The Pearl Harbor You Never Knew: The Bataan Death March in the Philippines
It was explained that the major opponent of POW lawsuits demanding an apology and compensation from the Japanese corporations, such as Mitsubishi, Kawasaki, Nippon Steel and Mitsui, was the U.S. government. (All the POW lawsuits were dismissed in 2004.)
"We shoveled coal everyday, 12 hours a day. "The Peace Treaty did not prohibit reparation.
We were beaten in the coal mine by the civilians. " I hope the new Congress will back former POWs."
with KTLA reporter Ms. Janet Choi with his wife, Betty
"I hope that one day the sufferings of men on Bataan will be properly
POW story in WWII History magazine
An article on former POW Mr. Donald Versaw, Director of US-Japan Dialogue on POWs, Inc., written by historian Eric Niderost was published in the January 2007 issue of WWII History magazine. At the end of the article, Don, who was forced to work in a coalmine in Japan, was quoted as saying, "The current Japanese government should exercise the compassion they are famous for and apologize for the excesses of the past. It would not hurt them to do so."
Kinue Tokudome, Founder and Executive Director of US-Japan Dialogue on
POWs. Inc., made a presentation about its website at a conference held in
Kyoto, Japan from November 17 to 19. The conference was co-organized by the Kyoto
Forum and the Doshisha University Media Communication Research Center and
was entitled, "Civic Society made possible by information and media." Tokudome introduced the website "US-Japan Dialogue on POWs" as a case
study for the ethical and effective use of information and media.
A high school student's POW project
Zendejas, a 9th grader in Washington State, has been conducting extensive
research on the history of POWs of the Japanese. He wrote and performed
two 10-minute plays for a regional and state competition and won 2nd and
4th place respectively. Here is Anthony's essay and play.
Announcement for the 2nd POW Essay Contest posted. Please go to
New essay, "Palawan Massacre," added. Please go to
New essay, "On Forgiveness and Apology: Conversation with Mr. Harold Poole and the late Captain Duane Heisinger," written by Kinue Tokudome added.
Please go to
On Forgiveness and Apology
New POW book to be published
Mr. Steve Raymond, who was a POW of the Japanese during WWII, and journalist Mr. Mike Pride, who is a member of the committee that chooses the winner of the Pulitzer Prizes, co-authored Too Dead to Die: A Memoir of Bataan and Beyond.
To learn more about the book, please go to Too Dead to Die
New Essay, "Confession—My
Life and the Crimes of the Assailant," by Mr.
Please go to Watanabe.
New POW Story on
Medal of Honor recipient Jose Cabalfin Calugas, Sr. added
Directors of US-Japan Dialogue on POWs, Inc. visited Congressman Michael Honda
On August 29, 2006 Dr. Lester Tenney, Mr. Donald Versaw, Mr. Clay Perkins and Ms. Kinue Tokudome visited Congressman Honda (D-CA), who has been a long time supporter of former POWs of the Japanese. The discussed topics included the bills recently introduced in the House and the Senate to compensate former POWs and the possibility for a future project for former POWs and their family members to visit Japan.
A Japanese sword donated
Mr. Abraham, Mr. Jackfert and Mr. Vater
C-Span TV program on Soldier Slaves
On August 12 and 13, C-Span 2 Book TV aired a program on Soldier Slaves: Abandoned by the White House, Courts, and Congress. The authors of the book, Mr. James Parkinson (more about him and his book, see interview), Mr. Lee Benson, former POW of the Japanese Mr. Harold Poole and Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, who has been a strong supporter of former POWs, spoke during the program.
Senator Hatch, on August 3, introduced a bill, S. 3811, to require the payment of compensation to members of the Armed Forces and civilian employees of the United States who performed slave labor for Japanese industries during World War II, or the surviving spouses of such members, and for other purposes.
To learn more about the bill, go to http://thomas.loc.gov/ and enter S. 3811
A House bill to support former POWs of the Japanese introduced
H. R. 5972 was
introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on July 28. The purpose
of the bill is "to
To learn more about the bill, go to http://thomas.loc.gov/ and enter H. R. 5972
The above article written by Matsubara Hiroshi and William Underwood was published on the online journal "Japan Focus." http://japanfocus.org/products/details/2182
News from Japan
Visit with Mr. Yukihisa Fujita, a former member of the Japanese Diet
Executive Director of
US-Japan Dialogue on POWs, Inc., Kinue Tokudome,
and its Tokyo Representative, Yuka Ibuki, visited Mr. Yukihisa Fujita on the August 1st. Mr. Fujita is the
US-Japan Dialogue on POWs, Inc. and has been supportive of former
American POWs of the Japanese. Mr. Fujita wrote the following op-ed
piece for the Asahi Shimbun/International Herald Tribune in 2001.
