Location: Fukushima, Japan




Fukushima Civilian Internment Camp Committee Report


Fukushima, Japan, 11th July 1942 - 16th August 1945


This report has this day been adopted 'in toto' by the Committee. Fukushima, Japan, 5th September 1945


(Signed) C. Stratford (Chairman)

(Signed) J. Piangos (ex officio)

(Signed) Malcolm I. Scott (British Seamen's Rep.)

(Signed) J. M. Jack (Passengers' Rep.)

(Signed) Tom Oon (Malayan Group)

(Signed) C. W. E. Furey, Secretary (Passengers' Group)

(Signed) Walter Phillips (South African Rep.)

(Signed) Florence Thoms (Ladies' Rep.)




On the Civil Internment Camp at Fukushima, Japan from the 11th July 1942 to the 16th August 1945




This report has been drawn up by a sub-committee consisting of the three undersigned internees, namely Mr G. P. Stewart of the Indian Civil Service, Chairman, Mr C. W. E. Furey of the Chinese Maritime Customs Service and Mrs B. Murray, wife of Mr D. Murray of the Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China, appointed by the Internees' Committee which was constituted on the 9th October 1944 to look after their common interests and welfare. The pertinent resolutions of the internees constituting this committee may be seen in Appendix I to this report.


As the Greek internees (para. 2) (with the sole exception of Captain Piangos) and two others preferred not to co-operate with the rest of the internees, the Internees' Committee did not represent them; accordingly in this report we have not attempted to deal with any matters solely affecting them.


The Internees' Committee was brought to the attention of Mr Angst, the delegate in Japan of the International Red Cross Committee, in the presence of the Japanese Camp Authorities, in an interview on the 25th April 1945 and it received his approval and backing; it received the tacit recognition of the Japanese authorities.


The terms of reference given to this sub-committee by the Internees' Committee were as follows:-


"To draw up an uncoloured and strictly accurate report of our entire stay here covering all phases. In accounts of treatment and incidents, all opinions to be excluded and facts only to be stated. Opinions may be expressed in a general summary but they should be representative of the community as a whole. The names of officials to be quoted as far as possible." (Internees' Committee's Resolution dated the 19th August 1945).


All the opinions expressed throughout the report are, unless the text makes the contrary clear, the opinions of the writers of this report.



The total number of internees on the 15th August 1945 was 140, made up as follows:


MEN European British Subjects 55

Straights Chinese British Subjects 6

Straights Malay British Subjects 2

Hong Kong British Subjects 2

South African British Subjects 3

West African British Subjects 2

Arab (Aden) British Subjects 4

Somali (Aden) British Subjects 1

Greeks 19 

Spaniard 1 

Armenian 1 

Portuguese 1 

Undetermined Subject (Chinese) 1 


Total 98




European British Subjects 21

Straights Chinese British Subjects 4

Hong Kong British Subjects 1

British Indian 1

Greek 1

Chinese 1


Total 29



CHILDREN under 11 years of age 13


Grand Total 140



Two boys, aged 14 and 13 years, are included in the figures for Men Internees as they were quartered with the men and one child born a few weeks after her mother's arrival at the camp is included in the figures for children; two men internees and one woman internee who died during internment are not included (para. 12).


On the 15th August 1945 the Portuguese subject left the camp under Japanese escort to be transferred to another camp at Tokyo.



All the internees in this camp were captured at sea by German armed raiders and brought by the Germans to Yokohama. There they were officially given into Japanese custody by the Germans on the 10th July 1942 and were told by a Japanese official that they were being placed under the care of a Special Branch of the Police of the Fukushima Prefecture. On the night of the 10th-11th July they were taken by train to Fukushima, reaching the camp at about 9.00 a.m.


(Note: Four internees arrived in November 1942 and one in November 1943.)



The Japanese staff was as follows:


a) The Chief of the Special Branch of the Prefecture Police. This officer was the highest local authority for the control of the camp. The internees have been informed that he had many other duties unconnected with this camp. He visited the camp only occasionally and it was difficult for the internees to obtain access to him. The writing of letters to him or to any other authority was forbidden. During the period under report two officials held this post. We are not able to ascertain the name of the first official who held this post from the arrival of the internees until about July 1944. The second official was Mr Kyushi Tari, who was still holding the post at the time of reporting.


b) An official whose name, rank and exact function we do not know but who was referred to by the Japanese as the "Inspector". He appeared to be the assistant of the Chief of the Special Branch and senior to the Camp Commandant and we suspect that he had a very considerable influence in the administration of the camp. He visited the camp occasionally and once held charge as Camp Commandant from the 13th July 1944 to the 1st August 1944 pending the arrival of the third Camp Commandant. This post seemed to be vacant, at least as far as this camp was concerned, for the last year of internment.


c) The Camp Commandant (Taijo). This officer was in immediate charge of the camp and attended daily. (For details see para. 25.)


d) Two Sergeants (Bucho). One Sergeant was always on duty in the camp with his own squad of guards; the spell of duty was twenty four hours at a stretch. There were many Sergeants at various times and for varying periods. They were apparently supposed to refer almost all matters affecting the internees to the Commandant for orders.


e) The Police Constables acting as guards. When the camp was first occupied there were sixteen of these guards divided into two squads alternately on duty. The guards kept all internees, both men and women, continuously under observation indoors and outdoors; they constantly patrolled the building indoors, inspecting the internees' rooms, both men's and women's, at frequent intervals. After the first year the number was gradually reduced so that at the end of the period of internment there were only five. As far as the maintenance of necessary discipline among the internees was concerned, this number appeared to be adequate. With the reduction of guards, the closeness with which they kept internees under observation also diminished.


All the above staff were members of the police force and had their quarters, when not on duty, outside but adjacent to the camp.


f) Interpreters. Two civilian interpreters accompanied the internees from Yokohama but were relieved after the first fortnight by an elderly man, Mr Midori Kawa, who was later joined by his wife. This interpreter remained at the camp until the 31st August 1944, a period of just over two years. His English was adequate for his position. His wife held no official position but sometimes interpreted in the absence of her husband. Two young lady interpreters, the Misses Y. and M. Kokubun, replaced Mr Midori Kawa on the 1st September 1944 and were here at the end of internment. Their English was better than their predecessor's. The interpreters have all resided in the camp.


g) The Kitchen Staff. There was one male cook. He resided in the camp along with his bed-ridden wife. This unfortunate woman gradually grew worse, eventually becoming demented, singing and shouting almost continuously; she died on the premises on the 31st August 1944. There were also three women helpers who do not merit any remarks and who were not resident in the camp.


h) The Gardener. The Gardener, an elderly gentleman whose name was Suzuki, was employed on the premises before the war; besides looking after the garden he tended the central heating installation. He did not reside in the camp.


In addition to the above Japanese, the camp authorities appointed the following internees to duties indicated below:


i) One Headman (Bucho). Captain Stratford was appointed to this position immediately on the arrival of the internees, presumably because he had held it while they were in German hands. His function was to convey all orders from the Japanese authorities to the internees and to present to the Japanese all requests from the internees, whether on behalf of individuals or of the camp as a whole. He was also instructed to see that the internees kept their quarters clean and to strike any who disobeyed him (which injunction, needless to say, Captain Stratford ignored). He was, however, never required to inform against any internees for breach of regulations. Such little authority as was delegated to him was always subject to interference by any guard or other official who happened to interest himself at any time.


j) One Assistant Headman. After some time Captain Piangos was given this position. His duties were exactly similar to Captain Stratford's for whom he acted as relief.


k) One Headwoman and, after a year, one Assistant Headwoman. The women internees were allowed to select their own Headwoman who was then appointed by the Japanese and who was never allowed to resign in spite of several attempts to do so. Mrs Thoms filled this post. Mrs Hercombe was appointed by the Japanese to the post of Assistant Headwoman and was relieved from time to time by Mrs Garner. The duties of the Headwoman and Assistant Headwoman were similar to those of the Headman and Assistant Headman in the men's section.


l) Groupleaders. On arrival, the Japanese divided all internees into groups of from five to twenty five occupying contiguous quarters. Each group was directed to elect one member as a Groupleader. The Groupleaders' functions were solely to convey instructions issued through the Headman. They were told to see that the internees obeyed the regulations. (Appendix II).


m) Kitchen Assistants. Four men and one woman internee assisted in the kitchen. They were chosen by the Japanese and changed at irregular intervals and they were always recompensed by the issue of extra rations and extra cigarettes and on one occasion by the payment of yen. This service was not compulsory.


n) Sweepers. Six men internees, selected by the Japanese and changed at irregular intervals, were employed to keep clean the parts of the camp occupied by the Japanese police officials and the internees' mess rooms. The service was not compulsory and was recompensed by the issue of extra cigarettes.


o) About half a dozen volunteers formed a gardening squad from time to time and were recompensed by the issue of extra rations and extra cigarettes and on one occasion by the payment of yen.


(Note: We have asked the fourth Commandant to give us the names of the officials connected with the camp but he has not done so.)



Fukushima lies in a fertile valley at an altitude of about one thousand feet above sea level. From December to March snow lay constantly and daily temperatures varied between freezing point and -14oF. Spring and autumn were temperate and very healthful but summers were hot and humid. There were frequent earth tremors, some severe, but none lasting more than a few seconds. There were many paddy fields adjacent to the camp and mosquitoes were very numerous during the hot summer months.



The camp was located in the Convent of Our Lady of the Rising Sun on the outskirts of the town of Fukushima. The building was excellent, a two-storied ferro-concrete structure with an attic above the upper storey and a small basement. It was divided into two sections, one accommodating the men internees and the other the women and children internees, which were separated by fireproof steel doors. The administrative offices, the two mess rooms for internees, a large hall, the kitchen, a laundry room, the guards' mess room and some of the women internees' quarters occupied the ground floor; the internees' quarters and a chapel occupied the upper storey; the attic was used as a lumber room and never was open for use by internees; the furnaces and boilers of an efficient central heating installation and a small storeroom occupied the basement (for plan see Appendix III).



The majority of the rooms allocated to the internees accommodated three persons and measured approximately eight feet by twelve feet by ten feet high. There were six larger rooms accommodating from four to twenty persons. All rooms contained a table or desk, two chairs and built-in cupboards. Internees slept on standard sized straw sleeping mats (tatamis) measuring six feet by three feet and about two inches thick. Each internee was supplied with one such mat (except some of the very small children who had to share their mothers' mats), a mattress and a Japanese quilt (futong), both filled with thick cotton wadding and one sheet. One blanket was also issued to each internee not already possessing one of his own. Mosquito nets, large enough to cover three or in some cases more sleeping mats, were issued in July 1943.


From the dimensions of the rooms and the size of the sleeping mats it will be seen that the personal quarters were extremely cramped; when the sleeping mats were on the floor there was practically no uncovered floor space left even in the larger rooms. The rooms were lit by electricity and equipped with a radiator connected with the central heating installation. Each room had at least one window.



