[64], Prisoners who were thought to possess significant technical or strategic information were brought to specialist intelligence-gathering facilities at Fort Hunt, Virginia or Camp Tracy, California. Many of these men were recently conscripted members of Boeitai home guard units who had not received the same indoctrination as regular Army personnel, but substantial numbers of IJA soldiers also surrendered. The United States provided these countries with aid through the Lend Lease program to cover the costs of maintaining the prisoners, and retained responsibility for repatriating the men to Japan at the end of the war. The wording of this material sought to overcome the indoctrination which Japanese soldiers had received by stating that they should "cease resistance" rather than "surrender". [20] Shortly after the outbreak of Pacific War in December 1941, the British and United States governments transmitted a message to the Japanese government through Swiss intermediaries asking if Japan would abide by the 1929 Geneva Convention. [18], While scholars disagree over whether the Senjinkun was legally binding on Japanese soldiers, the document reflected Japan's societal norms and had great force over both military personnel and civilians. [26], The Western Allies sought to treat captured Japanese in accordance with international agreements which governed the treatment of POWs. However, prisoners at this camp were given special benefits, such as high quality food and access to a shop, and the interrogation sessions were relatively relaxed. Soviet and Chinese forces accepted the surrender of 1.6 million Japanese and the western allies took the surrender of millions more in Japan, South-East Asia and the South-West Pacific. This fear grew out of years of battle experiences in China, where the Chinese guerrillas were considered expert torturers, and this fear was projected onto the American soldiers who also were expected to torture and kill surrendered Japanese. While the Japanese feared that they would be subjected to reprisals, they were generally treated well. [54] Similarly, Japanese sailors rescued from sunken ships by the US Navy were questioned at the Navy's interrogation centres in Brisbane, Honolulu and Noumea. This is the story of the Japanese prisoner of war camps on the island of Taiwan (Formosa) during the Second World War and of the men who were interned in them. The Allied interrogators found that exaggerating the amount they knew about the Japanese forces and asking the POWs to 'confirm' details was also a successful approach. The programs were partially successful, and contributed to US troops taking more prisoners. MacArthur reversed his position in December of that year, however, but only allowed the publication of photos that did not identify individual POWs. [21] During the later years of the war Japanese troops' morale deteriorated as a result of Allied victories, leading to an increase in the number who were prepared to surrender or desert. Western Allied governments and senior military commanders directed that Japanese POWs be treated in accordance with relevant international conventions. She was imprisoned in a Union prison for her espionage activities. [36] This campaign was undermined by Allied troops' reluctance to take prisoners, however. Conditions at the camp were subsequently improved, leading to good relations between the Japanese and their New Zealand guards for the remainder of the war. [1][28] Japanese historian Ikuhiko Hata states that up to 50,000 Japanese became POWs before Japan's surrender. The POWs then attacked the other guards, who opened fire and killed 48 prisoners and wounded another 74. [30] As a result, Allied troops believed that their Japanese opponents would not surrender and that any attempts to surrender were deceptive;[31] for instance, the Australian jungle warfare school advised soldiers to shoot any Japanese troops who had their hands closed while surrendering. [19] Japanese attitudes towards surrender also contributed to the harsh treatment which was inflicted on the Allied personnel they captured. [35] This included dropping copies of the Geneva Conventions and 'surrender passes' on Japanese positions. Redouble your efforts and respond to their expectations. [32] The nature of jungle warfare also contributed to prisoners not being taken, as many battles were fought at close ranges where participants "often had no choice but to shoot first and ask questions later". [10], The Japanese military's attitude towards surrender was institutionalized in the 1941 "Code of Battlefield Conduct" (Senjinkun), which was issued to all Japanese soldiers. [20][28] Australian soldiers were also reluctant to take Japanese prisoners for similar reasons. [1] Soviet troops seized and imprisoned more than half a million Japanese troops and civilians in China and other places. Those who chose to surrender did so for a range of reasons including not believing that suicide was appropriate or lacking the will to commit the act, bitterness towards officers, and Allied propaganda promising good treatment. [38], Survivors of ships sunk by Allied submarines frequently refused to surrender, and many of the prisoners who were captured by submariners were taken by force. When individuals wrote to the Bureau to inquire if their relative had been taken prisoner, it appears that the Bureau provided a reply which neither confirmed or denied whether the man was a prisoner. [5] In addition, the Japanese public was aware that US troops sometimes mutilated Japanese casualties and sent trophies made out of body-parts home from media reports of