Story about Col. Edwin Ramsey posted.
Lieutenant Ramsey escaped from Bataan and eventually became a commander of more than 40,000 guerillas in Luzon.
Please go to Ramsey.
Information on the
Descendants Group posted.
POWs at Prime Minister’s family coalmine
On December18 during the House of Councilors Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee session, Mr. Yukihisa Fujtia, a member of opposition Democratic Party, asked Foreign Minister Hirohumi Nakasone questions regarding Allied POWs being forced to work at Aso Mining Co. The Foreign Minister acknowledged for the first time that there were 300 British, Dutch and Australian POWs at the coalmine owned by Prime Minister Aso’s family during WWII.
Mr. Fujita further asked if the Foreign Ministry would respond positively to the request made by Mr. Lester Tenney, National Commander of American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor, during his recent meeting with Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki that American ex-POWs and their families be included to the Japanese government’s invitation program. (Americans have been excluded from this program.) Foreign Minister Nakasone answered, “We will look into the matter carefully.”
Mr. Fujita said that it would be good diplomacy for Japan to work on the POW issue in order to win the trust in the international community.
The 67h anniversary of Pearl Harbor attack
President-elect Obama made following remarks during his speech on December 7.
Nearly seventy years ago today, "a date which will live in
infamy," our harbor was bombed in
Hawaii, and our troops
went off to war. And after that war was over, after we reclaimed a
continent from a madman and beat back danger in the Pacific, those
troops came home to a grateful nation - a nation that welcomed them with
a GI Bill and a chance to live out in peace the dreams they had fought
for, and so many died for, on the battlefield. We owe it to all our
veterans to honor them as we honored our Greatest Generation - not just
with words, but with deeds.
On related issues, Far Eastern Economic Review published an article co-authored by Dr. William Underwood, an independent scholar specializing in Japan’s forced labor history and Ms. Mindy Kotler, director of the Washington-based Asia Policy Point that studies Asian security.
Please go to Corporate Japan's War Stories
ADBC National Commander participated in Veterans Day ceremony
On Veterans Day, November 11, 2008, Dr. Lester Tenney, National Commander of the American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor (ADBC), laid a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.
After the ceremony, Dr. Tenney visited the Japanese Ambassador, Mr. Ichiro
Fujisaki, at his official residence. Dr. Tenney reiterated his desire to
work with the Japanese people to bring an honorable closure to the history of
American POWs of the Japanese.
In addition, an article on Dr. Tenney, "The
Long March of Time," appeared in the Washington Post on Veterans Day.
Post article on Dr Tenney
New essays posted.
New essay, "Friendship
Born Out of Fathers Lost," by Mr. Akira Tsurukame posted.
POW compensation bill did not pass
Before the vote, ADBC National Commander Lester Tenney and National Treasurer
Edward Jackfert traveled to Washington DC to seek support for this bill.
Although the bill did not pass because of procedural difficulty
this time, many prominent members of
Congress expressed their support. Some of them said that they would be willing to work on this
issue in the next session.
photo by Olive Rosen © OLIVE ROSEN
with California Senator Barbara Boxer
An article on Prime Minister Aso's connection to wartime POW forced labor
Japanese weekly magazine, Shukan Gendai, published in its October 4
issue an article on POW forced labor at the coalmine owned by the father
of Japan's new Prime Minister, Taro Aso. English translation has
been circulated within
the US government and scholarly community.
Original Shukan Gendai article and its
(Kyushu University Digital Archives)
Interview with Mr. Ralph Levenberg posted
Past National Commander of American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor Mr. Levenberg talks about his effort in 1994 to appeal at the UN Commission on Human Rights regarding the failure of former Allied countries in addressing the injustice suffered by POWs of the Japanese during WWII. Since then, all former Allied countries, except the United States, compensated their former POWs of the Japanese.
Please go to
Interview with Mr. Levenberg.
Civilian POWs' Reunion
On September 6, a group of former civilian POWs of the Japanese who live in Southern California held a luncheon meeting in Torrance, CA. Mr. Angus Lorenzen, Commander of the national organization of former civilian POWs of the Japanese, BACEPOW, led the discussion on how to reach out to more people so that their wartime experience would be known to a wider audience.
According to the US government record, approximately 14,000 American civilians were interned by the Japanese military during WWII, mostly in the Philippines and China. About 1,500 of them died due to diseases, hunger, and even execution. Many of civilian POWs were children. They still remember vividly their lives in civilian POW camps.
Kinue Tokudome, Executive Director of this website, with former civilian
Dr. Lester Tenney on TV appealing for passage of POW compensation bill
Dr. Lester Tenney, National Commander of American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor, was on San Diego Channel 6 news on September 4, and appealed for the passage of the POW compensation bill. (Full text of the bill)
During the program, Congressman Bill Filner, Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, expressed his support saying:
This is a moral necessity, a historical necessity for the United States. We are the richest country in the history of the world. Surely we have the money to say thank you to these prisoners of war.
Dr. Tenney concluded:
It ends here. Either we get an award which is an acknowledgement of the fact that what we’ve been doing all these years has been right, or we just have to give up.
Book review by Ms.
Yuka Ibuki posted.
compensation bill: Significance for Japan,"
Memorial service for POWs
On August 2, a Japanese citizen group held their 14th annual memorial service at the Yokohama Commonwealth War Cemetery for those POWs who died in Japan during WWII. More than 1,700 POWs from British Commonwealth countries were buried in this cemetery.
In addition, on the wall of cemetery's memorial hall are names of 48 American POWs who died in Moji after arriving there on a Hellship.
More than 100 people, including representatives from Embassies of Commonwealth countries, attended the service.
Please read Yuka Ibuki's report on the memorial service.
On July 21, Mr. Don Versaw, a former POW and one of the Directors of US-Japan Dialogue on POWs, Inc., appeared in PBS' "History Detectives."
The topic was a China Marine jacket that belonged to a member of the 4th
Marines stationed in Shanghai before the war. Don played French Horn in
the 4th Marines Band.
Don's POW story can be read here.
POW compensation bill introduced in the US Senate and the House
To recognize the heroic contributions of the members of the Armed Forces and civilian employees of the United States who were captured by the Japanese military during World War II and denied their basic human rights by being forced to perform slave labor by the Imperial Government of Japan or by corporations of Japan during World War II,
the bill requires the payment of compensation, in the amount of $20,000, to members of the Armed Forces and civilian employees of the United States who were forced to perform slave labor by the Imperial Government of Japan or by corporations of Japan during World War II, or the surviving spouses of such members.
To read the entire bill go to Thomas and type in either S. 3107 or H.R. 6497.
Kobe Port Peace Memorial dedicated
The Kobe Port WWII Korean and Chinese Forced Labour Investigation Group has been raising funds to build “Kobe Port Peace Memorial,” that would pay tribute to those Korean and Chinese conscripted laborers as well as Allied POWs who were brought to Kobe Port and died while being forced to work there. The memorial was dedicated on July 21, 2008.
For details, please read Mr. Toru Fukubayashi's report on Kobe Port Peace Memorial.
New essay written by Mr. Walter Riley posted.
Mr. Riley, the son of an American father and a Japanese mother, was held
in the Santo Tomas civilian internment camp during WWII.
Press release by Dr. Lester Tenney, the National Commander of ADBC
It was picked up by many media outlets, including
Mr. James Nelson's essay on his visit to the Hanawa camp site posted.
Please go to
New Essay, "POW and Interpreter," posted.
Dr. Lester Tenney's visit to Japan
Please go to Dr. Tenney's visit to Japan
The late Iris Chang's unfinished book on the U.S. Army tank battalion which fought on Bataan and what happened to those of its veterans who survived the Death March will be completed by Mr. Joseph L. Galloway, a renowned war correspondent.
He is the co-author of We were Soldiers Once...And Young and a columnist for McClatchy Newspapers. http://www.mcclatchydc.com/101 (His latest column is about General Tony Taguba who led the investigation on the abuses at Abu Ghraib. General Taguba's father escaped during the Bataan Death March and became a guerrilla fighter.)
Mr. Galloway wrote to Kinue Tokudome, Director of "US-Japan Dialogue on POWs, Inc.," that he had been asked by the estate of the late Iris Chang to complete the research and write the book she had envisioned.
The book is
192nd Tank Battalion. Dr. Lester Tenney, who was a member of
Battalion's B Company, was interviewed by Ms.
Chang four times for this book.
Commander of ADBC met President of the Upper House of the Japanese Diet
On June 4, Dr. Lester Tenney, National Commander of the American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor, met with Mr. Satsuki Eda, President of the House of Councilors of the Japanese Diet (Upper House). Upper House members Mr. Yukihisa Fujita and Mr. Azuma Konno also attended the meeting.
Dr. Tenney conveyed the message from ADBC to President Eda that they would
like to see
the Japanese government's invitation program be extended to
American former POWs and their family members. The Americans have been
excluded from the program that invited 40-50 British and Dutch former POWs
and their family members to Japan annually to facilitate a sincere and
honest appraisal of the past and to promote mutual understanding.
In addition to meeting with lawmakers, Dr. Tenney spoke at several universities and civic organizations. He also met with a group of former Siberian internees.
Dr. Tenney's visit was reported by NHK (Japan's public broadcast TV),
Mr. Tobias Harris wrote about his thoughts after attending one of Dr. Tenney's events.
Son's visit to the POW campsite where his father was forced to work
Mr. Nelson said about the visit, "Truly a life altering experience. I felt
closer to my father."
the sons of Japanese and US soldiers
Newspaper article on Mr. Nelson's visit to Hanawa: Kahoku Shimpo
Mr. Nelson is finishing his book on his father's POW experience. He wrote for this website:
The Causes of the Bataan Death March Revisited
Mr. Komai wrote:
my father: My post-war life as a child of a war criminal
Philippine Scouts Heritage Society reunion
Philippine Scouts were
General MacArthur's soldiers—the guys who fought America's first battle
of World War II. The Philippine Division. Probably the best trained and
possibly the best prepared U.S. Army division at the outset of the war….They were mostly Filipinos serving as enlisted soldiers in United
States Army units commanded by American officers.
Brigadier General Oscar B. Hilman (US Army, Ret.), one of the only three Filipino Americans who have attained the rank of general, was the Keynote Speaker. His grandfather, father and two uncles walked the Bataan Death March. The grandfather and one uncle were killed on the March.
Learn more about the
Philippine Scouts Heritage Society at:
Photo Album of 2008 ADBC Convention posed. Please go to POW reunion
ADBC National Commander Lester Tenney appeared on TV
Please go to the YouTube:
"Bataan survivor Lester Tenney's care package project"
Information on the American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor Museum posted.
please go to POW Museum.
New POW story on Mr. Glenn D. Frazier posted.
please go to Frazier.
Bataan Memorial Death March, 2008
On March 30, more than 4,400 people
participated in this event at White Sands, NM. They ran or walked
26.2 miles or 15.2 miles to honor those who fought in the defense of the
Philippines during WWII.
Please go to: My Role in Honoring America’s Veterans.
"The Bataan Death March and the 66-Year Struggle for Justice" was
published at "Japan Focus," an online journal on Asia Pacific.
New website, "Mukden Prisoner Of War Remembrance Society," was linked.
Japanese student's essay posted
Gaku Ishimau, who
will attend the forthcoming ADBC convention in May, wrote an essay,
"Looking Forward to
Attending the ADBC Convention."
Mrs. Cecily Mattocks Marshall's childhood story added
Cecily and her family were held at a civilian
POW camp in Mindanao and then in Santo Tomas camp.
Japanese Soldier Friend
Ms. Ruth Broaddus Chastain sent this photo to our website together with her request.
I was born in Manila, Philippines, in December 1940 the youngest of seven children. When the Japanese occupied Manila in 1941, a Japanese soldier made friends with me and my family. He told my mother that he had a daughter in Japan who was my age. He had not seen his daughter because of the war. He brought us food when food was getting scarce. We named him “Pluto” after the rice cakes he brought us. He also brought us toys. He helped us go to Santo Tomas with many of our belongings. I would like to know who he was, and if possible, contact his daughter who is my age.
Tokyo representative of US-Japan Dialogue on POWs, Yuka Ibuki, wrote:
Thank you for sharing this photo and your story with us. More than 500,000 Japanese soldiers died in the Philippine and very few returned home. Therefore, I am afraid that it might be rather difficult to find any information on this soldier. But I will try my best to help you.
Zentsuji POW camp photos posted
Mr. Fumio Yoshida, whose father Lt. Shigeru Yoshida worked at Zentsuji POW camp, sent us many interesting photos that were kept by his father after the war.
Letters from Mrs. Charlene Suzana Hellmers Gloth and Mr. Kevin Menzies, whose fathers were held in Zentsuji camp, were also posted.
Please go to Zentsuji Photos.
Our New Advisor
Weinzheimer Jansen became an advisor to US-Japan Dialogue on POWs, Inc. Sascha
will help us in our efforts to promote understanding and dialogue on the
history of POWs of the Japanese. Advisors
Essay, "Manila Liberation Reunion" posted
The event was organized by Ms. Sascha Weinzheimer Jansen, whose childhood memory in Santo Tomas civilian POW camp in Manila was prominently featured in the recent PBS documentary, "The War."
More than 200 former civilian POWs of the Japanese attended the reunion that was held on February 3, the 63rd anniversary of the liberation of Santo Tomas, in Fremont, CA.
Please go to
Manila Liberation Reunion.
New essay, "Zentsuji
POW Camp," by Mr. Koshi Kobayashi posted.
Meeting with Ambassador Schieffer
US Ambassador to Japan, Mr. Thomas Schieffer, kindly gave the directors of US-Japan Dialogue on POWs, Inc. an opportunity to speak with
him after the Japan Society's luncheon in La Jolla, CA where he was a guest
Dorothy Perkins, Don Versaw, Betty Tenney, Kinue Tokudome, Lester Tenney, Bonnie Kane
Lester Tenney, a survivor of the Bataan Death March and three years of
forced labor at Mitsui coalmine in Japan, said to Ambassador Schieffer:
Essay, "US-Japan Dialogue on POWs Enters into its 4th Year" posted