DATE OF CRIMES
28 May 1944 - 23 August 1945
LOCATION OF CRIMES
Kranji POW Camp, Singapore
DATE OF TRIAL
29, 30 April and 1, 2 May 1946
LOCATION OF TRIAL
The accused Yoshikawa Taira was responsible, at least in part, for the well-being of around 1,900 POWs in Kranji POW Camp. Under his supervision, POWs were ill-treated in both sections of the camp, including the hospital camp which he was undoubtedly in charge of. The ill-treatment took the following forms, as described by several prosecution witnesses: (i) Poor Living conditions (overcrowding, poorly maintained accommodation) (ii) Inadequate medicine supply (iii) Inadequate food supply (iv) Disruption of Red Cross deliveries to POWs.
Such ill-treatment resulted in the deaths of some of the POWs. The court found that the accused had it in his power to improve conditions in the camp for the POWs, but refused to do so. The testimony of defence witnesses supported the finding in showing that requests for additional supplies, reports of shortages, etc., in the camp were not made. It was also alleged that the accused was involved personally in physical ill-treatment of some POWs.
For more information see:
Given the number of potential victims involved, the case received wide coverage in the media. Emotive descriptions of camp conditions were given by witnesses to highlight their objectionable nature, including the first prosecution witness' statement that, "the huts were a paradise for bedbugs, and rats marched along the beams of the roof".
See: http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/straitstimes19460501-1.2.61.aspx?q=yoshikawa+taira&page=1&sort=relevance&token=taira%2cyoshikawa&sessionid=0202caf8cbfa4893a422a6a8acd0ccdf and http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/straitstimes19460430-1.2.38.aspx?q=yoshikawa+taira&page=1&sort=relevance&token=taira%2cyoshikawa&sessionid=0202caf8cbfa4893a422a6a8acd0ccdf
Yoshikawa, Taira. Sergeant Major. From Japanese military. From Japan. Guilty. 4 years' imprisonment. Sentence confirmed.
Coleman, L.G. Lieutenant Colonel. From British military. Court president. Solicitor.
Mullmeister, J.P.L. Major. From Dutch military.
Kohli, R.D. Captain. From British Indian Army.
Eber, John. Civilian. Barrister-at-law, Inner Temple.
Stevens, L.B. Captain. From British military.
Amano, Kenji. Judge of Osaka District Court.
Nagase, Seicho. Judge of Osaka District Court.
DEFENCE ADVISORY OFFICERS
Gardner. Captain. From British military.