The convent is provided with an efficient septic tank system and an excellent supply of water from the town mains suitable for all purposes was maintained throughout the period of internment.


a) Men's quarters. Originally there were six lavatories, four washing sinks and two baths. The plumbing and fittings were modern and in good condition. Hot and cold taps were fitted to all the sinks and baths. Owing to the camp authorities neglecting to make even minor repairs, it became necessary in the course of time permanently to put out of use two lavatories and two washing sinks and one bath.


b) Women's quarters. Originally in the women internees' quarters there were four lavatories, five sinks and one Japanese style wooden bath tub. One of the sinks became unusable after the first year owing to the authorities neglecting minor repairs. During the whole period under report, whenever hot baths were available, the women internees' bathroom was used by the camp officers and their friends who bathed there before the women and children internees were allowed to begin. After the first few weeks hot water for bathing was provided once a week until spring 1945 after which it ceased, presumably owing to a shortage of coal.



The convent stands in its own grounds which measure 90 yards by 136 yards, comprising an area of about three and a half acres, and which are surrounded by a five foot nine inch concrete wall. Of this area, the ground floor of the building covers about 1,628 square yards, an asphalt exercise ground measuring about 19 yards by 36 yards occupies the south east corner and about two and a half acres were cultivated as a vegetable garden. The exercise ground was reserved for the use of the men internees, the women internees being allowed to use it on only three or four occasions during their whole period of internment. The women internees were restricted to the paths through the vegetable garden on their own side of the building for exercise and all outdoor activities. These paths were 9 feet wide and their total length was 67 yards; they were unusable in winter owing to mud. (Appendix III for plan). No garden seats, or material for making seats, were provided by the authorities.


10. FOOD:

The food supplied to the thirteen children was always satisfactory and well maintained. Milk was supplied to those under three years of age, although from February 1945 the quantity was cut from two half pint bottles a day to one half pint bottle a day. The feeding of the adult internees went through three phases during the period under report.


In the first phase, lasting about three months from the arrival of the internees until the end of October 1942, the food supplied was satisfactory in quality but pitifully inadequate in quantity. As we have no reason to think that there was any serious food shortage in Japan at that time, we have come to the conclusion that it was the deliberate policy of the Japanese authorities to starve the internees. The following is an outline of the meals during this phase:-


Morning meal: about 5 ounces of white bread

about 1 teaspoonful of thin jam

about 1/3 pint of weak tea, without milk or sugar


Midday meal: about 5 ounces of white bread

meat or fish, not more than 1 ounce

not more than 2 ounces of vegetables, usually raw


Evening meal: As for midday meal


(Note: The internees had at that time no means of weighing anything and so the weights given are guessed. The fact that the quantity of food was inadequate is best inferred from the figures in Appendix IV which show the loss of weight of the majority of internees.)


The quality of the bread was satisfactory; occasionally bad meat or fish was served; it was not uncommon for internees to gather weeds from the garden to eke out their rations.


The second phase began at the end of October 1942 and lasted until the following summer. The meals were similar to those of the first phase but with the following improvements:-


*Increase in the bread ration to about 7 ounces at each meal.

*Introduction of fats in the form of liver paste (from 1 to 2 ounces) and butter (about 1/2 ounce for twenty nine meals during the whole period on internment).

*Increase in the meat ration at midday or evening meal.

*Increase in vegetable ration, principally in the form of pumpkins.

*Small quantity of boiled rice occasionally.

*Fruit at irregular intervals.

*One cup of weak tea (not much better than hot water and without milk) at every meal from the beginning of 1943.


These improvements were sufficient to arrest the loss of weight of most internees, though the quantity of food still remained inadequate.


It should be mentioned that, during this phase, food which had been allowed to go bad in store was thrown out. Food thus thrown out included butter, fruit, eggs, meat and pumpkins.


Moreover, food was seen to be removed from the camp by members of the Japanese staff on more than one occasion. Food thus removed included meat (as the principal item), potatoes, fruit, bread and, on several occasions, complete hot meals. We suppose that it is possible that these formed part of the rations of the Japanese staff.


The third phase began in the late summer of 1943 and lasted until the 15th August 1945, a period of two years. It was characterised by a gradual but steady reduction of rations which we believe reflected the increasing food shortage throughout Japan; reference to Appendix IV will show that at the end of this phase there was a still further loss of weight among most of the internees. In the latter part of 1943 jam, butter and liver paste ceased to be issued; during the winter of 1943/44 meals without meat or fish began to be served with increasing frequency and occasionally meals without vegetables were served; fruit became very infrequent; the evening meal became more and more sketchy; by the end of 1944, meat or fish, and vegetables were frequently being issued for one meal a day only, but, very occasionally, a thin watery soup was served at the morning meal; there was an improvement in rations in July and August 1944 but this was not maintained; by September 1944 food was again very scanty; by November 1944 the meals served rarely contained meat or fats in any form; by February 1945 tea and dry bread for two out of the three daily meals and only a few spoonfuls of watery vegetable stews for the third meal were the regular thing. From April 1945 tea and dry bread alone for all three meals became more and more frequent.


At the beginning of this third phase, in August 1943, the white bread was replaced by special small loaves or rolls said to be standardised throughout Japan as a war measure. They varied from time to time as to ingredients, sometimes containing potatoes, sweet potatoes, or even fish bones and appeared to be made of wholemeal flour with an increasingly high percentage of bran towards the end of the period and to be a very nutritious form of bread. Their weight varied from just over six ounces to over seven ounces. Thanks to the ingenuity of one of the internees, these rolls were able to be weighed with accuracy, as he constructed a pair of scales with the empty tins obtained from Red Cross food supplies. When these rolls were introduced in August 1943, the ration was three a day. After many representations this was increased in November 1943, for the men internees only, to three and a half, or just under one and a half pounds of bread a day; the women internees' ration remained at three as before. For a short time early in 1944 the ration was raised to four rolls for the men but soon went back to three and a half and for a short time in the autumn to three only; by this time the rolls were almost their only source of nourishment. From late 1944 until the end of the phase, an extra half roll was issued on average once or twice a week and, by the beginning of June 1945, the daily food ration of each male internee was only three and a half rolls, totalling twenty two or twenty three ounces of bread and three cups of weak tea without milk or sugar; intervals as long as three weeks often separated the issue of any vegetables at all, and meat and fish were never seen.


At this time there were in the garden, cultivated by the internees' own labour, onions, spinach, peas and a kind of large white radish. Only the radish tops were given to the internees at infrequent intervals. The greater part of the garden had been sown with potatoes and, although yielding a harvest estimated at three to four tons by the end of July, none were issued to the internees.


Had the internees not received food parcels from the International Red Cross (para. 20), it would indeed have been difficult for most of them to have survived the winter and spring without serious consequences. The Headman, on many occasions, made representations to the camp authorities about the inadequacy of rations and, on one occasion, was informed by the Commandant (the third Commandant) that in other camps only one roll a day and only one plate of stew were issued to each prisoner or internee, a statement which it is difficult to credit.



The kitchen was well appointed but inadequately equipped in pots and saucepans for the numbers for which it had to cater.


Knives, forks and spoons of inferior quality were provided in sufficient number for one sitting only in each mess room when the internees first arrived. (For each meal there were three sittings in each mess room.) The spoons and forks soon broke and were never replaced. Finally, in the summer of 1943, all the knives were taken away because internees persisted in bringing a few upstairs to their quarters. Thenceforth the internees had to depend on their own initiative for their eating implements. Permission to write to the Red Cross delegate for a supply of them was withheld, even after he had officially made contact with the camp (para. 20).



The general health of the internees was good. During the first three months there were many cases of severe diarrhoea and acute constipation; faintness and vertigo were common; among the women menstruation became irregular, in many cases ceasing altogether, with consequent nervous symptoms. This was the initial period of starvation (para. 10). In February 1943 there was an epidemic of mild chickenpox among the women and children internees. In the summer of 1945 there was recurrence in epidemic form of acute diarrhoea and an epidemic of influenza with symptoms of anaemia; in the women's section menstruation troubles occurred again; dizziness and vertigo were again common. Reference to para. 10 will show that these conditions were contemporaneous with very inadequate food rations. Throughout the period of internment colds, chills and very large and painful boils were common and, during the winter months each year chilblains, almost amounting to frostbite, were general on both hands and feet.


No doctor ever attended the camp regularly. On eight occasions, at irregular intervals, a lady doctor made a very cursory examination of all internees and recorded their weights. Her last examination was in August 1944. In February 1943, during the chickenpox epidemic, all internees were vaccinated. It was always difficult to persuade the camp authorities to send for a doctor, several applications usually being necessary, and often as long as a week elapsing before a doctor came.


No room was ever set aside as a hospital; treatment in almost all cases was given in the cramped quarters of the patient, in which also two deaths occurred.


As a special diet for the sick, dry toast, soup, cold boiled rice, rarely milk and, even more rarely, butter were provided. In one case, however, oil was given in small quantities for about six months.


Apart from laxatives, aspirins, chilblain ointment and injections of various kinds, very little medicine was supplied by the Japanese. Dressings and bandages were never issued by the camp authorities except in the case of Mrs Bok (see below). On two occasions, however, a doctor brought dressings with him for serious wounds. At times even hot water for the sick was grudgingly given.


The women internees suffered owing to the impossibility of getting sanitary towels; in the earlier part of their internment they were given toilet paper and a very little cotton wool which they had to wash and had to use over and over again. Over a period of many months nothing at all was issued except some rags intended for dusters.


At last, in August 1944, after many representations, one of the women internees, a qualified nursing sister, was allowed to visit the men's section daily at fixed hours; her services did much to help the sick men.


There were three deaths. Mr V. M. Hemy, aged about fifty five, died on the 5th August 1942; his was either a case of cancer of the stomach or of chronic duodenal ulcer, but he got no special diet. Mr Nicol McIntyre, aged sixty three, died on the 13th September 1942; he had had a stroke two days previously; he had been frequently compelled, along with other internees, to weed the garden for one or two hours at a stretch in the blazing sun. Mrs L. E. Gleeson, aged about fifty, died on the 7th April 1945 as a result of an obstruction of the intestines; it is known that she had had serious abdominal operations at some time in the past which may have been connected with her last illness. Towards the end the Japanese made a genuine effort to help her, giving her a separate room with a bedstead and also injections to relieve her pain.


The following cases merit special mention:-


a) Messrs O. Olsen, Hamish Robertson, D. R. Patrick, E. Westley, T. Melia and Sergeant N. Erskine arrived here with incompletely healed wounds; they received no special treatment or special medical examination (Appendix V, No. 1).


b) Mr H. J. Crocker, when he arrived here, was suffering from inflamed heart muscles. He was unable to leave his bed for fifteen months. He was allowed a ration of milk but no other special treatment. However he recovered.


c) Mr Bok Sye Foo developed acute bronchitis early in the winter of 1943/44 shortly after the incident described in Appendix VI, No. 10. He never fully recovered. He was unaccustomed to a climate as severe as that of Fukushima.


d) Mr L. D. Fernandez developed pleurisy during the winter of 1944/45 and was threatened with pneumonia. He was treated with injections, allowed a bedstead in his quarters and given sugar and milk in addition to the ordinary diet; he recovered.


e) Miss A. Jeffery developed pleurisy in the early spring of 1945 and at the end of internment was making a slow recovery. She had medicines and invalid diet from the Japanese authorities but, had the fluid been removed, she would have made a speedy recovery.


f) Mrs Bok Sye Foo suffered from a cough, evening fever and very severe abdominal pains for the last three and a half months of her internment. She had medicines and one or two injections from a Japanese doctor who did not divulge his diagnosis. Tubercular trouble was suspected. Her teeth were in an extremely bad condition.


g) Mrs L. E. Gleeson, about six months before her death, developed a septic finger. For details of this case, Appendix V, No. 2 containing the statement of Mrs Scott and Miss Law, qualified nursing sisters among the women internees, should be referred to.


h) Mrs C. R. Golsworthy had shown occasional asthmatic symptoms before capture; during October 1943 she began to have severe attacks of asthma and she was treated with injections but, owing to the delays usual in securing the doctor's attendance and the fact that her heart was being affected, she suffered much while awaiting his arrival, sometimes several hours later. Eventually, in the autumn of 1944, the Japanese authorities agreed to keep the injections in the camp office and to allow Miss Law to give them, this ensuring an early arrest of the attacks.


i) Mr K. B. Johnson, an elderly internee, had a stroke on the 2nd August 1945 which left him paralysed on the left side. A doctor came promptly; he was moved to a separate room with a bedstead, given milk once a day and soup three times. A urgently repeated request for special laxative, as those in the camp failed to act, was not granted until ten days later.


j) Mr V. S. White suffered from some unknown disease which a Japanese doctor once suggested might be leprosy. After much representation he was transferred to a room with only one other inmate and given his own utensils for meals but he was allowed to continue using one of the common lavatories and the bathroom.