Ms. Ibuki, Mr. Fujita and Ms. Tokudome
New POW Story by Mr. Abie Abraham added. Please go to
It was revealed recently that Mr. Aso's family coalmine used 300 Allied POWs as slave laborers during WWII. Yet, Mr. Aso, who already has announced his decision to be a candidate for the Japan's next prime minister in September, has never acknowledged it.
Mr. Aso was reported as saying after the memorial, "I had wanted to express my gratitude to the temple for honoring the deceased POWs for the past 60 years."
Mr. John Glusman, the author of Conduct Under Fire, whose father was a POW of the Japanese had been invited to the event by a senior Foreign Ministry official but cancelled his trip to Japan when he learned that only Mr. Aso would attend. He was quoted in an International Herald Tribune (Asahi) article:
"I thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to open the possibility (for Japan) to address this delicate issue, but the event was minimized from a public event to a private one. The Foreign Ministry realized that it is a far more complicated issue than it had initially thought."
The article concluded by saying, "The government's official position
remains that the treatment of POWs during the war has been settled by
Japan's compensation to allied nations in line with the 1951 San Francisco
News from Japan
Shimbun (Japan's 2nd largest newspaper)
Mr. Tateo Shimizu, editorial writer of the Asahi Shimbun (circulation 8 million), wrote an article about Ms. Asako Yoshida's participation in the ADBC convention held in Phoenix, Arizona in May.
Photo: Ms. Yoshida, Bataan Death March survivor
Ms. Asako Yoshida, a college senior who joined from Japan, was spoken to by former POWs, “I know some Japanese.” “Hayaku, hayaku=quick, quick.” “ Arigatogozaimasu=Thank you.” “Tankobushi=Song of coalminers” “Hai!= Yes!”
Ms. Yoshida realized that the memories of forced labor days were still fresh in the minds of former POWs. She was also struck when the keynote speaker pointed out that Japan had never apologized. The U.S. government has apologized for its wartime internment of Japanese Americans. "I cannot understand why Japan has not apologized. It is the right thing to do as the victimizers."
Ms. Kinue Tokudome, a US based Japanese journalist who has been supporting former POWs, says, "As these veterans are getting older, time to achieve reconciliation is running out. A sincere apology by Prime Minister Koizumi will make a major contribution to the US-Japan relationship."
Yet, Prime Minister Koizumi's itinerary during his visit to the United States does not include a meeting with former POWs while it does include a trip to Graceland. --Yuka Ibuki
Interview with Mr. James W. Parkinson, the author of Soldier Slaves, posted
Please go to Soldier Slaves
POW forced labor was mentioned in a Japanese business magazine
Mr. Peter Ennis, Contributing Editor for The Oriental Economist Report, published the following article in the 6/17, 2006 issue of the Weekly Toyo Keizai, the second-biggest business magazine in Japan.
YASUKUNI CONTROVERSY CROSS THE PACIFIC
(Mr. Ennis wrote that Congressman Hyde, a US Navy veteran from World War II, sent a letter to House Speaker Dennis Hastert, suggesting that Prime Minister Koizumi should not be allowed to address to Congress unless he promises to not visit Yasukuni Shrine next August 15. Wartime prime minister Hideki Tojo and 13 other Class A war criminals are enshrined in Yasukuni Shrine. Mr. Ennis' article included the following paragraph.)
Memories of Pearl Harbor remain deep. Prime Minister Koizumi’s repeated visits to the Yasukuni Shrine have provoked handfuls of aging World War II veterans, especially former POWs who were made to perform forced labor and victims of horrific mistreatment by Japanese military forces in the Philippines. Among them, there are Americans who feel that they were terribly abused by Japan in the war-time period, and never either compensated, or at least apologized to.
The original English version of Mr. Ennis' article mentioned the ADBC convention held in Phoenix in May. Here is the keynote speech delivered by ADBC Jr. Vice Commander, Dr. Lester Tenney, during the convention.
A documentary on civilian internees at Santo Tomas camp, "Victims of Circumstances," has been produced by Mr. Lou Gopal and Ms. Michelle Bunn.
