Umeda Katsumi and others
DATE OF CRIMES
18 June 1945
LOCATION OF CRIMES
Sarawak (present-day Malaysia)
DATE OF TRIAL
22, 23, 24 and 28 October 1946
LOCATION OF TRIAL
The five victims, who were members of a unit known as the Special Labour Unit, were arrested while attempting to desert from the Japanese lines. The victims were found to be in possession of confidential maps, gas masks and ammunition.
The third defendant, Sergeant Katayose Nagaki, was ordered by a superior, one Major Ikegami, to execute the victims under Japanese military law. Katayose enlisted the aid of the first defendant, Sergeant Umeda Katsumi, and detailed a squad, which included the second defendant, First Class Private Iwase Katsuji. Iwase beheaded one victim, while Umeda beheaded three victims and shot one victim who tried to escape. Katayose was present and in command of the squad.
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The defendants admitted to being involved in the execution of the victims. However, they argued that it is improper to accept responsibility of the killing on the ground that they were merely following the absolute orders of their superior.
Notably, a petition on behalf of Iwase and Katayose was submitted, reiterating this argument and submitting that the 15-year imprisonment term was too harsh. The DJAG held that the court failed to consider that the victims had sworn allegiance to the Japanese, thereby advising against confirmation of the case.
Umeda, Katsumi. Sergeant. From Japanese military. From Japan. Guilty. 15 years' imprisonment. Sentence not confirmed.
Iwase, Katsuji. 1st Class Private. From Japanese military. From Japan. Guilty. 7 years' imprisonment. Sentence not confirmed.
Katayose, Nagaki. Sergeant. From Japanese military. From Japan. Guilty. 15 years' imprisonment. Sentence not confirmed.
le Gallais, R.L. Lieutenant Colonel. From British military. Court president. Barrister-at-law.
Hubart, A.A. Major. From British military.
Brophy, P.M.N. Captain. From British military.
Smith, S.J. Major. From British military.
Gihei, Tatsuzuaki. Judicial Staff of Japanese Navy, Japan.
DEFENCE ADVISORY OFFICERS
Everard, E.T. Captain. From British military.