There was one birth during the internment. On the 18th August 1942, a female child was born to Mrs Bok Sye Foo in a suitable room in the camp. A Japanese midwife and a Japanese nurse were in attendance and the midwife paid a daily visit for ten days. After delivery, Mrs Bok was allowed soup, rice and bread in addition to the camp ration and also extra bread with jam between each meal. Except that no clothing was provided for the child by the authorities, the treatment was satisfactory.


Medical attention and consideration for the sick were markedly better during the third Commandant's time.


Dental treatment was unsatisfactory. The dentist attended at very irregular intervals and inserted only temporary fillings, generally of cotton wool, and extracted only when the tooth was loose. Internees suffering acutely from toothache had to wait for weeks before the dentist appeared in response to their application. Some internees were able to have their dentures repaired.


The central heating installation warmed the building effectively but it was put into operation only sparingly. In the first winter it was used continuously for two months, day and night, from the 8th December and then cut off entirely in the middle of the coldest part of the year. In the second winter the amount of coal available was used more intelligently; the heating system was not run at night or on very mild days, with the result that the building was heated in all the very cold spells from December to March. In the third winter, the amount of coal allowed was much reduced and the building was heated for less than twenty days; this was the severest winter during the period of internment.



All the internees were captured at sea and were forced to abandon their ships in a hurry. The passengers (men and women) and crew of the s.s. 'Nankin' had however been allowed to return to their ship and pack up what clothing they could in one suitcase, but the passengers had all been proceeding to destinations in the tropics and were not travelling with heavy clothing.


The remainder of the internees (all men) were forced to abandon their ships clad only in what they stood; the majority of them were practically naked when picked up by the German raider and had been given only sufficient clothing to preserve their decency.


As time passed the internees' clothing became worn out but it was only in cases of extreme necessity that the camp authorities replaced them. To meet the severe winters underwear was required by everybody and, though sufficient underwear appeared to reach the camp, some of it was issued to the Japanese guards. The number of garments issued to the internees during the winter of 1942/43 was twenty undervests, twenty underpants, ten jackets and thirteen trousers to the men internees; and twenty two sets of underwear to the women internees. During the winter of 1943/44, twelve undervests, nine underpants, one jacket and three pairs of trousers were issued to the men internees. Repeated applications to the authorities for patching material was made at various times but only a small quantity was issued which was not nearly enough to meet requirements.


Although the Japanese custom of removing the outdoor footwear on entering the building was enforced, no indoor shoes were issued by the authorities.


A total of fifty nine cakes of soap (average weight about three ounces) were issued to the men internees, thirty cakes were issued to the women and child internees to keep themselves and their clothing clean.


Tooth powder and tooth brushes were issued every six months.


Throughout the tenures of office of the first and second camp Commandants the issue of the cigarette ration was extremely erratic. During the period of the first Commandant the issue was so irregular that no check on the ration was possible; for many consecutive days it was stopped and, when resumed, the lost ration was never made up. With the arrival of the third camp Commandant a ration of five cigarettes daily was issued but, during the tenure of the fourth Commandant, the issue again became irregular, though not to the same extent as mentioned above. The cigarette ration was cut to three per internee a day from May 1945. During the periods of the third and fourth Commandants the issue of the cigarettes was sometimes free and sometimes by purchase.


A few small face towels were issued to men internees during the whole period of internment and sufficient mosquito coils were given during the first summer before the issue of nets.


Nothing whatever was done by the authorities in the way of issuing books, games or other pastimes or paper and pencils to assist in the education of the child internees. In these circumstances the internees displayed much ingenuity and dexterity in making necessities for themselves from scrap materials found on the premises. The Japanese did however lend two typewriters and issued paper and carbon paper for the writing of internees' monthly letters home (para. 18).



On their arrival the internees were addressed by the Chief of the Special Branch of the Police who informed them that they must obey the regulations and orders of the Camp Commandant (Appendix VII, No.1). They were required to sign a paper printed in Japanese only containing, they were informed, a promise to obey regulations, the Japanese agreeing to protect them as long as they did so.


A reasonable routine with the appropriate orders was issued covering daily life in the camp but, from that time onwards, the number of regulations mounted until there were at least 173 (Appendix II).


The large majority of these regulations were made on the spot, sometimes by the Camp Commandant but as often as not by individual guards; the object of many of these regulations, or what effect they had in maintaining proper discipline in the camp, is hard to discern.



Breach of any of the regulations referred to in para. 14 and Appendix II and disobedience to any order issued by any guard was punishable. Punishments imposed included the following:


*Official reprimand by the Camp Commandant.

*Slapping (generally on the face or head) on the spot by the officer concerned or in the office when the case was brought before the Camp Commandant.

*Standing at attention or kneeling on the floor for periods, sometimes lasting several hours and sometimes in a particularly cold place with insufficient clothes.

*Prohibition on going out of doors for several days.

*Confiscation of footwear for long periods.

*Stoppage of one or more meals.

*Prohibition of all smoking.

*Standing and holding buckets of water.

*Stoppage of meetings between husbands and wives.

*Striking on head and body with sticks.

*Prohibition on attending church.

*Standing for attention for six hours a day, with intervals for 
meals, daily for several days.

*Running out of doors in bare feet on cinder-covered track in winter.


It was a common policy to inflict punishment on the whole camp for breach of regulations by a few or even by a single internee, the object being to make the internees bring pressure to bear on any of them who disregarded regulations. When punishments were inflicted, especially in the case of communal punishments, a clear announcement explaining why the punishment was being inflicted was rarely made with the result that the camp was often uncertain whether it was being punished or not; this was so especially in cases of general stoppage or delay in the issue of cigarette rations or in the meeting between husbands and wives.


The punishments inflicted seemed to us to have been often disproportionate to the gravity of the offence. The trivial nature of many of the regulations (Appendix II) must be borne in mind. Instances of the more glaringly disproportionate punishments, or of punishments which in our opinion were improper in a civilian camp, are attached in Appendix VI in the form of signed statements made by the internees themselves.



The religious observances of all internees, among whom were included Christians of various denominations and Moslems, were always respected by the Japanese. The convent chapel was opened daily at fixed times for public worship. In accordance with the policy of strict segregation of the sexes, the men and women internees had to sit on opposite sides of the church, no relaxation of the rules being allowed even for husbands and wives; at least one guard was present throughout every service and some regulations were issued about the conduct of internees in church (Appendix II, Nos. 112-119). Otherwise there was no interference with the conduct of services though sometimes some slight disturbance was made by guards on duty talking or walking about in the church. The result of complaints about this may be seen in Appendix VI, No.5). Higher officials, present on a few occasions, behaved with respect.


The funerals of the three internees who died were decently arranged and up to four internees were allowed to accompany the remains to the cemetery or crematorium.



A few hours after arrival all contact between men and women was strictly forbidden. This rule applied with equal strictness to members of the same family and only relaxed on birthdays and wedding anniversaries on which occasions a short interview was permitted in the presence of the Commandant and the interpreter. It became a punishable offence for husbands, wives or children to acknowledge each other in any way by smiling or even waving at a distance in the grounds.


Early in October 1943, in the time of the second Commandant, the Headwoman was officially asked which of the married women wanted children and which could not have children for any reason and whether they understood the use of contraceptives. Then, for several weeks, a room was made available and four of the fifteen married couples were taken on different occasions to this room for half an hour. The door of the room was locked from the outside. The utmost precautions were taken by the authorities to ensure privacy and the married couples concerned were ordered to keep their meetings a secret from the other internees. On one occasion, after a meeting, the wife of one of the internees was handed a small rubber syringe and told to "make use of it"; thereafter she was asked several times if she had used it. The Headwoman was later officially asked whether the woman had menstruated.


This practice suddenly ceased. On the 29th October 1943, after fifteen months of separation, all families were allowed to assemble together for a period of two hours and thereafter to meet together at infrequent and irregular intervals for periods varying from half an hour to two hours. In five months, from the 29th October 1943 to the 13th March 1944, there were only five such meetings. From April 1944, in the third Commandant's time, families were allowed to meet regularly once a week for two hours. From the 25th December 1944 daily meetings for periods of one or two hours were granted until April 1945 when, under the fourth Commandant, meetings were considerably curtailed, taking place two or three times a week only.



From the 11th July 1942 until March 1944 the internees were held 'incommunicado' even to the extent of being forbidden to speak to visiting Japanese officials.


In November 1942 about ten internees were selected and instructed to write letters to their relatives. We suspect that these letters were never sent out of the camp.


In March 1944 the internees were informed by the Commandant that a change for the better would be made in their treatment. A list of the privileges allowed to internees was then made public stating, among other items, that they would be allowed to send one letter of one hundred words to their relatives each month on the subject of health only; that a radio broadcast receiver would be allowed in the camp; that an International Red Cross delegate and their own Protector Power's delegate (para. 19) would be permitted to visit the camp and that newspapers, both Japanese and English, would be provided.


The Red Cross Committee's delegate visited the camp on the 24th March 1944 (para. 20) and he was the first human contact the internees had made with the outside world since their internment in July 1942. This delegate informed the internees that his committee had only been advised of the existence of this camp in March 1944. A few cables from relatives were received by some of the internees shortly after his visit, followed by some more at long intervals. A few letters were received by internees in July 1944, followed by some more at long intervals and it is obvious that many letters dispatched never reached internees. There were still internees at the end of their internment who had received no news from their next-of-kin. The monthly letters to relatives were regularly allowed to be sent until December 1944 but internees were not allowed to write during January and February 1945 on the alleged ground that the camp authorities were waiting for more writing paper to come from Tokyo. This privilege was again withheld during July 1945 on the same plea.


Newspapers, both Japanese and English, were provided by the authorities from the beginning of March 1944 and were regularly received until July 1944; then they stopped for about three weeks. The Commandant said that the papers had not arrived from Tokyo. From this time on the Japanese newspaper was not provided. The English newspaper, however, continued to be received with occasional stoppages of from seven to fourteen days until the 15th May 1945 when it finally stopped altogether and the Commandant stated that it had ceased to be published. This was not so, for we know that some copies were delivered at the camp, along with the usual staff newspapers, at various times between the 16th May 1945 and the 15th August 1945.