Please go to Victims of Circumstances for more details.
College Students from Japan and the U.S. Attended the
Please go to college students to read more about their visit.
Tokudome, Founder and Executive Director of US-Japan Dialogue on POWs,
Inc., was the keynote speaker for the Philippine Scouts Heritage Society's
22nd Annual Reunion held in San Francisco on May 27-28.
To read the speech, please go to:
News from Japan
We would like to introduce one more essay submitted for the essay contest
by Ai Sugiura.
Captain Duane Heisinger, US Navy (Ret.), the author of Father Found, passed away on May 1, 2006. He was instrumental in building the Hellships Memorial and was present at its dedication in Subic Bay, Philippines, in January of 2006. The most often heard remarks during the memorial service held on May 11th in Fairfax, Virginia was, "Duane touched so many lives."
On the flight back to California after attending the memorial service for Captain Heisinger, Kinue Tokudome met Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA). Upon learning about the Hellships Memorial from her, the Congressman expressed his desire to visit it when he and Congressman Henry Hyde (R-Il), Chairman of the House International Relations Committee, visit the Philippines in August. Congressman Rohrabacher's uncle-in-law became a POW of the Japanese in the Philippines in 1942, was sent on a Hellship to a Japanese POW camp in Mukden, China, and worked there as a forced laborer until the end of WWII.
New essay, "Annual
Bataan Memorial Death March
At White Sands, NM,"
Mrs. Nancy A. Murphy has been added. Please go to:
Bataan Memorial Death March
News from Japan
Mr. Kihachiro Ueda, whose paintings of the hellships are well-known in books, websites and other WWII related publications, is going to donate a new water-color painting of the Oryoku Maru to the Hellship Exhibition at the Subic Bay History Museum. Mr. Randy Anderson, the leader of the Hellship Memorial Project, says, “We are all very excited to see the painting, and build the Oryoku Maru exhibit around it!” He says the picture will also be featured in a new section of the website, SBMA. Mr. Yuuji Miwa, a member of the POW RNJ, has been serving as Mr. Ueda’s agent. Mr. Miwa came to know his works six years ago and started using them for his Japanese website: http://www.aa.cyberhome.ne.jp/~museum/ (Japanese Merchant Ships Lost in the War) Since then, Mr. Ueda’s paintings have touched people’s hearts beyond the barriers of languages.
In January 2006, Yuka Ibuki, who was given the opportunity to join the
Hellship Memorial Tour told Mr. Kevin Hamdorf of Mr. Ueda’s paintings,
and he used Mr. Ueda’s Oryoku Maru painting for a special issue
of his magazine, The Bay. During the Pacific War, Mr. Ueda was
conscripted and served as gunner of the Kinka Maru, and lost use
of his right hand in a battle in the Philippine waters. He began to
paint with his left hand after the war. After the Hellship Memorial
dedication was achieved with the ardent wishes of many people including
Mr. Duane Heisinger whose father died on a Hellship, through contacting people of Subic of Mr. Ueda’s
works, Mr. Miwa wrote to Mr. Ueda about the project and suggested
sending the original of the Oryoku Maru painting to the
exhibition, near where the ship was sunk and remains to this day. Mr.
Ueda, on reading the letter, called MR. Miwa right away to tell him his
intent of painting and donating a new Oryoku Maru painting for
the Hellship Memorial Project. The POW RNJ has expressed support for
this effort of remembering the past and praying for reconciliation and
peace. -Yuka Ibuki
Two winners of our essay contest have been chosen. They are:
Asako Yoshida from Saitama, Japan
Please go to Essay Contest Winners to read their essays.
New POW Story by Col. John E. Olson added. Please go to Olson.
New essay written by Mrs. Jane Bzoch Cambus and Mrs. Hanna Varak Romans Witherspoon added. Please go to "Two little girls lost their Czech fathers on a Japanese Hellship,"
Memoir by Mr. Edward Jackfert
Mr. Edward Jackfert,
past National Commander of the American Defenders of Bataan and
Corregidor, has published a memoir, Service to My Country.
Mr. Jackfert was interned in Tokyo POW camp #2 (Kawasaki) and forced to work at Mitsui warehouse and other places.
More on the POW experience of Mr. Jackfert: Jackfert
"The Unforgettable B-29: A Tribute,"
written by Mr. Yang Jing
published in the Spring, 2006 issue of Air Power History.
