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New essay, "Stolen
Valor: A phony
Bataan Death March survivor was exposed by a real survivor,"
You Tube: "Prisoners of the Japanese" Charlie Rose Show (May 24, 1995)
"I would like the Japanese to recognize what they had done in World War
"The last human chance for these men to have their life given some meaning
not just by their own government but by the Japanese government and the
world, that chance will be gone... So the next three months (before the
50th anniversary of the end of WWII) is the last human chance for this
story to be heard and understood by the world. "
Carlos: A Tale of Survival
Mr. J. L. Kunkle, nephew of Mr. Carlos Montoya who survived the Bataan Death March and forced labor at Niigata POW Camp 5-B, has just published a book on his uncle's life.
Mr. Montoya is 92 years old.
Sasebo Soto Dam (Fukuoka #18 POW Camp) POW Memorial Monument
In February of 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy started constructing Soto Dam as water supply for Sasebo Naval port in Nagasaki prefecture. In October 1942, 265 US POWs were brought in and forced to work for the construction of the dam until April 1944.
These POWs were civilian workers who had been engaged in building the US military facilities on Wake Island. They were confined in Fukuoka #18 Camp near the dam construction site. Fifty-three died of pneumonia, dysentery, and other health reasons due to totally inadequate living and medical conditions.
1956, Sasebo City built a memorial monument for those who lost their lives
during the construction of Soto Dam. Names of 31 Americans and 14 Japanese
were inscribed on the memorial wall together with a phrase, “and 23
The US Navy Sasebo Base has annually held a memorial
service around May, which is open to the public.
Mr. Philip D. Eakins
Following the Yomiuri Kyushu’s article reporting the above development at
the end of October, the Public Affairs office of the US Navy Sasebo Base
held an interview session by Mr. Eakins at the memorial site on November 14,
which was reported by local TV stations and newspapers.
The Water Bureau of Sasebo city has told the media that they
are ready to revise the names. It seems that the efforts of concerned
people are going to bear fruit in the near future.
The dam of 400,000 liter capacity has benefited the city to this day.
The Stars and Stripes on the Soto Dam POW memorial:
Standing: left to right Randall Edwards, Bob Rosendahl, Bob Brown, Erwin Johnson
Seated: left to right Roy Weaver, Ralph Griffith, Joe Brasel, Hal Leith
"Working On the Railway of Death," by
Mr. Eric Niderost posted
PBS documentary "The War" (official website: http://www.pbs.org/thewar/)
PBS has just aired this 14-hour documentary on World War II. It contained testimonies of a POW and a civilian internee of the Japanese. Here are some excerpts:
Mr. Glenn Frazier, a survivor of the Bataan Death March and forced labor in Japan, spoke about his post-war struggle with hate and forgiveness.
I had all kinds of hatred for these people. And it was so imbedded into
me, I felt like I was justified to have hate... But I had to get rid of
that hate, and it took me 29 years to realize that that's why my health
was going bad. That's why my whole life was miserable, because of the
Mr. Frazier's testimony: http://www.pbs.org/thewar/detail_5323.htm
Diary of Ms. Sascha Weinzheimer, a civilian internee of the Japanese, described the life in the the Santo Tomas camp in Manila.
On August 31, Directors of US-Japan Dialogue on POWs visited with
Kinue Tokudome's article, "Passage
of H. Res. 121 on 'Comfort Women': the US Congress and Historical Memory in
Japan," was posted at Japan Focus:
"Roster of Deceased
Siberian POW Internees:
Former Internees’ Protest Against the Japanese Government for its Refusal to
Release the Roster to the Public," written by Ms. Yuka Ibuki posted
Col. Melvin H. Rosen, US Army (Ret.)
Col. Rosen was a young officer of 2nd Battalion 88th FA of the Philippine Scouts when he became a POW of the Japanese on April 9, 1942. He survived the Bataan Death March, imprisonment in O'Donnell and Cabanatuan POW camps, and three POW transport Hellships, the Oryoku Maru, Enoura Maru and Brazil Maru. He was liberated at the POW camp in Inchon, Korea, the country where he was to go back years later as a Colonel commanding some 14,500 troops. He was very proud of the legacy of his beloved Philippine Scouts. For the program of its 2006 reunion, Col. Rosen wrote this comment.