In spite of the strict withholding of newspapers from July 1942 to March 1944 and for various shorter periods thereafter, the internees were able surreptitiously to 'borrow' copies of the guards' Japanese newspapers and, thanks to one of the internee's knowledge of Chinese characters together with the fortunate finding of a Japanese-French dictionary, they were always abreast of the news although none of them could speak or understand spoken Japanese. The first and second Commandants became suspicious that the internees were getting news from some unauthorised source but were never able to elucidate the matter to their satisfaction.


The broadcast receiver gave news in Japanese only and was soon removed to the office for the use of the Japanese staff.



On the 24th March 1944 the internees learnt for the first time that the Minister of Switzerland to Japan was looking after British interests and that Switzerland was their Protecting Power. On the 25th April 1944 a delegate of the Swiss Minister inspected the camp and interviewed internees. The Headman was able to inform him fully of the conditions prevailing and of the treatment accorded to internees. After his visit conditions improved in many respects - corporal punishments became very rare and also regimentation (para. 25) became considerably less. Delegates of the Protecting Power paid further visits to the camp on the 25th August 1944 and the 10th July 1945. On the days of the first two visits by the delegates the meals served were very much better than average.


The Protecting Power was instrumental in getting monthly allowances of Y50.00 for each internee and in getting mail delivered to internees (para. 18). To his influence also we attribute the increased consideration and authority given by the Japanese to the Headman and Headwoman thenceforward.


In addition he sent paper and pencils to help in the tuition of the children and several tubs of soft soap which were badly needed.


Until 1945 the Headman was not allowed to write to the Minister of Switzerland except in answer to a letter from him.



Mr Angst, delegate in Japan of the International Red Cross Committee, visited the camp twice, first on the 24th March 1944 and again on the 25th April 1945. His first visit was made use of by the Japanese authorities in the following way. A party of well-equipped cinema photographers appeared and took photographs of the internees doing their regular physical exercise out of doors, of a church service in progress, of men, women and child internees lunching together (an event which had never taken place previously and which occurred only once subsequently), of men and women internees walking and talking together in the grounds (compare with para. 17), of the Headman and the Assistant Headman holding roll call (a duty which had never before been delegated to them and in fact was not so delegated until several weeks later), of the large hall downstairs (furnished with tables, chairs, books and flowers for this day only) with the Headman talking to various selected men, women and children, and of the dispensary well-equipped with two Japanese nurses in attendance (both equipment and nurses for this day only). For the photographs the internees were instructed to remove their wooden identification numbers and to wear their best clothes and, in the case of women, to make up their faces carefully; every Asiatic internee was excluded from every photograph. Neither the Headman nor any other internee were allowed to speak to the delegate unless the interpreter or his wife were near enough to overhear.


The following much needed supplies were received from or through the International Red Cross Committee:


*A gift for Christmas 1943 of a few yen from the Canadian Government for the two Canadian internees.

*A total of ten food parcels each and some bulk food between March 1944 and May 1945.

*First Aid kits.

*Bulk medicine.

*Toilet requisites.

*US Army boots



After the initial visit of the International Red Cross Committee's delegate, books (both recreational and educational), games (both indoor and outdoor), socks, thread, toothpowder and toothbrushes, gramophone records and nail files were received from time to time from the International Y.M.C.A. The delegate of the Swedish Minister to Japan, who was also representative of the International Y.M.C.A., visited the camp twice, first on the 7th June 1944 and again on the 10th July 1945.


There was also one brief visit from the Apostolic delegate who interviewed the Headman and a few of the Roman Catholic internees and left Y1,000 as a gift to all the internees.


Until 1945 the Headman was not allowed to write to the International Red Cross delegate or the International Y.M.C.A. delegate except in answer to letters from them.



The internees were always expected to keep clean their quarters, the corridors, the wash rooms and the lavatories. There was never any regular inspection of quarters by the camp authorities but guards would frequently raise objections to the state of the corridors, often without reason. The grounds too were cleaned up by the internees when the authorities thought fit; as they were heavily overgrown with weeds at the time of the internees' arrival, all were put to work tearing these up with their hands (para. 12, Mr McIntyre's death). In subsequent years, however, a small squad of volunteer gardeners was formed and remunerated for their services (para. 4) and only occasionally were all internees set to work scavenging in the grounds.


From April 1943 light indoor work on payment was provided for selected volunteer workers. This work took the form, for the men, of stripping down books and making from the leaves small paper bags for protecting fruit from insects; the women sewed up the fingers of machine-made cotton gloves.



Although volunteer workers (para. 21) were paid in yen and although all internees received money from outside sources (paras. 19 and 20), reasonable facilities for spending money were never given. No tradespeople were allowed to bring goods for sale to the camp and no form of camp canteen was opened. From time to time, at long intervals, internees were allowed to submit lists of their requirements and then a few of the articles wanted were brought by the guards, presumably from local shops, to the camp and their price realised from the internees. The quality of all the articles thus sold to the internees was extremely inferior and they did not meet any of their vital needs. The last time internees were able to make any purchases was in October 1944.



An Air Raid Precaution Scheme for this camp had apparently not been considered by the camp authorities until May 1943 and, when first established, it was of a most elementary nature. Long intervals occurred between practices which consisted chiefly of getting the internees accustomed to the different signals of the sirens (at no time, however, were they fully able to comprehend them). It was not until February 1945 that definite instructions were issued as to what the internees were to do in case of 'alarm'. The scheme of the camp authorities in 1943/44 covered only the blacking out of lights and standing by to receive orders; open trenches were dug in the camp grounds but they were never used and were nearly always full of water. During these years the co-operation of the internees with the camp authorities, although proffered by the Headman for fighting fire, looking after women and children and invalid internees and other duties, was not welcomed. From July 1942 until February 1945 there appeared to be little cause for local alarm but the 'laissez faire' policy of the authorities did not give the internees confidence in their ability to cope with raids.


In December 1944 the Headman tried to submit an Air Raid Precaution Scheme which the Internees' Committee had worked out but the Commandant refused to consider it.


From February 1945 until the 15th August 1945 'alarms', particularly at night, became more and more frequent; Allied planes often passed over the camp or in its vicinity. From the middle of June 1945 until the cessation of hostilities the camp was, to all intents and purposes, 'standing by' continuously.


In December 1944 the Commandant made arrangements for all the internees to take shelter in the basement (para. 6). The sexes were, however, still segregated; the shelter for the forty two women and child internees was a storeroom measuring about 30 feet by 12 feet by 10 feet high; that for eighty four men internees was the boiler room containing two furnaces and boilers and measuring 30 feet by 28 feet by 12 feet high; and fourteen men internees were accommodated in a paper storeroom measuring about 12 by 9 by 10 feet high. Seats were not provided and the women were even told not to sit down; any attempt by the internees to amuse themselves by singing or playing mouth organs was stopped by the authorities.


On the 12th July 1945, however, the Commandant asked the Assistant Headman to submit the Air Raid Precaution Scheme of the Internees' Committee and, after a few days, it was approved and adopted by the authorities 'in toto'.


On the warning being given that planes were coming over, the Japanese staff, headed by the Commandant himself, dropped everything they were doing and ran helter-skelter to their shelter in front of the building, leaving the internees to their own devices. It was only under the direction of the Headman and in conformity with the Air Raid Precaution Scheme of the Internees' Committee that the internees were marshalled into their shelters. Happily for all concerned only one bomb was dropped on the town of Fukushima and that fell at least half a mile from the camp.



In January 1945 the camp authorities instructed internees to hand over all their diamonds, platinum and white gold as the Japanese Government was requisitioning these articles throughout Japan. As marriage and engagement rings were the principal articles affected, the internees concerned expressed strongly their unwillingness to give them up but eventually they had to hand them over, doing so under strong protest and on condition that they were allowed to report the matter to the Protector Power and seek his advice. This was done. When the Protector Power's delegate visited the camp on the 10th July 1945 (para. 19), he stated that he had taken up the whole matter with the Japanese Government and he opined that wedding and engagement rings certainly should not have been included in the requisition. (see also para. 27).



Throughout the whole period of internment, internees' contact with Japanese people was confined to contact with the members of the camp staff.


The police constables acting as guards were, almost without exception, uncouth and ill-mannered, incapable of realising that western modes of thought and conduct are utterly different from the Japanese. Even among the better educated camp officials there was a studied disregard of European customs and internees were frequently reminded that they were in Japan and must observe Japanese customs. This attitude of the camp staff particularly affected the women internees because it is not the custom in Japan to treat women with the respect and consideration usual among westerners. No doubt, on the other side, owing to the internees' ignorance of Japanese customs, some of their behaviour, at least at the beginning, may have appeared to the less educated of the Japanese staff to be disrespectful where no disrespect was intended. The guards exact exaggerated deference from their own civilians and they did not realise that such conduct is not always natural to westerners. Their manner towards internees was always hectoring and menacing and it seemed to the internees that they derived satisfaction from the feelings of humiliation which they instilled in them. Their behaviour towards women internees was particularly offensive in western eyes and sometimes terrifying, as may be seen from women internees' statements in Appendix VI. Moreover, guards sometimes used lewd gestures in the presence of the women (e.g. Appendix VI, No. 19).


The women internees were denied privacy at all times. In para. 4 (e) mention has been made of the frequent entry into internees' rooms, none of which had bolts on the doors, by guards and, in addition, the women were ordered never to lock the lavatory or bathroom doors. On more than one occasion Japanese officials, including persons not attached to the camp staff, viewed women having their baths.


With one exception, the sergeants were known to us by name and were little better than the guards in their behaviour (Appendix V, No. 3 and VI, No. 18). The one exception was Kazuo Soida; he displayed understanding and sympathy even to the extent of supplying medicines at his own expense. He was of a superior type.


The first Commandant, Nimoto by name, who had held the post from the 11th July 1942 until the 13th July 1943, was temperamental and inconsistent in his behaviour towards internees. Though generally showing scant courtesy or consideration for internees' feelings, he sometimes appeared in naively benevolent moods. The slapping of internees at the discretion of individual guards began during his time and this and other instances of ill-treatment of internees may be attributed to his lack of control over his staff or to his indifference to such matters.


The second Commandant, Mitsuhashi by name, held office from the 13th July 1943 until the 13th July 1944. This officer was well able to maintain discipline among his guards and was consistent in his behaviour towards internees but he was devoid of courtesy, displayed by his questions to both men and women internees a morbid interest in their sex life (see also para. 17 and Appendix VI, No. 13) and deliberately used physical violence as a method to enforce his authority over the men internees (Appendix VI, Nos. 2, 8 & 10). He also introduced outdoor games in which it was impolitic for any internee to refuse to participate. These games were unsuitable for adults and were disliked by most of the internees.


Under both the above Commandants the regimentation of both men and women internees was a prominent feature of the daily routine. Lining up and numbering was understandable at the morning and evening roll call but not on other occasions when the internees did not have to be counted such as when the women mustered to attend church daily.


