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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.
Please go to
Descendants Group


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.

Related news:
Japan says WWII prisoners worked for premier's company

Japanese PM Taro Aso's family business used British PoWs

Japan Admits POW Labor at Aso Mine


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. 


VP Cheney addressed during the ceremony              Dr. Tenney laying a wreath  on behalf of ADBC

Meeting with the Japanese Ambassador

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.

ADBC Commander Dr. Lester Tenney and Japanese Ambassador Mr. Ichiro Fujisaki

In addition, an article on Dr. Tenney, "The Long March of Time," appeared in the Washington Post on Veterans Day.   Washington Post article on Dr Tenney


New essays posted.

Remembering Mr. Yoshio Terauchi
Yuka Ibuki

Remembering Martin S. Christie
Don Versaw
Remembering Bob Brown
Shelly Zimbler


New essay, "Friendship Born Out of Fathers Lost," by Mr. Akira Tsurukame posted.

Akira's journey to find his father, who died during WWII, led him to forge a remarkable friendship with a woman whose Dutch Naval officer father was killed by the submarine Akira's father was on, the British Navy Commander whose submarine later sank Akira's father's submarine, and a former Dutch civilian internee of the Japanese who also lost his father during WWII.  

The late Caption Duane Heisinger encouraged Akira to embark on this journey and to write a book.


POW compensation bill did  not pass

Sponsors of the POW compensation bill (S. 3107), Senators Jeff Bingaman and Orrin Hatch, tried to make their bill an amendment to the Senate Defense Authorization Bill.  On September 17, after a partisan showdown the Senate did not approve a package of roughly 100 amendments. The POW compensation amendment was one of them.  

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. 

Senator Jeff Bingaman explains his POW compensation bill
photo by Olive Rosen 

with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

with California Senator Barbara Boxer

With House Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Bob Filner

Mr. and Mrs. Jackfert, Congressman Mike Honda, Mr. and Mrs. Tenney


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 English translation

1933 photo of coal sorting equipment at Aso Yoshikuma mine in Keisen town, Fukuoka
(Kyushu University Digital Archives)

For more detail about POW forced labor at the Aso Mines, read, "Proof of POW Forced Labor for Japan’s Foreign Minister: The Aso Mines," written by Mr. William Underwood.


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 POWs


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.

Genbaku de shinda Beihei Hishi (Secret History of the American Soldiers Killed by the Atomic Bomb)  by Shigeaki Mori.   Please go to Hiroshima POWs.


Essay, "POW compensation bill: Significance for Japan," posted.


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.


Former POW on PBS' popular program

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. 
His POW experience was also mentioned in the program. More on  History Detectives story

         Don appearing in PBS "History Detectives"                    Don Versaw in Shanghai  (1941)
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. 

Please go to "Walter Riley's Story."


Press release by Dr. Lester Tenney, the National Commander of ADBC


Japanese translation by the US-Japan Dialogue on POWs can be read here.

It was picked up by many media outlets, including Reuters.


Mr. James Nelson's essay on his visit to the Hanawa camp site posted.

Please go to "In My Father's Footsteps.



New Essay, "POW and Interpreter," posted.

Please read excerpts from a memoir of Mr. Kazuko Kobayashi, who was an interpreter at Tanagawa Camp and Ikuno Camp.  POW and Interpreter


Dr. Lester Tenney's visit to Japan

Tokyo Representative of "US-Japan Dialogue on POWs, Inc.," Ms. Yuka Ibuki, wrote a detailed report on the recent trip to Japan 
made by Dr. Lester Tenney, National Commander of American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor.

Please go to Dr. Tenney's visit to Japan


Iris Chang's Bataan book to be completed by a renowned war correspondent

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.  (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 about the 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.

Mr. Galloway wrote that the book would be published in a few years.                                               


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. 

View the video clip of the meeting with President Eda

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.

Photo from President Eda's Home page

On June 6, Dr. Tenney was a guest speaker for a study meeting on the POW issue that was attended by former Prime Minister Tsutomu Hata (photo) and other Diet members from both ruling and opposition parties.

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), Asahi Shimbun

Professor Satoshi Nakano's interview with Dr. Tenney and Ms. Yuka Ibuki, one of the translators of his memoir, was recorded at Hitotsubashi University.


New York Times carried an op-ed piece on Dr. Tenney's visit to Japan written by Ms. Mindy Kotler:  Long March to an Apology

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

On May 30, Mr. Jim Nelson, whose father was held at Sendai Camp #6 at Hanawa, (Kazuno city, Akita-Ken) visited the site and Mitsubishi Osarizawa Copper mine. His father lost his eyesight due to malnutrition and harsh labor at the mine.  Mr. Nelson was guided by Mr. Osamu Komai whose father was executed after the war as a war criminal for killing British POWs. Their trip to Hanawa was featured in a 4-minute news story aired by NHK TV. 

Mr. Nelson said about the visit, "Truly a life altering experience. I felt closer to my father."

Mr. Komai said, "I want us to be the last group  of people affected by the tragedy of a war."             
NHK "POW and War Criminal:  Meeting of
                                                                                                                 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:  Remembering my father: My post-war life as a child of a war criminal  

         Hanawa camp was on the left side of the stream.
                                                Today, Osarizawa Middle School stands there.
                                                  Mr. Komai, Kinue Tokudome, Mr. Nelson


Philippine Scouts Heritage Society reunion

On May 23 – 24, 24TH annual reunion of the Philippine Scouts Heritage Society was held in Burlingame, CA.  

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.


   veterans of the Philippine Scouts and members of PSHS

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" (courtesy of 10 News)

His POW experience was also mentioned.


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.

Photos are available at:
Last year's video can be seen at:


Anthony Zendejas won the 2n place in the "
Voice of Democracy" essay contest.
Please go to:
My Role in Honoring America’s Veterans.

Japanese translation of
"The Bataan Death March and the 66-Year Struggle for Justice" posted.  Please go to the Japan Focus Bataan article in Japanese.


"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

Mr. 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. 

She recently published a memoir,
Happy Life Blues: A Memoir of Survival.  Here are some excerpts and her message.


Japanese Soldier Friend

Ms. Ruth Broaddus Chastain sent this photo to our website together with her request.

Ruth with her Japanese soldier friend

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

Ms. Sascha 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

Sascha's childhood story as a civilian POW


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.

American POWs at Zentsuji POW camp


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 speaker.  

           Clay Perkins,   Amb. Schieffer
    Dorothy Perkins, Don Versaw, Betty Tenney,           Kinue Tokudome, Lester Tenney, Bonnie Kane


Dr. Lester Tenney, a survivor of the Bataan Death March and three years of forced labor at Mitsui coalmine in Japan, said to Ambassador Schieffer:

"The past is a mirror into the future. And denial of the past wrongdoing would leave Japan as a second class nation. We want an appointment with Prime Minister Fukuda to obtain once and for all a meaningful apology for the atrocities committed to we POWs."

Dr. Tenney is the incoming and the last National Commander of the American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor.  


Essay, "US-Japan Dialogue on POWs Enters into its 4th Year" posted

Dr. Tenney's letter to Ambassador Schieffer asking for assistance posted