Victory in Defeat
The Fil-American forces on Bataan and Corregidor held out for 150 days thereby completely upsetting the Japanese timetable for victory in the Pacific. The Fil-American forces, fighting with no air support and with no hope of ever getting any replacements, held out until their ammunition, their weapons, medicine, food, and, yes, people just plain gave out. But we gave the United States what it needed most at that time and that was time!
I submit that even in defeat, the Fil-American forces on Bataan and Corregidor may have given the United States one of its more important victories of WWII.
Col. Rosen passed away on August 1, 2007.
More about POW Story by Col. Rosen
Advisor to the US-Japan dialogue on POWs, Inc. won in Upper House election
Mr. Yukihisa Fujita, a long-time supporter of former POWs, was elected to serve in the Upper House of the Japanese Parliament (Diet).
In 2001, Mr. Fujita authored an op-ed piece published in the Asahi Shimbun and the International Herald Tribune where he wrote:
"I came to realize that reconciliation starts from settling the past and establishing justice."
and Kinue Tokudome
Mr. Osamu Komai has realized his long-held wish when he visited former POW
Mr. Eric Lomax and apologized for the enormous suffering caused by his
father during WWII.
Statement by the Leadership of the national organization of former POWs of the Japanese (ADBC) on the passage of the "Comfort Women" resolution
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos' remarks on the resolution http://foreignaffairs.house.gov/press_display.asp?id=380
Mr. Lester Tenney and Mr. Edward Jackfert issued the following statement.
story about Mr. Benjamin Steele added.
Mukden Allied POW Camp Studies set up at the
Shenyang University, China.
ceremony for the Studies was held when former POWs and their families
visited Shenyang (formerly Mukden) recently. Please read the story on
News from Japan
US-Japan Joint Study Tour of Ofuna POW Camp site and B29 Seminar
On May 19, 2007, a study tour was conducted by the POW Research Network Japan at the former Ofuna POW Camp site. The tour was guided by two members; Mr. Hirohisa Ohshima, history teacher of Eiko Boys High School, and Mr. Koichi Hiramatsu, a former student of Mr. Ohshima, who has chosen the camp Ofuna as the theme of his academic research at Nagoya University Graduate Course. Old Mr. Tadokoro, a lifelong resident in the neighborhood, vividly talked of his favorite memories with POWs, with his strong wish for peace. Ninety-four year old Mrs. Tsubaki, who had her home built in the now residential area, invited the attendants into her garden to show the attendants corner stones of the watch tower, saying that her late husband thought it necessary to preserve it in history. Ryuhoji Temple nearby dedicates a new stupa every year in memory of the POWs who passed away in the camp.
On May 20, 2007, a B29 Seminar was held by the organization, and a total of seven researchers of both countries gave presentations, with a Q & A session. Mr. John Glusman, on knowing of the event, kindly sent his article manuscript of "Darkness Over Kobe," which was published in the June issue of World War II magazine, and the print out copies were generously offered to the attendants of the seminar, which was an inspiring and thought provoking opportunity.
The whole event was
symbolic of the joint efforts of the researchers and concerned people of
the two countries, trying to find out the facts of the war, in the desire
for a peaceful future and friendship. --Yuka Ibuki
New essay, "Telling the Truth with Compassionate Objectivity," posted.
Professor Gregory Hadley writes about
his new book,
Field of Spears:
of the Jordan Crew.
Please go to
Executive Director of US-Japan Dialogue on POWs, Inc. visited the Japanese Diet
Kinue Tokudome visited two members of the Japanese Diet,
Lower House (House of Representatives) member Mr. Taro Kono (Liberal
Democratic Party) and Upper House (House of Councilors) member Ms. Tomiko
Okazaki (Democratic party of Japan).
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Advisor to
the US-Japan Dialogue on POWs, Inc., joined in the visit with Mr. Taro Kono.
Tokudome presented Mr. Kono a copy of the resolution passed by ADBC in April, 2007.
With longtime supporter of the POW issue, Ms. Okazaki.
English translation of Kinue Tokudome's interview article with Congressman Honda is also available on Japan Focus: Interview with Congressman Michael Honda
New POW Story about Mr. Joe Alexander added Please go to
More essays written by college students in the US and Japan posted
Article on the alleged Sado POW massacre
Betrayal: Solving the Mystery of the 'Sado Island Prisoner-of-War
Massacre'." written by Professor Gregory Hadley and
Mr. James Oglethorpe was published in Journal of Military History.
article and its Japanese translation can be found at Professor Hadley’s
On March 25, 2007, the 18th Annual 65th Year Commemorative Bataan Memorial Death March was held at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.
