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Chapter 25 - War Crimes

Toranoshim Akamatsu was a civilian guard at Osaka POW Camp #3 (Yodogawa) where Dad was first imprisoned in Japan. He was known to POW's as the "Beast of Burden."

Affadavits from prisoners "who were in a position to know the facts of the matter" led Akamatsu to being found guilty at the War Crime Trials on June 19, 1946. He was specifically found to have beaten, slapped, kicked, and used various forms of torture on prisoners for minor infractions of disciplinary rules.

Yokohama War Crime Trials - Docket 40 - Toranoshim Akamatsu

Charge: Between 1 January 1943 and 30 April 1945 at Yodogawa prisoner of war camp, the accused willfully and unlawfully committed cruel, inhuman, and brutal acts, atrocities, and other offenses against certain PW's in violation of the Laws and Customs of War.

Specification 9: In or about July 1943, the accused and others, willfully and unlawfully, beat and mistreated Storekeeper Second Class Richard Allen Beam, and five other American PW's, by striking them with fists and kicking them.

Evidence as to Specification 9: In July 1943 Storekeeper Second Class Richard Allen Beam and five others were on the "sick list" and were playing poker, using cigarettes as chips. This was contrary to camp rules. They were taken outside by the accused and others, who beat them with their fists. When they were knocked to the ground they were kicked, after which some of them were pulled to their feet and knocked down repeatedly.

Accused Plea: Not Guilty on All Charges

Trial Verdict: Guilty on All Charges

Sentence: Life Imprisonment at Hard Labor - Sugamo Prison, Tokyo

Indianapolis Newspaper Article
Photo Courtesy Richard A. Beam Family

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