The third Commandant, whose name we do not know and who held the post from the 1st August 1944 until the 31st March 1945, was a man of very different stamp being a gentleman and always courteous. He was also the most efficient of all the Commandants, maintained good discipline among his staff and behaved with consideration and understanding, particularly towards the women internees and the sick. No cases of physical violence occurred during his time. He encouraged the internees to organise a concert for Christmas Day 1944 and, with other officials, attended the performance. The men and women were allowed to mingle freely during and after the concert, exceptionally good meals were served and the central heating system was put into operation for this day. On several subsequent occasions also he relaxed the rules for the strict segregation of the sexes and allowed all the men and women internees to meet together for an hour or two. Unnecessary regimentation ceased almost entirely during his time.


The fourth Commandant, whose name we do not know, took charge early in April 1945 and was still in charge on the 15th August 1945. He was a man of little consequence or education, unaccustomed to a position of responsibility and incapable of maintaining discipline among his staff. His behaviour towards internees was characterised by bluster and lack of any sign of appreciation of the difficulties of their situation but he did provide some amusement (see end of para. 23). Under this Commandant there was a recrudescence of some of the objectionable conditions which had obtained under the first two Commandants; there was some face-slapping and meetings of families were very considerably curtailed.


The Commandants have from time to time called upon selected internees, both men and women, to write essays on stipulated subjects such as, "Your opinion of the Conditions in the Camp", "The War Situation" or "The General State of World Affairs".


As stated in para. 4 (f), Mr Midori Kawa was interpreter for the first three years. As far as could be judged from his general conduct, he was a powerful influence during the time of the second Commandant for maintaining or fermenting ill-feeling towards the internees amongst the Japanese staff; we are of the opinion that he did not always translate statements of the internees truthfully, though obviously it is difficult to judge with certainty on such a point. No internee understood Japanese so that every communication between internees and the Japanese staff had to be made through Mr Midori Kawa or his wife, a kindly but uninfluential woman. Mr Midori Kawa was the first Japanese official to strike a woman (Appendix VI, No. 17). For further light on his behaviour, reference is invited to the various statements in Appendix VI. As he said that he had recently returned from the United States after sojourning there for thirty five years, he must have been familiar with western manners unlike the rest of the Japanese staff.


The two young lady interpreters who replaced Mr Midori Kawa (para. 4) were sisters, the Misses Y. and M. Kokubun, and conveyed the impression that they confined themselves to their proper function of truthful interpretation.


The male cook, mentioned in para. 4 (g), was moody and unpredictable and he behaved towards internees in the same manner as the guards did.


The behaviour of all the Japanese staff towards the smaller child internees was always good; they showed kindness and gentleness (see also para. 10).


The personal property of the internees was never taken from them by the Japanese who honoured their original undertaking to protect internees' property. In only one case of theft (of a pair of shoes) from an internee, have we reason to suspect that the thief was a member of the Japanese staff.



On the morning of the 16th August 1945 all internees were assembled unexpectedly and the Commandant, in the presence of the Chief of the Special Branch, made the announcement detailed in Appendix VII, No. 2 to the effect that, as hostilities had ceased, the internees were free, though orders for their departure had not yet come through. In the meanwhile it was the intention of the authorities to make the remainder of the internees' stay as pleasant as possible and the internees were to make their desires known. The police guard would remain to protect the internees should the local population become hostile and the internees were strongly advised not to leave the precincts of the camp for the time being and to avoid any excessive jubilation which might be heard outside and stir up the people. He announced that the authorities had already taken up with the Government the question of the return of the valuables requisitioned (para. 24). Thus ended the period of internment during hostilities upon which we have been asked to report. We have, however, thought it necessary to add the following paragraph, 27, in order to show how the authorities could have improved conditions in this camp had they been so minded, and to give point to some of our conclusions in paragraph 28.



There followed immediately the most astonishing reversal of conditions in the camp. The attitude of the Japanese staff towards internees, within twenty four hours, changed from an incivility, which had seemed to most internees to be studied, to a politeness and anxiety to please which they consider to be obsequious. The only curtailment of complete liberty to which the authorities have asked the internees to submit is a restriction on going outside the camp except in parties with a police escort.


The men and women can mingle freely at will; several rooms on the ground floor, previously reserved for the use of the Japanese staff, have been made available for internees' quarters thus relieving congestion, and husbands and wives and their children are at liberty to share a room together. In fact the internees themselves now control all internal camp matters.


Rations were immediately increased and are now reasonably plentiful. The Chief of the Special Branch, who now visits the camp daily, has explained that military control of supplies was withdrawn at the end of hostilities so that he is able to procure more for the internees. The bread ration has been raised to four and a half rolls a day; potatoes and leaks from the garden and other vegetables are issued liberally for two meals a day; fresh butter, apples, sugar, oil and meat have been supplied. The internees now staff the kitchen entirely with their own volunteers, the Japanese male cook alone being retained as purveyor of outside supplies.


The internees are keeping both their quarters and the grounds as clean and tidy as they ever did under Japanese supervision.


Already in the first ten days of the improved conditions the internees' general health had visibly improved. A doctor and a dentist visited the camp on the afternoon of the 16th August and came promptly whenever requested by the internees. Mrs Bok Sye Foo and Mr K. B. Johnson (para. 12 (f) and (i)) were removed to a local hospital on the 22nd August and parties of internees visit them three times a day, going by car, in addition to Mr Bok and one of Mr Johnson's friends who spend the night at the hospital. One woman internee who had tried unsuccessfully for eighteen months to get her dentures repaired has now had them put right and returned to her within twenty four hours.


Internees have been urged to state what clothes they require immediately so that the Japanese may supply them; straw hats for sale have been supplied freely and tradesmen have been allowed to come inside the camp to sell Japanese novelties (obis etc.); paper and carbon have been supplied on Committee's request; ample soap has been issued; and, remarkable above all, the women's long-standing hygienic needs have been supplied by the Japanese without their being asked.


On their own initiative, the Japanese have taken up the question of the return of requisitioned jewellery (para. 24). Meanwhile compensation in yen was paid on the 23rd August to the internees concerned who, however, are not satisfied because they naturally want their own jewellery back.


On the 21st and the 27th August the camp officials, acting in accordance with requests of the Internees' Committee, succeeded in getting telephone calls through to the Minister of Switzerland in Tokyo, abandoning their former policy of obstruction (para. 19, end). On the 28th August a representative from the Swedish legation in Tokyo arrived with the welcome news that the internees should leave Japan not later than the 10th September.



In several respects the provision made by the Japanese Government for internees in this camp was satisfactory, to wit, the building and its sanitation, the respect shown for private property, the treatment in general of the smaller children, the provision of light indoor work for those who desired it, the facilities given for religious observances (except in respect of the Roman Catholics) and the medical arrangements made for the birth of Mrs Bok's baby. With several of the camp regulations we have no fault to find.


We fully realise that discipline and some restrictions are essential in a civilian internment camp in wartime but we consider that in this camp the discipline imposed was unnecessarily severe and that the restrictions were altogether too close. That there has been no trouble in the camp either between the internees themselves or between internees and Japanese staff since the 15th August 1945 lends support to this opinion.


We also consider that the various officers holding the post of Camp Commandant, with the notable exception of the third Commandant, were not of the type required for the control of foreign civilian internees.


In our opinion there is no excusing the striking of women even if it has been for the enforcement of reasonable regulations, the refusal to allow husbands and wives to meet frequently during the first fifteen months of internment, the generally unsatisfactory medical attention, the denial of privacy to women internees, the holding of all internees 'incommunicado' for twenty months, the latitude allowed to the guards for demanding a servile demeanour from internees, the failure to provide any facilities whatsoever for the education of internees of school age, even the use of available rooms as schoolrooms being refused, and the starving of internees.


We are not in a position to say to what extent the objectionable features of the camp were due to a deliberate policy of the Japanese Government or to what extent they were local phenomena but we consider that the officials holding the post of Chief of the Special Branch of Police, who were in full control of the camp, should be held responsible for them in the absence of any indication to the contrary. So far as our observation has gone, it was well within the power of these officials to ensure that the more objectionable conditions were abolished.


We consider that, in addition to the Chief of the Special Branch, the first and second Camp Commandants (Nimoto and Mitsuhashi) should be held responsible for the wrongful use of physical violence both on men and women internees and, in the case of the second Commandant (Mitsuhashi), additionally for the use of improperly cruel punishments and the indignities to which he subjected the women by his morbid curiosity about sex matters.


The first interpreter, Midori Kawa, should be held responsible for initiating or participating in the objectionable conduct of camp officials recorded above.


(Signed) Barbara Murray

(Signed) C. W. E. Furey

(Signed) G. P. Stewart

Member Member Chairman

3rd September 1945





Extracts from proceedings of the Internees' Committee records.


1. Proceedings of a public meeting of British internees held on the 8th and 9th October 1944:- "It was resolved:-


i) That a Committee be formed representing the British subjects and such others as desire to take part in this scheme.




iv) That the function of this Committee be to look after the general welfare of the camp in every way that it can, including the reasonable application for, and the fair distribution of, benefits from the Red Cross Society, correspondence with the Protecting Power in matters of general welfare and similar matters which may require to be taken up with the Japanese authorities.




xiii) That the Greeks be informed by the Committee, or someone selected by them, of these resolutions and informed that if they wish to join in this scheme their participation and co-operation will be welcomed and they may elect a representative to join this Committee on their behalf.


2. Constitution of reporting Subcommittee:- Extract from proceedings of a Committee meeting held on the 19th August 1945:- Proposed by Mr J. M. Jack and seconded by Mr M. Scott:-


"That a Subcommittee consisting of Mr G. P. Stewart, Mr C. W. E. Furey and one lady selected by the Ladies' Subcommittee be appointed to draw up a Committee Report covering the following, using Mr D. Murray's report as a basis. Terms of reference appended." (See para. 1 of Report)


Mrs B. Murray was selected by the Ladies' Subcommittee to serve on the Reporting Subcommittee.






1. Must not get up before the first bell.

2. Must be fully dressed for roll call.

3. May wear an overcoat but not a dressing gown.

4. Bedding must be folded up before roll call.

5. Must not cough, sneeze or blow nose etc. when lining up for roll call.

6. Must not wear towel round neck at roll call.

7. Must not smile or look sarcastic at roll call.

8. Must remain in line after keireiing (saluting).

9. Must not talk or chew when in line for roll call.

10. Must number in Nipponese.



11. Must not strip naked for washing in washrooms.

12. Must not pour jugs of water over oneself in washrooms.

13. Bottom half of washroom windows must be closed.

14. Must use wooden clogs provided in washrooms.

15. Must dry soles of feet before leaving washrooms.

16. Must shave only during bathing hours.

17. Must not get into bath.

18. No clothes may be washed on Sundays.

19. Must not use hot water for washing clothes.

20. Must not wash after roll call at night.

21. Must not waste water.

22. Must not go out to clothes line except at stated times.

23. Must get into long bath 5 persons at one time on hot bath days and save water. (Cancels No. 17)

24. The long bath may not be used for washing clothes.

25. From July to September internees may take cold baths between 11 and 12 o'clock in the morning and between 4 and 5 o'clock in the afternoon in the bathroom only.

