Los Baños Civilian Internment Camp

In May, 1943, the Japanese posted the following notice at the Santo Tomas Civilian Internment camp. The announcement was greeted with a great deal of trepidation knowing the duplicity of the Japanese Camp administration. Note the reference to Los Baños as "an ideal health resort".

Main Los Baños     Camp List

Following notice courtesy of Robert Harn


This afternoon the Commandant of the Camp issued the following statement to the Executive Committee:

I am authorized by the Director-General of the Japanese Military Administration in the Philippines to make a statement regarding the change of location of enemy civilian's internment camp.

As all of you are well aware, released enemy nationals in the city of Manila are more than 2,000. Most of them, being unemployed, are in extreme difficulties in their living, and the number of applicants for internment is daily increasing. It is, however, to be pointed out that the present accommodations available in the Santo Tomas Internment Camp is not sufficient to have all of them interned there, and particularly so from sanitary point of view.

In consideration of these facts, the Military Authorities here have come to a decision, to change the location of the internment camp to a more spacious place where more permanent accommodations can be provided so that you will continue to live there until the time when you will repatriate to your respective countries or peace will be restored.

The new site is in Los Baños, Laguna, an ideal health resort noted for its hot springs, where new buildings will be erected for your housing and where you will enjoy fresh air and find easy access to fresh meat and vegetables, part of which you may be able to cultivate yourselves.

In carrying out the above plan, the first group of about 800 men to be selected from the present internees, which will constitute the core for the new camp, will be dispatched to Los Baños by trains on the 14th of the month. For this first group, the premises of the Agriculture College including its large track field will be available.

It is to be emphasized that this change of location is entirely based upon the humanitarian consideration of your own welfare, and that fairness to the treatment to be accorded to internees shall always be maintained.

In this connection, you are cautioned not to make and careless utterances which will distort the true intention of the Military Administration regarding the present plan, as they are sure that the new camp will promise a better and healthier life to all the enemy civilians in this country

Finally the authorities hope that the Executive Committee and all internees will render full cooperation in carrying out the above program.

At the same time is was announced that the Commandant of the new camp will be Lieut. Colonel Narusawa of the Religious Section of the Japanese Military Administration, who will have as his assistant Mr. G. Hayasaki.

A special committee consisting of Messrs. A.D. Calhoun, A.F. Duggleby, and J. Muckle, will accompany the new Commandant tomorrow for the purpose of inspecting the proposed new site at Los Baños and to work out a program adapted to the needs of the internees, which will assure them of at least the same degree of comfort as now enjoyed. It is anticipated that adequate provision will be made for the transfer of the present beds, bedding and personal effects of the internees, as well as all essential equipment and Camp supplies.

The 800 men who will be transferred on May 14th [Friday] will be selected by Tuesday. Further transfers to the new camp will be effected from time to time as accommodations are available. In the meantime this Camp will be continued as at present.

Internees will be kept fully informed of particulars as plans develop.

By order of the Commandant one Package Line will be completely closed commending [sic] tomorrow and through Thursday, May 13th. Fruit and vegetable vendors will not be permitted in camp during this period.

May 8th, 1943 [Saturday] THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE