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"Hellships: Trying to Reconnect Memories" posted.

Author John Glusman is interested in speaking with any Japanese survivors of the Oryoku Maru, Enoura Maru, and Brazil Maru, as well as the Arisan Maru.


Remembering another December 7

This is not only the anniversary day of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, but also that of the attack on the Philippines. Past National Commander of ADBC Mr. Edward Jackfert's memory on that day was featured in this December 7 article.

Ms. Jackie Hallerberg tries to remember another December 7 when her father, Mr. Walter Huss, became a POW in Mukden in 1944.  He was one of the only two survivors when his B-29, Humpin Honey, was rammed down while on a bombing mission over Mukden.  He was captured by the Japanese and was sentenced to four months in solitary confinement. He was liberated by the Soviet Army at the end of the war.

Video clip:
Mr. Huss reads his mother’s letter   
Video clip:
Jackie’s poem for her father

POW museum

On December 7, AP reported as follows:

WELLSBURG, W.Va. (AP) - The Brooke County Public Library is planning a $5 million expansion of its Wellsburg branch to create a museum focusing on Americans who were prisoners of war in the Philippines during World War II.

The 10,100-square-foot addition will house the library's collection of more than 100,000 documents and artifacts about POWs who were imprisoned by the Japanese military.

The collection started when Wellsburg native and former POW Ed Jackfert donated artifacts to the library.

County library director Mary Kay Wallace says construction is expected to cost about $2.5 million. The library is hoping to secure another $2.5 million as an endowment for the facility.

Mary Kay’s husband, George Wallace, the editor of The Quan, a quarterly publication of the Descendants Group of the American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor, was quoted in a local newspaper as saying “With a circulation of about 6,400 and subscribers across America and in the Philippines and Japan, The Quan could be a valuable tool in securing financial support.”

Japanese officer's memoir

"The Battle for Bataan: A Japanese Officer's Memoir" written by Mr. Toshimi Kumai and translated by Ms. Yuka Ibuki is now available online.

Mr. Toshimi (92) joined the Bataan Warfare as a gun force platoon leader on March 5, 1942.  He said, "I feel very grateful for the interest to my personal memoir by those who fought the same war in the USAFFE."

Yuka is the Tokyo representative of US-Japan Dialogue on POWs and has done much volunteer work to promote understanding and dialogue on the POW issue.

Please go to "The Battle for Bataan: A Japanese Officer's Memoir"


“US-Japan Dialogue on POWs” enters into its 6th year!

please read the greetings from the Executive Director

Database for POWs

A new database for some 700,000 Soviet prisoners of war held by Germany during WWII is now available online. Will there be a similar database for American POWs of the Japanese available on line?  Please read  POW database


Dr. Lester Tenney's speech, "Who Is A Veteran? How Can You Tell One?" posted.

Please go to Veterans Day speech.


Visit with Congressman Mike Honda

On October 8, Executive Director of the US-Japan Dialogue on POWs, Kinue Tokudome, visited Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA) in Washington DC. Congressman Honda has been a longtime supporter of the POW issue.

He expressed his support again for full justice for American POWs of the Japanese.

More about Congressman Honda's support


Report on the ADBC Museum, "Museum Plans Move Forward," posted.


Book co-written by a POW father and his son

Interview article with Mr. James Murphy and Mr. Kenneth Murphy,
co-authors of  “…when men must die live,” was posted.

Please go to "…when men must die live"



Article on Aso Mining

English translation of “Aso Mining’s Indelible Past: Verifying Japan’s Use of Allied POWs Through Historical Records” written by Mr. Fukubayashi Toru, Co-Founder of POW Research Network Japan, and translated by Mr. William Underwood was posted at Japan Focus.

                                                                                                                          Mr. Fukubayashi


Next US Ambassador to Japan said he would work on the POW issue

Answering the questions for the record submitted by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, Mr. John Roos, the next US Ambassador to Japan, expressed his commitment to work on the POW issue.

Please read Sen. Kerry's questions and Mr. Roos' answers.


Chinese edition of Dr. Tenney's POW memoir

My Hitch in Hell, written by Dr. Lester Tenney, the last Commander of American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor, has been translated into Chinese and published by the World Knowledge Press, a well-known publisher in China.

In the preface for the Chinese edition, Dr. Tenney wrote as follows:

Our legal fight has never been about money. It has been about honor, dignity and responsibility. We former POWs, like the great country of Japan, want our honor and dignity restored. But we also want those who violated our rights as human beings, to accept their responsibility…

What is right is always right, no matter how many say otherwise; and what is wrong is always wrong no matter what argument is used to justify it. That sums up the position we former POWs of the Japanese have taken in regards to the issue of responsibility for a wrong committed.


US House welcomes Japanese Ambassador's formal apology to POWs

In the opening statement for the hearing, “Japan’s Changing Role,” held on June 25, Chairman Eni Faleomavaega of the House Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment, described the recent apology to POWs by Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki as “a welcome development.”


Japanese newspaper on Ambassador's apology and the POW invitation program

On June 22, the Mainichi Shimbun, Japan's 3rd largest newspaper, published an article quoting the statement by Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki during the ADBC convention in San Antonio.

"Today, I would like to convey to you the position of the government of Japan on this issue," Fujisaki began. "We extend a heartfelt apology for our country having caused tremendous damage and suffering to many people, including prisoners of wars, those who have undergone tragic experiences in the Bataan Peninsula, Corregidor Island, in the Philippines, and other places."

"As for the Peace Program (to invite former prisoners of war to Japan), just Dr. (Lester)  Tenney referred to, I have told him that I cannot make a definite statement at this juncture if we can expand this program. However, I can convey to you that (the) relevant bureau in the government of Japan is working seriously and sincerely on this matter."                                                                    (photo courtesy: Mainichi Shimbun)


Ex-POW demands Aso apology

Former Australian POW Joseph Coombs (88), who was forced to work in a coal mine owned by the family of Prime Minister Taro Aso, visited Japan. He was accompanied by his two sons and James McAnulty, son of former British POW Jim McAnulty who was also made to work in the Aso coal mine. They sought an apology from Prime Minister Aso, but their request for a meeting with him was declined.

The visit was widely reported by both the Japanese media and the Western media. Here are some of their reports:

ABC (Australia), Japan PM won't apologise to Australian POW
Telegraph, Japan's PM snubs son of British POW
Channel News Asia, Former prisoner of war seeks apology from Japanese PM
Japan Times, Pair seek POW apology from Aso


A new book on the Bataan Death March

From the official website of Tears of the Darkness

Here, from Michael Norman and Elizabeth M. Norman, is the story of the worst defeat in American military history, the four-month fight for the tiny peninsula of Bataan in the Philippine Islands – the first major land battle for America in World War II. On April 9, 1942, more than 76,000 men under American command surrendered to their Japanese captors, who set them walking sixty-six miles to prison camp, a notorious walk that came to be known as "The Bataan Death March."

"Tears In the Darkness" is history written as story, thousands of sources and hundreds of interviews carefully woven into a tight narrative that recreates those dramatic days and the men – Americans, Japanese and Filipinos – who lived them.

“Tears In The Darkness" has scores of characters, but Ben Steele, a Montana cowboy before the war and professor of art after, is the central figure in our book.

In addition to a strong central character, "Tears In The Darkness" is distinguished by its shifting point of view. A third of the book is told from the Japanese perspective, the stories of individual hohei, or foot soldiers in the Imperial Japanese Army. We were also able to obtain the private diary and letters of Masaharu Homma, the Japanese general who was held responsible for the death march and executed by American forces in 1946.

Michael and Elizabeth Norman

* New York Times article             Revisiting Wartime: 66 Miles of Cruelty

* Related pages on our website:


Learning from a visiting former POW

Ms. Yuka Ibuki, Tokyo representative of US-Japan Dialogue on POWs,  translated letters from the people who met former POW Mr. Raymond Heimubuch when he recently visited the (successor) companies that had made him perform forced labor during the war.
Please go to Heimubuch (towards the end).


Committee on the POW issue created 

On May 20, Democratic Party of Japan created a new party subcommittee for Postwar Settlement Issues involving Allied POWs. More information on the POW subcommittee


New essay, "Revisit to Japan by former US POW, Mr. Raymond  C. Heimbuch,"
by Yukako Ibuki posted.


Japanese Ambassador came to the last ADBC Convention

On May 30, 2009, Japanese Ambassador to the US, Mr. Ichiro Fujisaki, gave his country’s first apology to former American POWs of the Japanese during the last convention of American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor held in San Antonio, TX.

Ambassador Fujisaki came to the convention after receiving an invitation from Dr. Lester Tenney, National Commander of ADBC, who survived the Bataan Death March and forced labor in Mitsui coalmine.