Opening paragraph of the article Mr. Yang with Mukden POW Bob Brown and
OSS officer Hal Leith who liberated the camp
To read the entire article contact: firstname.lastname@example.org for a subscription.
Kinue Tokudome's article, "Troubling Legacy: World War II Forced Labor by American POWs of the Japanese," was published on Japan Focus.
Please go to: Troubling Legacy
New essay, "Bataan Memorial Death March," by Mr. Alan Overmier added.
Please go to Overmier
Hellships Memorial Inscription and Prayer of Father James Reuter
Japanese magazine, Bungei Shunju*, responds to protest
Bungei Shunju magazine responded to the letter of
protest by Dr. Lester Tenney in regard to the article on the Bataan
Death March, which I reported on December 24, 2005. In this March issue,
they published Dr. Tenney’s letter in full translation, with their comment,
in the corner of the voices from the readers to the editors. The letter,
which disputes the article in detail, covers five pages. You can read
the letter at:
Comment from the Editorial Department of Bungei Shunju translated by
* ”Bungei Shunju” means
“Literary Works in all Seasons.”
Dr. Tenney's comment upon learning the publication of his letter in Bungei Shunju
"Although Bungei Shunju did not issue an apology, they did publish my letter of protest in its entirety, in Japanese, and for that I am satisfied. In addition, the editor wrote an introduction to my response which in effect stated they respect we former POWs for what we went through on the Bataan Death March. It would have been nice if the author, Ms. Sasa, wrote me with an explanation or apology, but I am not sure whether she really knows she said or did anything wrong."
The Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan's largest daily newspaper, reported on February 13 that Bungei Shunju published Dr. Tenney's protest letter and that he accepted the publisher's response.
New essay written by Yuka Ibuki added. Please go to Revisit and First Visit : Japan
Captain Duane Heisinger (US Navy, Ret.) featured in the Japanese media
The Mainichi Shimbun, the 3rd largest daily newspaper in Japan with circulation of 4 million, published on February 1, 2006 an article on Duane Heisinger, a retired US Navy captain, who led the recent Hellships Memorial tour to the Philippines.
The article explains that Captain Heisinger wrote a book on
his father, who died on a Japanese POW transport Hellship. It quotes Captain
Heisinger, "I learned the reality of the war, such as appalling food and
medical conditions and the US attack on POW transport ships. I also learned that
many descendants of POWs did not know much about the final days of their
husbands and fathers." The article goes on to write that Captain Heisinger
spearheaded the project to build the Hellships Memorial in the Subic Bay
in Luzon in order to remember the tragic history of POW transport ships, and that he led a tour
group of POW descendants to visit battle sites in the
Philippines and to attend the dedication ceremony for the Memorial. The article
also introduces US-Japan dialogue on POWs,
a bilingual website
maintained by Kinue Tokudome who joined the Hellships Memorial tour. She was quoted, "I hope we
will see more dialogue between those people in the U.S. and Japan who
experienced the war."
More about Captain Heisinger: Father Found-a son's search for his dead father
A new essay by
Henry Morfit Neiger
added. Please go to
The Hellships：Lest We Forget
A press conference on a Bataan Death March article
On January 13, two Bataan Death March survivors, Dr. Lester Tenney and Mr. Robert
Brown, joined Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Simon
Wiesenthal Center, who convened a press conference
regarding an article on the Bataan Death March recently published in
a Japanese magazine, Bungei Shunju. (A summary can be found
in the ESSAYS section of this website.) It
held at Simon Wiesenthal Center's Museum of Tolerance in Los
Angeles and was attended by reporters of major Japanese newspapers
and news agencies. Within a few hours after the conference, the Yomiuri Shimbun,
Japan's largest daily newspaper, reported on the conference and the Japan
Times carried an article released by the Kyodo News on January 14.
Kinue Tokudome, Mr. Robert Brown, Dr. Lester Tenney, Rabbi Abraham Cooper
New essay, "Letter to my American Friends--Japanese POW Internment in Siberia : 60 Years Later
The Japanese Government Is Betraying Old Soldiers and Justice," by Koichi Ikeda
added. Please go to Ikeda
New essay, "Article on the Bataan Death March
Published in Japan's Premier Magazine, Bungei Shunju," written by
Yuka Ibuki added.
Please go to
New POW Story on Mr. Abel F. Ortega added. Please go to
Essay Contest announcement posted. Please go to Essay Contest
Opinion essay by Rabbi Abraham Cooper and Kinue Tokudome posted.