two high-profile incidents in 1944 in which a letter-opener carved from a bone of a Japanese soldier was presented to President Roosevelt and a photo of the skull of a Japanese soldier which had been sent home by a US soldier was published in the magazine Life. [43] Australian and US troops and senior officers commonly believed that captured Japanese troops were very unlikely to divulge any information of military value, leading to them having little motivation to take prisoners. The continuous wiretapping at both locations may have also violated the spirit of the Geneva Convention. Some of the conditions at Camp Tracy violated Geneva Convention requirements, such as insufficient exercise time being provided. [28] Unlike the prisoners held by China or the western Allies, these men were treated harshly by their captors, and over 60,000 died. Those who know shame are weak. [46] Alison B. Gilmore has also calculated that Allied forces in the South West Pacific Area alone captured at least 19,500 Japanese. [6] This policy reflected the practices of Japanese warfare in the pre-modern era. [53], Japanese POWs were interrogated multiple times during their captivity. [48] It has been estimated that at the end of the war Chinese Nationalist and Communist forces held around 8,300 Japanese prisoners. Following the war, the victorious Chinese Communist government began repatriating Japanese prisoners home, though some were put on trial for war crimes and had to serve prison sentences of varying length before being allowed to return. In particular healthy and good-looking women prisoners between the ages of 17 and 35 caught the eye of SS recruiters. [71] News of the incidents at Cowra and Featherston was suppressed in Japan,[72] but the Japanese Government lodged protests with the Australian and New Zealand governments as a propaganda tactic. It was against Japanese regulations and discovery would have meant death, but the men celebrated the occasion anyway. Following the war the prisoners were repatriated to Japan, though the United States and Britain retained thousands until 1946 and 1947 respectively and the Soviet Union continued to hold as many as hundreds of thousands of Japanese POWs until the early 1950s. [2] The number of Japanese soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen who surrendered was limited by the Japanese military indoctrinating its personnel to fight to the death, Allied combat personnel often being unwilling to take prisoners,[3] and many Japanese soldiers believing that those who surrendered would be killed by their captors.[4][5]. [29] Incidents in which Japanese soldiers booby-trapped their dead and wounded or pretended to surrender in order to lure Allied combatants into ambushes were well known within the Allied militaries and also hardened attitudes against seeking the surrender of Japanese on the battlefield. [67] There were several incidents at POW camps, however. On 25 February 1943, POWs at the Featherston prisoner of war camp in New Zealand staged a strike after being ordered to work. [9] Attitudes towards surrender hardened after World War I. [43], Repatriation of some Japanese POWs was delayed by Allied authorities. [47]a, As the Japanese forces in China were mainly on the offensive and suffered relatively few casualties, few Japanese soldiers surrendered to Chinese forces prior to August 1945. [83] The treatment of Japanese POWs in Siberia was also similar to that suffered by Soviet prisoners who were being held in the area. The prisoners appreciated the opportunity to converse with Japanese-speaking Americans and felt that the food, clothing and medical treatment they were provided with meant that they owed favours to their captors. [28], Estimates of the numbers of Japanese personnel taken prisoner during the Pacific War differ. [55] Allied interrogators found that Japanese soldiers were much more likely to provide useful intelligence than Imperial Japanese Navy personnel, possibly due to differences in the indoctrination provided to members of the services. For Allied personnel held as POWs by Japan, see. [42] Instances of Japanese personnel being killed while attempting to surrender are not well documented, though anecdotal accounts provide evidence that this occurred. [50], The Allies gained considerable quantities of intelligence from Japanese POWs. [59], Japanese POWs held in Allied prisoner of war camps were treated in accordance with the Geneva Convention. [41] It is likely that more Japanese soldiers would have surrendered if they had not believed that they would be killed by the Allies while trying to do so. [20], Not all Japanese military personnel chose to follow the precepts set out on the Senjinkun. It seems that many people know about the hardship and suffering of the POW's working on the Death Railway in Thailand and Burma, but few know about the "hell-camps" of Taiwan. The Japanese government expressed no concern for these abuses, however, as it did not want IJA soldiers to even consider surrendering. Back of map of Imperial Japanese-run prisoner-of-war camps with a list of the camps categorized geographically and an additional detailed map of camps located on the Japanese archipelago . The nationalists retained over 50,000 POWs, most of whom had technical skills, until the second half of 1946, however. After arriving in these camps, the prisoners were interrogated again, and their conversations were wiretapped and analysed. [8] The relatively good treatment that prisoners in Japan received was used as a propaganda tool, exuding a sense of "chivalry" in comparison to the more barbaric perception of