26. Only 1 bucket of water may be used for a cold bath and the bucketful must be taken all at once.



27. Must not take more than 15 minutes for each meal.

28. Must not take whole rations of bread upstairs.

29. Must not eat in passageways.

30. Must not keep cutlery or cups upstairs.

31. Must not lock inner windows of dining rooms.

32. Must not enter kitchen.

33. Must not talk to kitchen staff on duty.

34. Must not wear headgear during meals.

35. If anyone breaks a cup or plate, he loses his food for one day.

36. Must not shut inner dining room windows if guard has opened them.



37. May not smoke in corridors.

38. May smoke out of doors only near tin provided.

39. Must not smoke in bed.

40. Must not throw cigarette ends on asphalt playground.

41. Must not draw cigarette ration if a non-smoker.

42. Must not put ashtrays on sleeping mats.

43. Must not smoke after roll call at night or before roll call in the morning.

44. May use as ashtrays only those receptacles which have been approved and numbered as such.

45. Ten minutes before roll call at night, ashtrays must be emptied and placed outside the door of rooms beside the notice recording how many ashtrays pertain to the room.



46. Must go out when ordered, unless sick.

47. Must not come in without permission of the guard, even for lavatory.

48. Must not lie and sleep out of doors.

49. Must not look over the walls.

50. Must not walk beyond the limits of the asphalt playground or paths up to the door of the shoe-room (exit) and up to the S.E. corner of the building.

51. Must not spit on the asphalt.

52. Must not pick flowers, fruit or vegetables.

53. Must not take blanket out of doors.

54. Must not urinate out of doors.

55. Must wash feet outside before coming in, if not wearing shoes.

56. Must not sit on grass on north side of the playground.

57. Must not sit on back verandah.

58. Must not take books to read out into the garden. (An early regulation, soon a dead letter).



59. Men must not wave or smile at the women and vice-versa.

60. Men must not communicate in any way with the women except through the office and vice-versa. (June 1944)

61. Unattached men may send mending to the women through the office.

62. Letters between men and women internees may be sent through the office only. (June 1944)



63. Must not bow, wave or smile from the windows at passers-by.

64. Must turn back on passers-by seen from the window.

65. Must not stand naked to waist near windows.

66. Must not hang clothing out of the windows.

67. Must not lean out of the windows.

68. Must not look at women internees out of the windows.

69. Must not throw anything out of the windows.

70. Must not spit out of the windows but must use spittoons.

71. Must not eat at windows when visible from outside.

72. Must not keep windows more than '2 fists' open at the bottom.



73. Must take off outdoor shoes immediately on entering the building.

74. Shoe room must be left tidy.

75. May only wear slippers without backs indoors.

76. Must not wear slippers with leather heels indoors.

77. Must not wear slippers when walking on sleeping-mats.

78. Must not wear indoor slippers out of doors.

79. Must not bring outdoor shoes upstairs.

80. Must wipe feet on mat provided when coming indoors.

81. Must not put shoes in the lockers in shoeroom but only on the shelves.



82. Bedding must be kept folded, piled in one corner of the room and covered with a blanket during the day.

83. Must not wrap blanket round body above the waist line in daytime.

84. Must not sit on bedding during the daytime.

85. Must not use quilt to lie on at night.

86. Must not put up mosquito nets or make up beds before roll call at night.

87. Must not use blankets at all during the daytime (while heating is on).



88. Must not sing so loud as to be heard outside.

89. Must not play any musical instrument except with permission.

90. Must not whistle in corridors after dark.

91. Must not sing or whistle when passing a guard.

92. May only play classical or religious music on accordion.

93. Piano may be played softly on Sunday afternoons in the Assembly Hall.

94. Harmonicas may only be played on Sundays between 9.00 a.m. and 7.30 p.m. (May 1944)

95. Must not sing martial airs.


BEDDING (continued)

96. Bedding must be folded in the regulation manner.

97. The blanket issued by the Nippon Government must not be used to sit on in preference to Red Cross blankets and must not be wrapped around the feet.

98. Sheets must be used to sleep on because they can be washed.

99. Mosquito nets must not be hung in the sunshine to air but only in the shade.



100. Must not try to be friendly with the guards.

101. Must always do anything a guard orders at any time.

102. Must bow to every guard on meeting.

103. Must not bow with hands in the pockets.

104. Must remove headgear when bowing.

105. A bow must last about five seconds.

106. Must bow when entering and leaving the office.

107. Must not wear dressing-gown into the office.

108. Must not wear headgear into the office.

109. Must refer to a guard as "tai yin", to a sergeant as "bucho" and to the Japanese people as "Nipponjin".

110. "Bucho" must not be referred to as "bucho".

111. Must not keirei to any stranger in the camp unless he has been introduced as an official.



112. Must not come late to church.

113. Must look straight ahead in church.

114. Must not take hymn books out of church.

115. Must not loiter outside church during service.

116. Must not peer into church through windows during service.

117. Must not wear blanket to church.

118. Must not stand to watch the women going to church unless going oneself.

119. Must not cross knees, put hands in pockets or fidget in church.



120. Must not go sick without previous permission.

121. Must report on recovering from sickness.

122. Must not take more than one aspirin without permission.

123. Eyewash issued must be kept and used over and over again.



124. Must finish going to the lavatories before 9.30 a.m.

125. Toilet paper must not be used as writing paper.

126. Must not put newspapers or solids down the lavatories.

127. Must not use certain lavatories.



128. May only use the back staircase.

129. Must not run in the passages.

130. Must not appear outside the rooms naked to the waist.

131. Must not sleep during the day.

132. Must not walk up or down the corridors after 6.00 p.m.

133. Must always have the corridors swept clean.

134. Must not do wood carving indoors.

135. Must not slam doors.

136. Must not enter other internees' rooms in they are occupied.

137. Must not put chairs on the sleeping mats.

138. Must not remove electric light bulbs from corridors or lavatories.

139. Must not look over banister into the main hallway.

140. Must not wet the floor.

141. Must not dry clothes on the radiators.

142. Must not read or play games between the hours of 9.00 a.m. and 11.30 a.m. and between 1.00 p.m. and 4.00 p.m. and between 7.00 p.m. and 8.30 p.m. except during inclement weather.

143. No one may cut hair without permission, only one camp barber appointed.

144. No one may go to the landings for prayers or any other purpose (later relaxed for those praying).

145. Brooms must be hung up or stood on the handles and not kept resting on their business ends.

146. Empty tins from Red Cross parcels must not be put in the rubbish bin, to be thrown out, but must be put into special receptacles.



147. Must not speak to or greet tradespeople delivering food.

148. Must not be too happy.

149. Must not wear a contemptuous smile.

150. Must not behave in a suspicious manner.

151. Must not call other internees abusive words or names except through the two captains.

152. Must not fight.

153. Must not gamble.

154. Must not be unreasonable and ask for more and more.

155. Crowds must not collect in corridors or rooms.

156. Groupleaders may not hold meetings without permission.

157. Must not do anything harmful to the Imperial Nipponese Government.

158. Requests to the Commandant may only be made through Captain Stratford.

159. Must always wear official number ticket.

160. Must not use articles issued by the Imperial Nipponese Government for any purpose other than that intended.

161. Must not alter in any way articles issued by the Imperial Nipponese Government.

162. Must not chew gum at Roll Call or when appearing in the office.



163. Must not sit on A.R.P. water-tubs.

164. Must not place anything on top of A.R.P. water-tubs.

165. Must not interfere with any A.R.P. equipment.

166. When going down to the basement for shelter must leave hands and arms free and must not carry any packages or blankets when the weather is warm.



167. May not communicate with the outside world.

168. May not receive news or any other communication from outside the camp.

169. May not buy anything except through the Commandant.

170. Letters may not be written to the Commandant or higher authorities without previous permission.

171. May write 100 typescript words in letter about health once a month only. (From 1st March 1944.)

172. May send cable only in reply to a communication from outside. (Replaced by No. 173 below.)

173. May only send one cable a year.



The plan of the camp is missing.



Comparative table of weights before capture, three months after internment in Japan and at the end of internment in Japan compiled from signed statements of the internees themselves.


(Weight in pounds)

Name, Before Capture Oct 1942, Difference July 1945, Total


Garner, F. F. 190 155 -35

Stewart, J. L. 175 137 -38 114 -61

Furey, C. W. E. 172 127.5 -44.5 118 -54

Walker, C. H. 158 142 -16 125 -33

Phillips, G. 160 143 -17 127 -33

Scott, Malcolm 204 162 -42 138 -66

Temlett, Charles E. 225 176 -49 140 -85

Larsson, Alf. E. 173 126 -47 173 nil

Fox, F. W. 150 130 -20 125 -25

Robson, C. S. 179 128 -51 133 -46

Patrick, D. R. 168 128 -40 112 -56

Erskine, N. B. 136 127 -9 110 -26

Stratford, H. C. G. 140 115.5 -24.5 126.5 -13.5

Owston, J. 131 116 -15 110 -21

Bailey, T. D. 147 136 -11 121 -26

Fleming, Peter 142 115.5 -26.5 113.5 -28.5

Guy, Helen 140 121 -19 110 -30


(Weight in pounds)

Name, Before Capture Oct 1942, Difference July 1945, Total


Murray, D. 210 163 -47 136 -74

Murray, Barbara 119 103 -16

Thoms, Florence 145 125 -20 96 -49

Bargen, Gerhard 164 134 -30

Jeffery, Audrey 135 119 -16 100 -35

Forster, Vera 126 110 -16 119 -7

Mok Ah Fong 118 112 -6 

Phillips, E. C. 185 158 -27 140 -45

Lee, James 180 168 -12 129 -51

Charnaud, Madeline 140 116 -24 96 -44

Garner, Muriel 128 100 -28 119 -9

Law, Agnes 168 140 -28 

Radford, Patricia 140 117

Fernandez, Rosalind 154 114 -40 99 -55

Biswas, S. 119 104 -15 94 -25

Gray, E. 162 140 -22 130 -32

Yates, Claire 152 107 -45

Yates, Lavender 116 107 -9 92 -24

Mack, Patricia 112 116 +4 105 -7

Golsworthy, Joyce 132 116 -16

Drennan, Carl 153 148 -5 139 -14

Scott, A. 154 128 -26 119 -35

Hercombe, Phyllis 100 103 +3

Wee Joo Lian 110 94 -16 90 -20

Scott, Elizabeth 112 94 -18 99 -13

Pedersen, Jenny M. 107 81 -26 79 -28

Cook, Audrey 126 112 -14 94 -32

Phillips, A. M. 120 103 -17 94 -26

Cook, H. J. M. 168.5 146 -22.5 116 -52.5

Daniels, A. P. 220 171 -49 135 -85

Jack, J. M. 144 115 -29

Saunders, C. 189 168 -21 134 -55

Gray, Colin 151 128 23

Yates, A. C. 162 117 -45 108 -54

Miller, J. 168 148 -20 119 -49

Wichers, J. 184 170 -14 122.5 -61.5

Hannah, M. R. 150 123 -27 117 -33

Edwards, T. E. D. 166 146 -20 118 -48

Stewart, A. C. G. 156 126 -30 111 -45

Shewan, John 147 126.5 -20.5

Boyall, C. S. 147 127.5 -19.5 123 -24

Seah Hong Klang 129 118 -11 

Olsen, Olaf 198 170 -28 140 -58

Hamid, Ali 156 143 -13 132 -24

Chia Chin Poon 168 123 -45 135 -33

Powell, Sid. 146 114 -32 127 -19


(Weight in pounds)

Name, Before Capture Oct 1942, Difference July 1945, Total


Westley, E. 174 154 -20 139 -35

Robertson, H. 134 133 -1

Piangos, J. 176 132 -44 128 -48

Melia, T. 143 121 -22 118 -25

Thoms, A. K. 210 161 -49 140 -70

Millar, D. 148 129 -19 

Fernandes, L. D. 154 144 -10 138 -16

Osborne, K. H. 224 176 -48 142 -82

Wee Sian Leok 130 114 -16 110 -20

Stewart, G. P. 172 143 -29


(Note: This table omits weights of internees who did not keep records or who were not fully grown.)