New essay by Mr. William Bowen added. Please
go to THE ARISAN MARU TRAGEDY
Response to Father Robert W. Phillips
Response written by Mr. Hiroo Sekita, Pastor affiliated with the United Church of Christ in Japan, posted following Father Phillips' essay. Please go to Phillips
News from Japan: Longtime activist on POW reconciliation Mr. Nagase honored
Takashi Nagase, eighty-seven years old, was awarded the 12th Yomiuri International Cooperation Prize on October 26. At the ceremony held at the Imperial Hotel Tokyo, 300 people gathered together to congratulate Mr. and Mrs. Nagase on receiving the honor by the Yomiuri for their long term activities.
As an interpreter of the Japanese military police at the Thai-Burma Railroad, Nagase repeatedly attended the scenes of torture of the Allied POWs. Immediately after the war, he served for the Allied as an interpreter, searching for the tombs of supposedly 13,000 POWs who died in the area. "We should never forget the Allied POWs." he says, and has been engaged in personal apologies to and reconciliation with the former POWs who were forced to work at the Railroad.
He had visited the Allied Cemetery in Kanchanabri more than 120 times for prayers. He established the River Kwai Peace Foundation for reconciliation with Thailand. "You must know that the Japanese were brutal occupants, but Thai people were so kind that they gave each Japanese soldier who was going back home as loser, a mess-kit full of rice and unrefined sugar." He sent scholarship to more than 1,000 Thai students, and recently has started medical aid as well, thus going on with good work without resting.
In November he is revisiting Thailand with Malay
Peninsula Peace Cycle tour group, who plans to go along the old
Railroad by bicycle. On his birthday, February 20, 2006, Thai former
students are planning to unveil his statue in Kanchanabri, and in May he
is going to England for a reunion with Eric Romax, a former POW, who
is now a close friend of his. Wishing health for the couple, I'd like to
share this good news with you.
New POW Story on Mr. Roy Weaver added. Please go to
News from Japan : Documentary film on the Mitsui Miike Coal Mine
Lester Tenney, former POW, visited Japan in 2003 to commemorate the publication in Japanese of his book My Hitch in Hell. On that occaion, he was interviewed by a documentary film director, Ms Hiroko Kumagai. Director Kumagai was in the process of making a documentary film on the history of Mitsui Miike Coal Mine, and Tenney talked about his experience of the slave labor during the war period. Director Kumagai spent two years on filming, listening to the voices of 72 people, who were involved in the history of the mine. Since 2003, shorter versions of the film have been on show at the Ohmuta Coal Mine Industry and Science Museum, and the visitors are listening to Lester Tenney's story. This year Kumagai made the longest version of 103 minutes, which is the officially invited work for the Fukuoka Asian Film Festival.
- Yuka Ibuki
New essay, "Never forgetting the war I fought, I shall keep telling the folly and the horror of a war," written by Mr. Kohken Tsuchiya added.
Mr. Tsuchiya is former President of the Japanese Bar Association and the lead lawyer for the Unit 731 germ warfare lawsuit against the government of Japan.
Please go to
News from Japan
POW Research Network Japan had the 4th Convention at Tenryu Village in Nagano Prefecture, during the national holiday of September 23 to 24. There are roughly forty members, most of whom are researchers of POW issues on voluntary basis, who have their own careers and live across the country. For this occasion, twelve of them got together, including the three representatives, Prof. Aiko Utsumi, Mrs. Taeko Sasamoto, and Mr. Toru Fukubayashi.
Branch No. 12 of Tokyo POW Camp, generally known as Mitsushima or Hiraoka Prison Camp, was situated in the Tenryu Village, where around 300 prisoners were held. They were forced to work at the construction site of the Hiraoka Dam on the Tenryu River. Fifty nine POWs, of whom 21 were American and 38 British, could not make it home and passed away here. In the war tribunal of B & C class after the POWs had returned home, 6 of those related to the camp received the death sentence and were executed. However, for trials where POW witnesses were unavailable and few capable interpreters were available, there left open a possibility of a case of mistaken identity. The prison camp left deep scars on many people.
Since 1952, Richard Gordon and several other American and British former POWs have visited the village, and a youth exchange program between the village and a hometown of a POW has started. In the location of the former POW camp now stands the local junior high school. In the fall of 2000, a memorial was built at the corner of the school ground for the Allied POWs who passed away in the village. Their names are engraved at the back of the natural stone. The members of the POW RN listened to the talks by a local historian, bereaved families of former prison guards and others who knew those days.