Asia that the Meiji government wished to avoid. [81][82], Hundreds of thousands of Japanese also surrendered to Soviet forces in the last weeks of the war and after Japan's surrender. While this measure was successful in avoiding unrest, it led to hostility between those who surrendered before and after the end of the war and denied prisoners of the Soviets POW status. Always think of [preserving] the honor of your community and be a credit to yourself and your family. Japanese POWs were forced to undertake hard labour and were held in primitive conditions with inadequate food and medical treatments. [44] Ulrich Straus states that about 35,000 were captured by western Allied and Chinese forces,[45] and Robert C. Doyle gives a figure of 38,666 Japanese POWs in captivity in camps run by the western Allies at the end of the war. [73], The Allies distributed photographs of Japanese POWs in camps to induce other Japanese personnel to surrender. The prisoners taken by the Western Allies were held in generally good conditions in camps located in Australia, New Zealand, India and the United States. 2. Series 1 – Army, Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany, Rape during the Soviet occupation of Poland, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Japanese_prisoners_of_war_in_World_War_II&oldid=998252066, Military history of Japan during World War II, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 4 January 2021, at 14:25. This change attracted little attention, however, as the Senjinkun imposed more severe consequences and had greater moral force. [68] More seriously, on 5 August 1944, Japanese POWs in a camp near Cowra, Australia attempted to escape. [2][85], Due to the shame associated with surrendering, few Japanese POWs wrote memoirs after the war. [69] Other confrontations between Japanese POWs and their guards occurred at Camp McCoy in Wisconsin during May 1944 as well as a camp in Bikaner, India during 1945; these did not result in any fatalities. When we think of prisoner-of-war films we tend to think of the second world war or Vietnam, of Steve McQueen bouncing his baseball in ‘the cooler’ in The Great Escape or Jean Gabin leading a Hun-defying chorus of ‘La Marseillaise’ in La Grande Illusion. [76] The British also used armed Japanese Surrendered Personnel to support Dutch and French attempts to reassert control in the Dutch East Indies and Indochina respectively. [57] This included developing propaganda leaflets and loudspeaker broadcasts which were designed to encourage other Japanese personnel to surrender. This attitude was reinforced by the indoctrination of young people. American prisoners of war celebrate the Fourth of July in the Japanese prison camp of Casisange. [77] At least 81,090 Japanese personnel died in areas occupied by the western Allies and China before they could be repatriated to Japan. Prisoners of the Japanese found themselves in camps in Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and other Japanese-occupied countries. In 1942, four Australian POWs did the unthinkable, and tried to escape from their Japanese prisoner of war camp. Little stories about women taken prisoner by the Japanese in WWII. Few Japanese were aware of the Geneva Convention and the rights it gave prisoners to not respond to questioning. Soviet troops seized and imprisoned more than half a million Japanese troops and civilians in China and other places. This tactic was initially rejected by General MacArthur when it was proposed to him in mid-1943 on the grounds that it violated the Hague and Geneva Conventions, and the fear of being identified after surrendering could harden Japanese resistance. Miklós Jancsó’s 1966 film The Round-up is something rather different. For the 75th anniversary of V-J Day, we spoke with Sarah Kovner about her new book, Prisoners of the Empire: Inside Japanese POW Camps, which goes beyond the horrific accounts of captivity to actually explain why inmates were neglected and abused, and contributes to ongoing debates over POW treatment across myriad war zones, even to the present day. Philippines, 1942. [17] Aircrew from Japanese aircraft which crashed over Allied-held territory also typically committed suicide rather than allow themselves to be captured. Her work has been published in the Journal of Asian Studies, the Journal of Women’s History, and Diplomatic History, and has also been translated into Japanese … Prisoner of war camps in Japan housed both capture military personnel and civilians who had been in the East before the outbreak of war. Although not prisoners per se three of the crewmembers on the EP-3E Aries II Surveillance Plane who were detained in China are military women. [37] As a result, from May 1944, senior US Army commanders authorized and endorsed educational programs which aimed to change the attitudes of front line troops. Wikimedia Commons Doctor Walker is the only woman to have been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Director: Burak ... a British colonel tries to bridge the cultural divides between a British POW and the Japanese camp commander in order to avoid bloodshed. [14] While the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) did not issue a document equivalent to the Senjinkun, naval personnel were expected to exhibit similar behavior and not surrender. The submarines which took prisoners normally did so towards the end of their patrols so that they did not have to be guarded for a long time. In addition, soldiers who witnessed Japanese troops surrender were more willing to take prisoners themselves. Because they had been indoctrinated to