Statements made by internees relating to medical attention.


1) Report on doctor's visit in July 1942 made by Mrs Elizabeth Scott, S.R.N., C.M.B. (State Registered Nurse, Central Midwives Board)


At the end of July 1942 a doctor accompanied by a nurse visited the sick. I assisted throughout the session.


Among the patients was Mr Daniels, Manager of a branch of the Chartered Bank, suffering from a boil on the buttock and several young men with shrapnel wounds on the arms and legs. All were asked in turn, amid much laughing and joking, if they suffered from venereal disease.


There were two pots of zinc ointment left behind by the previous occupants of the building. One was fresh, the other hard and stiff. The doctor looked at both, laughed and told me to apply zinc ointment dressings, giving me the stale jar. It was so stiff that it was almost impossible to apply. Protest was of no avail. No dressings or bandages were supplied; unsterile rags were used.


Another man (Greek) suffering from diabetes, who had been on insulin for about three years, asked for a further supply of the drug. After much laughing and talking between the doctor, nurse and interpreter, he was told that he was too fat and did not need anything like that. Most of the women were suffering from acute diarrhoea or constipation due to lack of food and the unaccustomed diet. All were told not to eat too much.


No advice was given and no medicine or special diet was ordered.


(signed) Elizabeth Scott, nee F. E. H. Rowland, S.R.N., C.M.B.




2) Made by Miss Annie Law, S.R.N., C.M.B. and Mrs Elizabeth Scott, nee F. E. H. Rowland, S.R.N., C.M.B.


In September 1944 Mrs Gleeson developed a septic middle finger. This became acute with much pain and swelling. A doctor was applied for but did not come until two days after the application. The following day he removed the nail and the major proportion of the flesh of the terminal phalanx which was partially gangrenous. The doctor left instructions that the dressing was not to be touched until he returned but, after five days, we removed it to relieve the acute pain caused by the dry, stiff dressing. It was very offensive - nine days after the operation the doctor returned in response to our repeated requests and removed the whole terminal phalanx. These operations were very roughly done. Owing to the infrequent visits of the doctor and the acute pain, the patient became highly nervous and the condition of the finger worse. About six days afterwards, the doctor removed the second phalanx. The first two operations were performed in the patient's room which she shared with five other women. Only a very primitive attempt at asepsis was made. The last operation was performed in a separate room, previously cleared and cleansed by ourselves. During the operation a man internee was brought into the room to have a clean wound examined. The iodine swab used for Mrs Gleeson's finger was again used on this clean wound which turned septic two days after. A general anaesthetic was not given to Mrs Gleeson despite requests made by her, Captain Stratford and Mrs Thoms, and promises given. Local anaesthetic, which terrified her, was used on each occasion. No drugs except aspirins were given to relieve the pain and continuous sleepless nights. Two days after the last operation she ran a high fever and the arm became inflamed and swollen to the shoulder. This condition continued for about four days despite repeated requests for the doctor to remove the stitches. We were told not to worry. On the fifth day the doctor came and removed the stitches, gave an injection and ordered cold compresses for the arm. This was his final visit.


Pockets of pus formed on the palm and back of the hand. These were opened and drained during the daily dressings. The stump healed for a short time after two months and then broke down due to a sequestrum which was removed leaving a permanently discharging sinus.


After the last operation the wound was treated solely by Miss Law who used her own ointments, dressings and bandages.


Mrs Gleeson was given soup, toast and a ration of milk daily.


(signed) Elizabeth Scott, (signed) A Law, S.R.N., C.M.B. nee F. E. H. Rowland, S.R.N., C.M.B.




3) Report of an incident at Fukushima Internment Camp, November 1942.


I, the undersigned, the mother of Susan Bok, born in this camp on 18th August 1942, applied to the office for milk for my child as her bottle of milk had been refused at teatime. The sergeant in charge at that time made me bare my breast and squeeze it to prove that I had no milk. On being assured of this, he himself went upstairs and asked another woman, who had three children, to give one bottle to my child.


(signed) Rosalind Bok







Internees' signed statements describing the actual punishment inflicted on them by the Japanese camp authorities and reasons, if any, for such punishment.


1) Made by Mr Arthur Rixon, Seaman, ex s.s. 'Kirkpool'.


My first occasion of violent assault was in the middle of our first winter here on a bitterly cold morning at about 7.00 a.m. The incident cited took place in the Fukushima Internment Camp a short while after I had recovered from pleurisy.


There had been a heavy downfall of snow during the night and sweepers were required to clear the snow off the paths. I, being very sparsely dressed and also weak in health, was ordered to go outside into the snow. Having explained that I possessed no shoes and also had a bad chest, a pair of Nipponese slippers which had holes in the bottom and were by no means suitable for outdoor wear were thrown down at my feet. I, being unwilling to go out in these, was ordered to stand beneath the bell after which I was slapped in the face many times by different guards causing my teeth to bleed. The interpreter then came along and intervened asking why we were there (for there were two other men besides myself). We explained the situation and when he had heard the story, he told that the next time I was ordered to sweep the snow it would be advisable to do so in my bare feet and the guards, seeing this, would call me back inside again. I knew that this was absolute folly, for on other occasions we have witnessed the same practice and find that it makes no difference whether shoes are worn or not.


After breakfast Captain Stratford and I went to the office to make a protest. The result of this was another severe face slapping. One guard picked up a slipper and slapped me in the face with it, after which he put the slipper onto my head forcing me to stand there thus for about half an hour, finally releasing me.


Another incident was when I went to fetch some hot water from the kitchen at the usual time that we were allowed to do so. I was unaware that the can I took to fetch the water in was leaking and while I was passing a guard he ordered me to set the can down. I did as I was ordered and then the guard rushed upon me slapping my face. He threw me on the floor and got on top of me, banged my head on the floor several times, then punched me in the face, this time causing my nose to bleed. After I got up he threw me down again. He did this many times and then let me go.


These are only two occasions of uncalled for punishment which were unjustly given. 


There were others which I could name but which were not quite so severe.


(signed) A. H. Rixon




2) Made by Mr C. H. Walker, Exide Batteries, London SW1


On September 23rd 1943 I, C. H. Walker, was instructed along with three other internees to pick fruit from the fig tree in the compound, to be given eventually to the rest of the internees for services rendered in weeding the garden. Whilst executing this duty I was approached by one of the guards who spoke to me in Japanese only and finally made a note of my prison number. Later in the morning, when the task was completed, I was arrested by the same guard and taken before the Camp Commandant to be interviewed. This took place in the small reception room, those being present being the Commandant, the interpreter and myself. No indication was given of the nature of the interview and a cordial atmosphere existed superficially. I was offered a cigarette and invited to be seated. After a protracted conversation in Japanese, which was not translated, I was asked to give an account of what I had been doing that morning. I recounted to the best of my ability my activities with particular detail with respect to my movements while picking fruit which involved no breach of regulations (I had assumed by this time that I must be accused of some transgression of the law). Very little of this was translated into Japanese. I was then asked if I had anything more to say which I had not. The Commandant, still giving no enlightenment on the reason for the enquiry, led the way to the Assembly Hall, collecting on the way the guard who had arrested me.


The Commandant then closed the windows of the hall and in the presence of the interpreter, still without saying anything that had to be translated, gave the guard certain instructions. I was thereupon made to stand to attention and the guard, standing in front of me with a sinister grin on his countenance, struck me a blow as powerful as he was able on my jaw with his clenched fist. This was repeated and, at the second blow, I instinctively raised my arm in self-protection. I was thereupon warned that if I did not keep my hands by my sides they would be tied behind my back. A third blow was struck which broke one of my back teeth. This I held out for the Commandant's inspection and the guard knocked it from my hand. A fourth blow of equal intensity sent me to the floor and I was encouraged to my feet by the help of the guard's foot. After that I was somewhat dazed and I lost count, but upward of ten blows were struck with clenched fist on either side of my jaw at slow deliberate intervals. When finally instructed to cease, the guard made as if to strike me again, much to the amusement of the Commandant.


I was then led back to the reception room and this time was refused a request to be seated. I was then asked again what I had done and not revealed and denied all knowledge of any misdemeanour. It was then only that I was told that I had been guilty of the offence of waving to one of the women in a part of the building fifty yards away and that the guard had said that I had done so. This was pure fabrication but I was told that if I denied it further I would be subjected to "even greater punishment". This left me with no choice but to admit to a crime which I had undoubtedly not committed. For the non-admission I was told I would be still further punished as previously but, after a few minutes retirement, the Commandant returned to say he would modify the punishment to that subtle method of Japanese torture involving kneeling in a peculiarly painful position upon a hard floor with bare feet and knees. After two hours of this treatment I was made to stand for a further two hours before an open door with a cold wind blowing. I was finally discharged four and a half hours after being struck and having missed my mid-day food which was not replaced.


As a result of blows on the face a skin wound which was caused turned septic and formed a serious abscess in the bruised flesh which completely incapacitated me for a week during which time no hot water or dressings were granted for its treatment in spite of requests. This wound, in the bruised flesh of my jaw, has left a permanent scar. Another permanent scar appears on my instep as a result of the compression and bruising of the flesh whilst kneeling.


A few weeks later, during an enquiry of a different nature involving a considerable number of internees, I was singled out for punishment by having my head shaved in view of this previous fabricated charge of breach of regulations.


(signed) C. H. Walker




3) Made by Captain C. Stratford, Master, ex s.s. 'Nankin'


On the 4th November 1942 I was supervising internees cleaning the internment camp compound (picking up leaves, scraps of paper, etc.). One of the guards ordered me to pick up some papers near the front gate. This I refused to do as I had been instructed previously by the Commandant to supervise this work only and not to do the actual labour myself. I endeavoured to explain this to the guard but he still insisted that I should do this work. Thereupon I asked him to come inside and have the Commandant settle the matter. This he would not do but took hold of my coat lapels and shook me, then, picked up a piece of wood and beat me across the shoulder and back several times.


(signed) C. Stratford




4) Made by Mr Seah Hong Kiang, British Airways, Singapore


In the spring of 1943 I was walking on the parade ground chewing pumpkin seeds and throwing seed skins on the ground. The guard on duty saw this and set me to sweep the whole parade ground clean. This I did and, when I had finished, I requested permission to go into the building. He said I could go in so I saluted him and commenced to go in but, when I got near the door, on the point of entering, he called me back and spoke to me in Japanese and then attempted to strike me. I evaded him whereupon he threw me on the ground twice. On regaining my feet he struck me several times.