They also saw the materials exhibited at the cultural center of the village, thus learning a lot about the situations in those days. Along with Allied POWs, Chinese and Koreans had forcefully been taken to the construction site to be engaged in slave labor, causing a number of deaths. The group visited total of five monuments dedicated to the victims, and prayed for a better future based on solid facts of the past.
- Yuka Ibuki with historical materials
offered by Taeko Sasamoto
POW Research Network members in front of the POW memorial
Mukden Survivors Reunion
From September 7 to 11, Shelly and Sue Zimbler hosted "XXII Mukden Survivors Reunion" in Kingston, NY. Eleven former POWs who were interned in the Japanese POW camp in Mukden, China and Mr. Hal Leith, one of the 6 OSS members who liberated the camp in August of 1945, attended along with some 50 participants who were descendants of Mukden POWs.
All Survivors and Survivor family members received Proclamations from the Governor of NY State as well as a welcome letter from Mayor James Sottile and a Proclamation from State Senator Bill Larkin.
A featured highlight of the Reunion was the Tour of
the City of Kingston and the Memorial Service to the Men at the West
Point Old Chapel. Those attending the reunion were also able to view the
excellent film, The Great Raid, made available by Miramax and Director
One of the highlights of the reunion was a presentation on the preservation project of the former POW camp made by Mr. Yang Jing who flew from Shenyang (today's Mukden). Mr. Yang is the historical advisor for the preservation project now undertaken by the city of Shenyang. All the participants, especially former POWs, were delighted to hear that the camp site would become a historical museum and that all the names of some 1,700 POWs who were interned there would be inscribed on a newly built memorial wall.
Mr. Yang Jing
Former Mukden POW camp being preserved
I recently received two requests from children of POWs. Both are trying to locate relatives of the Japanese persons who were kind to their fathers during their captivity.
One is from Ms. Nancy Kragh, whose father, Army doctor Maj. Clarence
White, was interned at Cabanatuan POW camp and later died on the Enoura
Maru. She wrote:
Ms. Kragh hopes that she can locate relatives of Dr. Konishi.
The other request came from Mr. Steve Bull, the son of a Bataan Death
In July of 1944, he was sent on the Nissyo Maru to Kamioka, Japan and worked as a driller in the lead mines until September of 1945.
After the war, he went back into the service and we were stationed at Yokota and Tachikawa AFB at the end of the 50s. Every once in a while when we go off base he would show the picture of this guard in hopes that someone would recognize him. Dad never held anything against the Japanese people and he loved his time over there at the end of the 50s.
If by chance someone does recognize his picture you can give them my
address and I would like to send them a letter of thanks."
New Essay on the Bataan Death March added to the ESSAYS section
Drawing on materials from both Japan and the U.S., Mr. Jim Nelsonwrote "The Causes of the Bataan Death March Revisited" in an effort to pay tribute to his late father who was a POW of the Japanese. Please go to Nelson
Mr. Edward Jackfert's POW collection display
On August 15, a new display of Mr. Edward Jackfert's WWII collection of POW material "Defenders of the Philippines, 1941-1945, Bataan/Corregidor POW" was dedicated at the Brooke County Public Library in Wellsburg, WV. It will be used as an educational tool for teaching future generations the true account of the courageous acts of sacrifice that were made by American POWs.
Former POW Mr. Edward Jackfert in front of the display of his POW collection
New POW Story on Mr. George Francis added. please go toFrancis
New POW Story on Mr. Carlos R. Montoya added. Please go to
I would like to express my gratitude for the warm reception I had at the
ADBC Convention in Cincinnati. It was my first attendance, which was an
eye opening, great learning experience. Personal meetings
participants motivated me for more effort to promote general concern in
Japan on the issue of POWs caused by the Japanese treatment of them,
through meetings and publication. I and other members of the POW
Research Network Japan (POWRNJ)
are very much looking forward to
welcoming Valor Tour in January 2006. We
will do our best to make your visit meaningful and enjoyable, so please
try to join the tour. You are of course welcome anytime to come on your
own, and I would like you to contact me as early as possible, so that we
will be able to do preparation to make your stay memorable.