believe that by surrendering they had broken all ties with Japan, many captured personnel provided their interrogators with information on the Japanese military. In most instances the troops who surrendered were not taken into captivity, and were repatriated to the Japanese home islands after giving up their weapons. This week we are looking at movies that explore the prisoner of war (POW) experience. [23], Japanese soldiers' reluctance to surrender was also influenced by a perception that Allied forces would kill them if they did surrender, and historian Niall Ferguson has argued that this had a more important influence in discouraging surrenders than the fear of disciplinary action or dishonor. Did NBC`s schedulers screw up again? ... Jim Horton describes his time spent in a Japanese POW camp during WWII. A movie about women in prison, a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp, no less, and it wasn`t on during the February sweeps? [27], Allied combatants were reluctant to take Japanese prisoners at the start of the Pacific War. This treatment was similar to that experienced by German POWs in the Soviet Union. Top 35 Prisoners of War Movies. [61] This was not successful, however, as the Japanese government refused to recognise the existence of captured Japanese military personnel. [70] In addition, 24 Japanese POWs killed themselves at Camp Paita, New Caledonia in January 1944 after a planned uprising was foiled. Until late 1946, the United States retained almost 70,000 POWs to dismantle military facilities in the Philippines, Okinawa, central Pacific, and Hawaii. [15], The indoctrination of Japanese military personnel to have little respect for the act of surrendering led to conduct which Allied soldiers found deceptive. https://allthatsinteresting.com/ravensbruck-womens-concentration-camp In practice though, many Allied soldiers were unwilling to accept the surrender of Japanese troops because of atrocities committed by the Japanese. [39] Overall, however, Allied submariners usually did not attempt to take prisoners, and the number of Japanese personnel they captured was relatively small. [29] Furthermore, in many instances, Japanese soldiers who had surrendered were killed on the front line or while being taken to POW compounds. Never live to experience shame as a prisoner. [43] The Japanese Government's wartime POW Information Bureau believed that 42,543 Japanese surrendered during the war;[17] a figure also used by Niall Ferguson who states that it refers to prisoners taken by United States and Australian forces. Wikimedia Commons. [24], The causes of the phenomenon that Japanese often continued to fight even in hopeless situations has been traced to a combination of Shinto, messhi hōkō (self-sacrifice for the sake of group), and Bushido. [78][79], Nationalist Chinese forces took the surrender of 1.2 million Japanese military personnel following the war. While the Bureau cataloged information provided by the Allies via the Red Cross identifying POWs, it did not pass this information on to the families of the prisoners. [40], Allied forces continued to kill many Japanese personnel who were attempting to surrender throughout the war. Most Japanese soldiers were interrogated by intelligence officers of the battalion or regiment which had captured them for information which could be used by these units. Tens of thousands of Japanese prisoners captured by Chinese communists were serving in their military forces in August 1946 and more than 60,000 were believed to still be held in Communist-controlled areas as late as April 1949. These interrogations were painful and stressful for the POWs. A map (front) of Imperial Japanese-run prisoner-of-war camps within the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere known during World War II from 1941 to 1945. This was the only time that the Japanese Government officially recognized that some members of the country's military had surrendered. The conditions these POWs were held in generally did not meet the standards required by international law. Jenny Martin was born in a prisoner of war camp in Singapore and her story is being remembered to mark 75 years since Hiroshima and the end of World War 2. These prisoners—being Australian—promptly told the Japanese to do one. [3] Fear of being killed after surrendering was one of the main factors which influenced Japanese troops to fight to the death, and a wartime US Office of Wartime Information report stated that it may have been more important than fear of disgrace and a desire to die for Japan. [84] Between 1946 and 1950, many of the Japanese POWs in Soviet captivity were released; those remaining after 1950 were mainly those convicted of various crimes. This document sought to establish standards of behavior for Japanese troops and improve discipline and morale within the Army, and included a prohibition against being taken prisoner. [56], Some Japanese POWs also played an important role in helping the Allied militaries develop propaganda and politically indoctrinate their fellow prisoners. Menu. As a result of these factors, Japanese POWs were often cooperative and truthful during interrogation sessions. While Japan signed the 1929 Geneva Convention covering treatment of POWs, it did not ratify the agreement, claiming that surrender was contrary to the beliefs of Japanese soldiers. The Soviet Union claimed to have taken 594,000 Japanese POWs, of whom 70,880 were immediately released, but Japanese researchers have estimated that 850,000 were captured. Not really. Some Japanese accounts put the number at … Amongst the three hundred thirty five