up was a common everyday occurrence. I remember one particular
incident, and that was concerning a Portuguese civilian named
A.F. Joanilho, who had been attached to the Hong Kong Draft.
This man committed some minor offence whilst at work at the factory,
and he was punished by being made to stand close to a hot furnace.
As a result of this he received very severe burns to the front
of both legs. The Gunsuko who ordered this punishment and saw
that it was carried out was nicknamed "Speedo". [ITO,
Jirokichi] I do not remember his proper name, but he is indicated
on the photograph). I took this matter up with the Camp Commandant,
but nothing was done about it, and he was under care medically
for several weeks.
There was another incident at this Camp, but I was not a witness,
having left the Camp prior to it occurring, and learned about
it later. This was concerning an American prisoner, whose name
I do not recall. [DOYLE W. WAGGONER, U.S.N.] This man broke out of the Barrack Room one
night in order to steal food from the cookhouse. He hid in the
cookhouse on a shelf in the back of some vegetables, and on the
following day could not be found. All the men were confined to
Barracks whilst search parties went out to look for him. When
eventually the cookhouse staff were allowed to go into the cookhouse
to prepare a meal, one of the men found him. He had tried to
commit suicide by cutting himself with a knife, but unsuccessfully.
The Japanese charged him with attempting to escape, and he was
sentenced to 30 days in solitary confinement on a diet of water
and half a cup of rice a day. In spite of the efforts of the
American doctor - Dr. Elack Schultz, [1st Lt, Med Corps, 27th
Bomb Gp (L) 19th Bomb Sqn] this diet was not increased, and the
man died of starvation after 21 days. Dr. Schultz lives at 1105
Boynton Ave, Bronx, New York.
I had to treat many cases of scalp wounds amongst the prisoners
due to being struck on the head by stickmen.
On a number of occasions the Japanese forced the British N.C.O's
to strike other ranks. Strong representations were made to the
Camp Commandant on this matter and it was explained that this
might lead to Court Martial of the N.C.O. after the war. But,
as usual, nothing was done about it.
On the whole, the civilians at the factory treated the prisoners
well. Many of them used to bring small parcels of food such as
rice or beans which they gave to individual prisoners whom they
considered working well.
Journeys by sea were indescribably bad. The ships were grossly
overcrowded, and no opportunity was allowed for exercise, with
the exception of about ten minutes drill whenever the ship put
into a port. The sanitary arrangements were inadequate, and there
was a continual queue the whole day long for the latrines. In
a journey from Singapore to Japan lasting 30 days, we were only
allowed two wash-downs with a sea hose, and one wash in fresh
water. For this, one busket was provided for five men.
Railway journeys from camp to camp were on the whole quite good
I produce a copy of Camp Regulations. I also produce a copy of
the Rules and Regulations of the Osaka Prisoners of War Camps
[scans available] This was applicable to Nagoya which formed
a sub-camp of the Osaka Administrative district.
In May and in July, 1944, the camp was visited by representative
of the International Red Cross. A very special show was, of course,
put on for their benefit. This included the temporary stocking
of the canteen, which hitherto been empty. A lorry arrived laden
with goods which included canned milk, bottled beer, biscuits,
and tinned fruit. With in ten minutes of the departure of the
visiting party the lorry returned and took all the supplies away.
A nominal roll of the camp is appended. I chose a number where
I know their regiments:
Pte. Bright, R.E.
Staff Sgt. Webb, J
RAMC (Not on Nominal Roll)
Leading Sick B.A. Shipsides, K.
W.O. Ashman, C.R.
Army Educational Corps
Colous Sgt. Bayly, T.
W.O Coastes, W.H.E.
Hong Kong RNVR c/o British American Tobacco (China) Ltd.
BSM Oswald, J.L.C.
Hong Kong Vol Defence Corps
Pte. Samuel, P.E.H.
do -Son of Viscount Samuel
I produced a photograph which I obtained from one of the Japanese,
and their names are shown on the reverse side of the photograph.
The date of the photograph was about February, 1944.
Shown on the photograph is No.1 Hara. Assistant Quartermaster.
This man was friendly and gave me assistance in many respects.
He gave me information before every organized camp search, and
also informed me just before each visit by the Red Cross Representatives.
We were thus able to get organized and to formulate any complaints
which we might wish to make.
Camp Regulations. I produce a copy thereof.
The documents referred to in this affidavit, copies produced
Laws governing Prisoners of War
Rules and Regulations of Osaka Prisoners of War Camp.
Medical Report on the Health of Prisoners of War.
-do- Appendix 1.
-do- Appendix 2.
I left this Prisoner of War Camp on the 10th of May, 1945, being
transferred to Toyama Prisoner of War Camp, Toyama, Japan. [
Nagoya #8 Tateyama]
/S/ W. Norman Riley
SWORN at Bradford in the County of York this 23rd day of July,
/S/ Annie Pitts
Justice of the Peace acting in and for
the City of Bradford