A British POW killed in the atomic bombing of Nagasaki memorialized
A Hiroshima historian Mr. Shigeaki Mori knew there was one British POW who was killed by Nagasaki A-bomb from the death roster compiled by POWRNJ. Mori tried to find the bereaved family of Cpl. Robert Show. On his request The Times of London put an article of him on March 31, and the son of his sister, who is 94 and lives in Scotland, responded, which made the second article in The Times. The Tokyo Shimbun article, June 23, wrote that the family wanted to add his name to the Death Roster of A-bomb Victims and register his photo to the National Peace Memorial Hall of Nagasaki A-bomb Victims, which was done by Mr. Mori on June 24, in Nagasaki. Mr. Mori is also trying to locate the families of the Dutch POWs who were killed in the atomic bombing.
Interview article added to the ESSAYS section :
New essay added.
Mr. Halloran spoke about his POW experience, Mr. Mansell explained
his work on Center for Research: Allied POWS Under the Japanese,
and I explained my work on US-Japan Dialogue on POWs.
Mrs. Lantos suggested that we should honor the brave sacrifice of
American POWs of the Japanese this summer, on the occasion of the 60th
anniversary of the end of WWII in the Pacific.
The POW Research Network of Japan was awarded the Australia-Japan Foundation Achievement Award at the Australian Embassy on 22nd March 2005. This award was established in 2001 by the Australia-Japan Foundation; a cultural organization affiliated to the Australian Government.
The ceremony was a harmonious event, and was hosted by Mr Murray McLean OAM, Australia's Ambassador to Japan, and Ms. Leonie Boxtel of the Australia-Japan Foundation. Taeko Sasamoto, Nori Nagasawa, and Yoshiko Tamura received the award from Mr Alexander Downer, MP, the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
The site of the Foundation is:
LINKS section updated
Japanese GLOSSARY section updated
Article on POW lawsuits published
Article on POW lawsuits written by Kinue Tokudome and her daughter, Azusa K. Tokudome, was published in UCLA's Pacific Basin Law Journal. To request copies, please e-mail us at email@example.com.
News From Japan: Death Roster receives media attention
The POW Research Network Japan is excited to have received media attention for the Death Roster publicized in its website.
The Daily Mainichi (Please search “POW Research Network Japan”)
Taeko Sasamoto, Co-Representative
of the Committee Chairperson of the Death Roster has been contacted
and interviewed by national and local newspapers of Japan, and from abroad
including Australia and Britain. "Relatives would like to know where
and why they died. We also want the Japanese people to properly know the
truth about abuse (suffered by the prisoners)."
News from Japan:
A Complete Death Roster is Now Available on the
Taeko Sasamoto's Book on the Allied POW
receives the Honor of Recommendation Another wonderful news is about
a book by a member of the POW Research Network, one of the three
representatives, Ms. Taeko Sasamoto. She published the fruit of her
seven-year research under the title of The Epitaphs of the Allied POWs
by Kusa-no-ne Pub. Com. in August 2004. In the Japanese leading book
review of the Asahi Newspaper, on Dec. 26, 2004, Prof. Naoyuki Kinoshita
recommended this book as one of the BEST THREE BOOKS OF THE YEAR. He
introduced Sasamoto's work as "a Labor of Love that started with a casual
question the author had one day about the Common Wealth War Cemetery,
which exists near her home in Yokohama." He recommended the book to be
read along with Siberian Requiem by Takashi Tachibana. Sasamoto
says, "I feel the profound consideration of the viewer in that he
has chosen both a book of the Allied POWs and another on the Siberian
Internees. It's an honor." Sasamoto is the central figure in the project
of the Death Roster, mentioned above.
I agreed with the legal analysis by the State and Justice Department lawyers that the U.S.-Japan Treaty banned suits against Japan and its nationals. But the suits against German slave labor companies were also on shaky ground. Yet we urged German companies and the German government to do justice to slave and forced laborers on a moral basis. I wanted a similar effort by the U.S. government to be made on behalf of U.S. POWs who were subjected to Japanese slave labor. I was disappointed this did not occur.
Now that all POW cases have been dismissed, do you think there are things that the Japanese defendant companies and both the U.S. and the Japanese governments can and should do for aging former POWs? (Please note that as plaintiffs, they emphasized that their lawsuit was not about money but about “responsibility” and “honor.”)
Yes. The Japanese government should work with its companies to provide a fund to pay POWs who were subjected to slave labor out of historical accountability and moral responsibility. This would demonstrate that Japan is prepared to come to terms with its history and mistreatment of American POWs.