  Dr. Tenney and Amb. Fujisaki      Video clip of Ambassador Fujisaki's speech


Philippine Scouts Heritage Society Reunion

The 25th Annual Reunion of the Philippine Scouts Heritage Society took place in Long Beach, California on May 8 and May 9, 2009.  This 25th Anniversary gathering was hosted by the Living History Company of the Alexander Nininger Chapter of the Society. 
(more about the chapter)

YouTube video

Highlights included retired Major General Antonio Taguba's keynote speech at the closing dinner in which he spoke forcefully of the responsibilities and duties of U.S. soldiers in combat and in the handling of captives.  He also noted his investigation of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal in Iraq. General Taguba's father walked the Bataan Death March as a POW of the Japanese.

   PSHS president John Patterson with Gen. Taguba                 

The New Yorker article on General Taguba

Dr. Tenney's essay published in Congressional Record

"The end of the Long march" written by Dr. Lester Tenney, National Commander of American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor, was published in Congressional Record. It was posted by Congressman Brian Bilbray (R-CA) as the Congressman's Memorial Day message.

Please go to Congressional Record, May 21, 2009


Article on Aso Mining published

English translation of the article written by Mr. Yukihisa Fujita, member of the Japanese House of Councilors and the advisor to this website, "Aso Mining’s Indelible Past: Prime Minister Aso Should Seek Reconciliation With Former POWs," was published on  Japan Focus

The original article was published in Sekai, a Japanese monthly magazine, on April 8.


New essays posted.

"Interview with Ms. Virginia Hansen Holmes, the author of Guerrilla Daughter"

Yuka Ibuki's "Two days in Subic and Corregidor 64 years after the WWII Pacific Theatre"


Dr. Lester Tenney's op-ed piece was published in the Japan Times.

Please go to "The end of the long march."


Testimony on POW documentation withheld in Japan

Dr. Lester Tenney, National Commander of American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor, submitted testimony for the record for a hearing on April 2 of the Military Personnel Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee on improving recovery and full accounting of POW/MIA personnel from all past conflicts.

He testified that the Government of Japan was still withholding critical documentation on the POWs of Japan.

Please read his written testimony on POW documentation.



New essay, "Interview with Mr. Philip M. Garcia," posted.

Mr. Garcia is the President of Lt. Alexander Nininger Los Angeles Chapter, Philippine Scouts Living History Company and Philippine Scouts Heritage Society.  The Philippine Scouts Living History Company performs reenactment of the battles that the Philippine Scouts engaged.

Please go to:  The Philippine Scouts Living History Company


Documentary on Bataan Death March survivors and their fight for Justice

Mr. James Parkinson, one of the attorneys who represented former POWs in their forced labor lawsuits against Japanese companies, and the author of Soldier Slaves ( more ), has produced a documentary, The Inheritance of War.

Using devastating archival images and four survivors' emotional accounts, it is an eye-opening account of the Bataan Death March, as well as the men's struggle to make sure that their story does not go untold to future generations. 

Mr. Parkinson has visited many schools across the US and spoken to thousands of students to tell the story of these POWs who he thinks should be their real hero and role model.

Bataan Death March survivors speak about their POW experiences in The Inheritance of War



Just being around those great old soldiers who suffered so much was really an uplifting thing for me.

They were not really interested in the money. They were interested in the recognition of how badly they were treated and the recognition by those companies that they really did wrong.

    ---Sen. Orrin Hatch,
        who convened a hearing on the POW lawsuit.


The Inheritance of War will be shown at the Las Vegas Film Festival on April 11.

* For more information visit:   


New civilian POW story about Mr. Angus Lorenzen posted.

He was interned in Santo Tomas Internment camp in Manila.
Please go to Lorenzen.


Prime Minister Aso's Apology for POWs

On March 9, Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso answered questions on WWII POW forced labor asked by Upper House member Yukihisa Fujita during the Diet session.  Aso Mining, which used 300 Allied POWs, was owned by the family of Prime Minister Aso.

Prime Minister Aso first reiterated Japan’s position that Japan had sincerely dealt with the WWII related issues of reparation, property and claims in accordance with San Francisco Peace Treaty and other relevant treaties, and that all issues, including that of individual claims, had been legally resolved with regard to the parties of those treaties.

He went on to say: 

I understand that accepting with a spirit of humility the facts of history that Japan, through its colonial rule and aggression, caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries including former Allied nations, including former POWs, our country has expressed the feelings of deep remorse and heartfelt apology on various occasions such as Prime Ministers’ statements in 1995 and 2005.  

Mr. Fujita suggested that Prime Minister Aso should invite former POWs in Australia who were forced to work at Aso Mining to Japan and have a meeting of reconciliation with them.  He emphasized the historical importance of resolving the POW issue this year because 2009 is the United Nations “International Year of Reconciliation.”  

Prime Minister Aso answered that the Foreign Ministry had been inviting former POWs to Japan from not just Australia but also other countries and that Mr. Fujita’s suggestion could be given a consideration as a part of that project. But he added that the former POWs who worked at Aso Mining would not be treated differently from other former POWs.   

Please watch TBS news clip on POW forced labor at Aso Mining


Letter to President Obama

Dr. Lester Tenney, National Commander of American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor, wrote a letter to President Obama asking him to encourage Prime Minister Taro Aso to resolve the POW issue. 

Prime Minister Aso will be visiting Washington DC  to meet with President Obama on February 24.

Please go to Dr. Tenney's letter to President Obama
(from website of the White House)


BACEPOW (Bay Area Civilian Ex-POWs) Reunion

From February 13 to 15, the annual reunion of civilian ex-POWs of the Japanese was held in Fremont, CA.  Survivors of Santo Tomas camp, Los Banos camp and Baguio/Bilibid prison in the Philippines, and their families attended. Commander Angus Lorenzen gave the keynote speech and Ms. Paula Jansen, the daughter of Senior Vice Commander Sascha Jansen, spoke about future activities of the Descendants Group.

Approximately 14,000 American civilians were interned by the Japanese, mostly in the Philippines. Many were children. Approximately 1,500 died due to starvation, diseases and even execution.

Former internees of Santo Tomas camp

                               with Sascha and Paula                                Mr. Walter Riley and his wife Margaret              
Sascha in PBS' "The War"                  He represents Civilian ex- POWs
                                                                                                         for the American Ex-Prisoners of War              


Article on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to Japan

"Affirming Japan’s 'Better Angels'" written by Ms. Mindy Kotler was published in PacNet, the newsletter of Pacific Forum, CSIS.

Ms. Kotler is the director of Asia Policy Point, a research center in Washington DC that studies Asian regional security. She also wrote an op-ed piece on ADBC Commander Dr. Lester Tenney's visit to Japan,
A Long March to an Apology ," for the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune in May, 2008.


Questions on WWII POW Labor and the Japanese government's reply

Member of the Japanese House of Councilors Mr. Yukihisa Fujita submitted "Questions Regarding the Use of Allied POW Labor During WWII" on January 29, and received government's reply on February 6.  The entire text of this exchange can be read at Mr. Fujita's website.   English translation is available.

Mr. Fujita's questions focused on the POW labor at Aso Mining owned by the family of Prime Minister Taro Aso.  The Japanese government stated, among other things, that "making POWs work, by itself, was permitted under the international law of that time."

Mr. Fujita held a press conference on February 6, which was reported widely by the media.

Aso Mining POWs seek redress
Japan Times, Feb. 7, 2009

The government's reply showed that the US ex-POWs and their families were again excluded from  the Japanese government's "Peace, Friendship and Exchange Initiative" project. Mr. Fujita submitted follow up questions on Feb. 9 asking for the reason for the exclusion. The government's reply is due on Feb. 17, the second day of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to Japan. 

Australian POWs who were made to work for Aso Mining : Right after the liberation


Dr. Lester Tenney's letter to Secretary of State

Dr. Lester Tenney, National Commander of American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor,  wrote a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as she prepares for her trip to Japan.

Dr. Tenney also attached the letter he had received from former President Bill Clinton in 1995.

Please go to letter to Secretary of State                        (from the website of State Department)


Article on POW forced labor at Japanese Prime Minister Aso's family coalmine

Online journal, Japan Focus, published an article that included the following:

1.      "Japan Should Follow the International Trend and Face Its History of World War II Forced Labor" By Professor Michael Bazyler

2.      Article on Japan’s WWII forced labor posted at the website of the Japanese Consulate General in New York in November 2006 and removed in December 2008

3.      Transcript of the discussion at the Japanese Diet on Allied POWs at Aso Mining

 Please go to Bazyler article at Japan Focus.


Press release by American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor

Dr. Lester Tenney, National Commander of ADBC, issued a press release on Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso's recent admission to the POW forced labor at his family coalmine.

Please go to American ex-POWs' message to Prime Minister Aso.

related news: Japan PM acknowledges family mining firm used POWs


New Essay, "An American Soldier’s Album, found in Bataan by a Japanese," written by
Yuka Ibuki posted.

Please go to Bataan Album to learn how the album was returned to New Mexico.