More than 4,000 participants ran or walked 26.2 miles (or 15 miles) to honor those brave soldiers who were responsible for the defense of the Philippines during WWII.
Twenty former POWS of the Japanese, including Bataan Death March
survivors, were the guests of honor.
More on the Bataan Memorial Death March
New Essay by Ms.
Linda Goetz Holmes, "MESSAGE TO EX-POWS: YOUR
GOVERNMENT REALLY DID TRY TO HELP YOU" added. Please go to
Some of you may know Yuuji Miwa as agent of a painter, Kihachiro Ueda,
who has produced a number of realistic, beautiful pictures of Hellships
and other Japanese ships engaged in WWII. Yuuji has just published a
book, titled Grave Markers at Sea; Japanese Merchant Ships Lost in WWII,
(Tenbosha Pub. Feb. 8, 2007). One chapter is dedicated for introducing
awful experiences of the Hellship victims and the grief of the bereaved
families, through a voluminous amount of quotation from the website
US-Japan Dialogue on POWs, i.e. articles by John B Lewis and William
Bowen, and Yuuji’s e-mail correspondence with Jim Erickson. It also
introduces the POW Research Network Japan and its activities on POW
issues; for example, T. Sasamoto’s verifying the ashes of forty-five
victims, originally on board the Oryoku-Maru, who now sleep in the
Commonwealth War Cemetery near Yokohama is told as facts reached by
mutual research shared by her and Jim Erickson. Reconciliation effort
through donation of a new Oryoku-Maru painting by Mr. Ueda to the
Hellship Memorial Project is also mentioned.
POW Campsites Then and Now
Mr. John Lewis has been compiling a chart of Google Earth coordinates to assist people who want to see today's satellite images of the sites of Japanese POW camps and related sites of interest.
The US Congress recently passed a law to allocate 38 million dollars to preserve the former internment campsites of Japanese Americans during WWII so that future generations will learn about those sites.
With no such public support, this latest effort by John is very
important. Here are some of John’s thoughts on his
project. John Lewis on satellite
images of POW camps
Many more images can be seen by using John's chart:
Attempt Escape from Mukden
In June of 1943, Sergeant Joseph B. Chastain, Corporal Victor Paliotti, and Seaman First Class Ferdinand Meringolo escaped from the Mukden POW camp hoping to reach the Soviet Union. They were recaptured after they traveled 180 kilometers. They were brought back to the camp and executed.
More than 60 years later, Mr. Yang visited the village in Inner Mongolia where they were recaptured and where local villagers still remember the tragedy.
A villager points to the "American Hump,"
Mr. Yang with the Late Captain Duane Heisinger
100,000 Pages Declassified in Search for Japanese War Crimes Records
College Park, MD…The Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Interagency Working Group (IWG) announces the availability of 100,000 pages of recently declassified records as a result of a search for files relevant to Japanese war crimes.
In addition, the IWG presents a new reference book, Researching Japanese War Crimes Records: Introductory Essays and an electronic records finding aid that will help researchers locate and use the thousands of new and extant files in the National Archives related to the war in the Pacific.
Here are pages from Introductory Essays (PP. 80-84) where POW related records are listed.
A new link,
JAPANESE WWII POW Camp Fukuoka #17
run by Ms.
New essay, "One More Fight for Redress
regarding WWII in Asia: Siberian POW Internees,"
First Into Nagasaki
Anthony Weller, the editor/author of "First Into Nagasaki: The Censored Eyewitness Dispatches on Post-Atomic Japan and its Prisoners of War" appeared on C-Span2 Book TV on January 6, 2007 and talked about his book and his father, George Weller.
George Weller was the first American reporter to enter Nagasaki after the dropping of the atomic bomb. His reports from Japan were censored and never published. In 2003, a year after George Weller’s death, his son Anthony found the missing manuscripts and has assembled them into this book.
Unlike his reports from Nagasaki, Weller’s articles on POW transport Hellships based on his interviews with just-liberated POWs were published in the fall of 1945 and are well-known among ex-POWs. During the C-Span2 program, Anthony Weller also talked about these POWs at Camp 17 in Omuta.