Japanese prisoners held at Morotai are about one hundred who are listed as war criminals. Historian John W. Dower has attributed these deaths to the "wretched" condition of Japanese military units at the end of the war. The protest turned violent when the camp's deputy commander shot one of the protest's leaders. This was because the Nationalists wished to seize as many weapons as possible, ensure that the departure of the Japanese military didn't create a security vacuum and discourage Japanese personnel from fighting alongside the Chinese communists. [22] During the Battle of Okinawa, 11,250 Japanese military personnel (including 3,581 unarmed labourers) surrendered between April and July 1945, representing 12 percent of the force deployed for the defense of the island. Belle Boyd spied for the Confederacy by carrying important letters and papers across enemy lines. Interrogation: World War II, Vietnam, and Iraq, NATIONAL DEFENSE INTELLIGENCE COLLEGE WASHINGTON, DC. Sixty seven Army nurses and sixteen Navy nurses spent three years as prisoners of the Japanese. Sexually explicit memoir of women’s abuse in Nazi camps finally sees light Second-generation trauma expert Helen Epstein publishes late mother … [58] POWs also provided advice on the wording for propaganda leaflets which were dropped on Japanese cities by heavy bombers in the final months of the war. [76] Hundreds of Japanese POWs were killed fighting for the People's Liberation Army during the Chinese Civil War. A burial detail of American and Filipino prisoners of war using improvised litters to carry fallen comrades following the Bataan Death March, Camp O’Donnell (c. 1942). During World War II, it has been estimated that between 19,500 and 50,000 members of the Imperial Japanese military were captured alive or surrendered to Western Allied combatants, prior to the end of the Pacific War in August 1945. [75] In order to prevent resistance to the order to surrender, Japan's Imperial Headquarters included a statement that "servicemen who come under the control of enemy forces after the proclamation of the Imperial Rescript will not be regarded as POWs" in its orders announcing the end of the war. In an attempt to win better treatment for their POWs, the Allies made extensive efforts to notify the Japanese government of the good conditions in Allied POW camps. [7] During the Meiji period the Japanese government adopted western policies towards POWs, and few of the Japanese personnel who surrendered in the Russo-Japanese War were punished at the end of the war. During the fighting between the POWs and their guards 257 Japanese and four Australians were killed. The number of women who were held as prisoners of war remains unclear, with few official records available. [62] Nevertheless, Japanese POWs in Allied camps continued to be treated in accordance with the Geneva Conventions until the end of the war. They were gradually released under a series of amnesties between 1953 and 1956. [25] During the Pacific War the majority of Japanese military personnel did not believe that the Allies treated prisoners correctly, and even a majority of those who surrendered expected to be killed. [34] Allied forces mounted an extensive psychological warfare campaign against their Japanese opponents to lower their morale and encourage surrender. [80] Over the next few months, most Japanese prisoners in China, along with Japanese civilian settlers, were returned to Japan. These programs highlighted the intelligence which could be gained from Japanese POWs, the need to honor surrender leaflets, and the benefits which could be gained by encouraging Japanese forces to not fight to the last man. Director: Jean Negulesco | Stars: Claudette Colbert , Patric Knowles , Florence Desmond , Sessue Hayakawa While the Western Allies notified the Japanese government of the identities of Japanese POWs in accordance with the Geneva Convention's requirements, this information was not passed onto the families of the captured men as the Japanese government wished to maintain that none of its soldiers had been taken prisoner. They are: During the Civil War Dr. Mary Walker was held for four months in a Confederate prison camp, accused of being a spy for the Union Army. [24] Hoyt in "Japan’s war: the great Pacific conflict" argues that the Allied practice of taking bones from Japanese corpses home as souvenirs was exploited by Japanese propaganda very effectively, and "contributed to a preference to death over surrender and occupation, shown, for example, in the mass civilian suicides on Saipan and Okinawa after the Allied landings". [2], During the 1920s and 1930s, the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) adopted an ethos which required soldiers to fight to the death rather than surrender. He also directed that the photos "should be truthful and factual and not designed to exaggerate". They were also questioned once they reached a POW camp in Australia, New Zealand, India or the United States. [74], Millions of Japanese military personnel surrendered following the end of the war. A campaign launched in 1944 to encourage prisoner-taking was partially successful, and the number of prisoners taken increased significantly in the last year of the war. Pow in the Soviet Union were treated in accordance with international standards war and World war I also... Japanese warfare in the 1990s conditions at camp Tracy violated Geneva Convention crashed over Allied-held territory also committed. Recognized that some members of the war the only time that the photos `` should be and! 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