(signed) S. H. Kiang




5) Made by C. S. Boyall, Minister of Religion, Presbyterian Church of Australia


About four months after we came to Fukushima I had gone out to the clothes line to hang out some washing but had not removed my indoor slippers. The Japanese guard saw me and called me into the boot room. In the presence of another guard he spoke to me in Japanese and pointed to my slippers; I did not understand what he said and made signs that I did not understand. He then struck me with force with his hand six times on the face.


If my case had been tried by the Captain and I had been punished after a proper trial I would not have minded so much, but for a guard to take it upon himself to punish me without a trial seemed to me unjust. It seemed to me that this particular act was done in revenge because I had reported this same guard to the Captain some time before for deliberately making noises in church during the time when the internees were praying and thus disturbing a sacred service.


(signed) C. S. Boyall




6) Made by Mr J. M. Jack, The Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China, London


On the 17th March 1943 there was no heating and it was snowing. Trying to get warm I sat on the corner of my 'futong'. For this I was taken to the office, made to remove my glasses and stand at attention when I was severely struck across the face and head five times by a guard. I was then made to kneel down before the guard and, while kneeling, was struck four more times. After that I was made to kneel on the office floor for three hours at the end of which time the Commandant informed me that I would be excused on this occasion as it was my first offence.


(signed) J. M. Jack




7) Made by Mr D. Elsey, Purser, ex s.s. 'Nankin'


In the evening of the 29th June 1943 I was sitting quietly in my room at the desk when a guard opened the door and entered. Immediately the other two occupants of the room and I saluted him whereupon he beckoned me and I followed him downstairs to the office. Here he shouted at me and the interpreter asked me if I was aware of the reason for my apprehension. I said I had no idea whatever as I could not recall having broken any regulations in the near past. I was then informed that I had a proud and insolent bearing towards the guards and thought disrespectfully of them and that such a spirit would not be tolerated and must be broken. Then, although no specific charge of delinquency was brought against me, the guard several times struck me on the face with his hand. After being further lectured by the sergeant on duty I was finally dismissed having been detained below in the office and hallway over one and a half hours.


(signed) D. Elsey




8) Made by Mr D. Scott, Mercantile Bank of India


On 21st June 1943 Mr Garner was called to the office and asked if he knew any war news. Mr Garner said the only news he had heard since coming here was what I had told him, adding that I had got the news direct from the Commandant. I was the called and asked what war news, if any, I knew. I repeated everything the Commandant had previously told me, also stating that I had mentioned it to the men upstairs. The Commandant, in a towering temper, slapped my face as hard as he could many times without giving any explanation for his attack. I repeated my story stating that the interpreter and a police sergeant were present when I was told the item of war news. The Commandant again slapped my face several times and ordered me to stand in a corner of the office where I remained for about half an hour during which time the Commandant passed up and down the road in front of the camp, presumably in an endeavour to regain control of his temper. When he returned, I was dismissed and told that I must never mention war news to the men upstairs again. Such a display would simply not be tolerated from a uniformed officer in any country outside Japan and all internees look upon the incident as a most disgusting exhibition.


On the 13th August 1943 when Mr Daniels and I were washing about 4.00 p.m., the Commandant, accompanied by the interpreter, told us to stop washing and come to the office. We were accused of pouring water over ourselves which we both denied. (In this camp it is an offence to pour water over the body.) I had used a face towel to sponge myself and Mr Daniels had not even started to wash. Our statements were not accepted and we were ordered to kneel by the bell, resting our full weight on our heels with our hands clear of the floor. I found this position impossible because both my ankles were once badly sprained as a result of football injuries. My right ankle is very weak. I protested against this punishment and, while explaining to the interviewer that the punishment for me was nothing short of torture, he spat in my face. The Commandant examined our positions and, on being satisfied that Mr Daniels was kneeling as ordered, sent him upstairs while I was marched off to the Assembly Hall and badly beaten up by four guards and a sergeant. I was punched on the face and head with clenched fists and one of the guards used a stick about the size of a chair leg. The Commandant saw part of the ordeal and slapped my face when I was kneeling on the floor. My knees were badly bruised by knocks from the stick and, about a week later, an abscess developed in my right ear, the cause of which was undoubtedly the knocks I had received.


I was kept kneeling and standing by the bell until 9.00 p.m. that night.


The following day I showed the men, while out in the garden, the stick I was beaten up with. The guard on duty witnessed this. I was called down by this guard at 11.30 a.m. and had to stand or sit by the bell with my legs curled under me until 9.00 p.m. The sergeant tried to make me kneel but this I refused to do on account of the bruised state of my knees. This enraged the sergeant who kept shouting at me from time to time and, on one occasion, frantically brandished a fencing stick over my head like some wild savage.


I received no food from lunch time on the 13th till 9.30 p.m. on the 14th when I was given several slices of dry bread, a cup of unsweetened tea and an apple. Before I was released I was forced to admit that I had poured water over myself while washing. It was obvious that the punishment would have been continued until I did make an admission.


(signed) D. Scott




9) Made by Mr M. Molphy, Fireman, ex s.s. 'Pagassitikos'


The day of the 29th June 1943 at the time of 2.00 p.m., sitting in my room, a guard by the name of Chipson (a nickname) came from the office, called me to come with him downstairs. When I got to the office the interpreter was called and said to me the guard says I am too cheeky.


All this was just because I would not let him pull my beard.


At the office also another guard was called to assist in giving me a thrashing with a big stick by the two guards and lastly stabbing me in my right eye of which that eye is still giving me trouble at times.


When they were finished they gave me a bucket of water with two gallons of water in it to keep up level with my chest, with my arms stretched forward, for thirty minutes. This was mentioned by the Commandant, why I say that because he came and started laughing at me. So he knew what was what and called me into the office and gave me a packet of cigarettes that was to bribe me and then made me to kneel on my knees for half an hour. That's all.


(signed) M. Molphy




10) Made by Mr Bok Sye Foo, British Airways, Singapore


On a certain afternoon of the autumn of 1943 I appeared in the office before the Commandant to face my charge for violating one of the regulations of the camp. The Commandant, followed by the interpreter, then took me to a private room where he could try out my case without any interruption.


There were only three of us in the room and, after having taken our seats at the table, the Commandant, through the interpreter, began to question me about the offence I'd committed, i.e. for writing a letter to one of the women over at the other side of the building. Being unsatisfied with the reply, he went out of the room and came back with a bamboo pole about five feet long to punish me. He asked me to stand up from my seat, then knocked me on the head with the bamboo pole and slapped me hard on the face and finally knocked me to the floor where a few kicks on the body followed. Then he poked me in the stomach with the pole. He then requested me to take my seat and started questioning me again.


After I'd answered everything to his satisfaction, he pressed me further by asking me to reveal the names of my fellow internees who had been violating the regulations without his knowledge. On my refusing to do this, he left the room with the interpreter to let me think it over.


Some time later, both of them came back and asked me whether I'd decided to tell them anything further. When I refused to give any other information, the Commandant started beating me again as he did before and, from what I could see, he wanted to torture me until I said something about my fellow internees.


It was now time for tea, so he left me and I was informed that I'd to remain in the room without food.


At 7.30 p.m. I was told to kneel down in the office for three hours before I was given a chair to sit down. I'd to sit up all night with guards who were on shift duties. The guards enjoyed themselves by slapping me on the face or knocking me on the head whenever they felt like doing it. I began to shiver at daybreak due to cold and hunger.


The next morning I was given a cup of hot water by the Commandant when he saw my whole body was shaking. I was finally released during teatime without any meal for thirty six hours except a bun and a cup of hot water.


(signed) S. F. Bok




11) Made by Mrs A. K. Thoms


In the course of my duties as spokeswoman, one of the guards attacked me brutally while on my way to the office - he commenced by pushing me in the back - I resented this very much and asked him to stop but he persisted until finally I became very angry. When he saw that I was angry he lost his temper and punched me a number of times in the face whereupon, in self-defence, I slapped him. He then applied jujitsu and threw me to the ground, kicking me and punching me wildly. I became very alarmed at this ruthless assault and I screamed for help. Several guards then appeared and the interpreter pulled my assailant off. My mouth was cut both inside and out and my nose was badly damaged; my whole body was bruised from head to foot. I was unable to leave my bed for a week following this attack in order to recover from my physical injuries and it was many months before I got over the mental shock.


This incident took place on July 2, 1943.


(signed) Florence Thoms




12) Made by Mrs Phyllis Hercombe


I was called to the Captain Hashimoto's office and accused of looking at the men from a window in the women's quarters. I denied this as it was definitely untrue. Thereupon I was subjected to a most insulting and humiliating grilling comprising searching questions on intimate personal sex matters and given advice on this subject. I cannot for obvious reasons give details of this interrogation. It is sufficient to say that the interview was closed by Captain Hashimoto and interpreter Midori Kawa making obscene gestures repeatedly.


This incident occurred in October 1943.


(signed) Phyllis Hercombe




13) Made by Mrs Phyllis Hercombe


I went into the garden one day in the spring of 1943 to collect my rag; on returning to the hall I changed my outdoor shoes and proceeded into the building in my indoor slippers and a guard accused me of going out in my indoor slippers. When I denied it he lost his temper and struck me repeatedly in the face. He struck my face with such violence that my face was badly swollen and bruised and my nose bled for several days. Since the assault I have suffered severe pain from sinus trouble.


(signed) Phyllis Hercombe




14) Made by Mrs H. Guy, Mrs M. Sparke and Mrs M. Charnaud; Howard Guy (7 years), Graham Sparke (10 years), Michael Charnaud (11 years)


One day in December 1942 Howard Guy threw a ball which unfortunately broke a pane of glass in the front door; the other two boys were implicated. The three boys were taken to the office by a guard and then their mothers summoned by the camp Commandant for interrogation.


When the three mothers arrived they found their children in a highly nervous condition, weeping and trembling, their upper clothing being raised and their hands linked below their bare abdomens. Two pokers were being heated on an open brazier. Through the interpreter, Mr Midori Kawa, the Captain questioned the mothers and declared they were all to blame. In spite of it being pointed out by Mrs Charnaud that the children had already gone through a very trying time with their capture at sea when they were under shellfire and therefore leniency and allowance should be made for small offences. Throughout the interrogation the interpreter displayed uncontrollable venom. Captain Nimoto's answer to this plea was to order the mothers to remove the pokers from the brazier and proceed to burn the children's bare stomachs.


Mrs Guy burst into tears and refused to comply while Howard pathetically begged his mother not to hurt him too much. Mrs Sparke was in tears and likewise refused. Mrs Charnaud refused even to reply but indicated by her expression that she thought it infamous. During all this time the children were tearful, in a dreadful state of nerves and very apprehensive. This situation seemed to amuse the interpreter and caused him to give further vent to his ill-feeling and hate for us. However, faced by the mothers' direct refusal to comply with his orders, Captain Nimoto proceeded to singe the boys' hair despite obvious terror.


The memory of that brutal treatment haunted the boys for several months and had a most serious effect not only on their nervous systems but on their mothers' as well.


(signed) Helen Guy (signed) Madeline Charnaud (signed) Marion Sparke




15) Made by Mrs Guy


I should like to draw your attention to an incident which happened to me here.


It was lunch time and a very cold and windy day; one of our small children had just got over an attack of bronchitis. On entering the dining room I happened to close the sliding window looking onto the corridor to shut out the draught; almost instantly a guard came along and banged the window open, shouting at me furiously. I tried to explain why I had closed the window. During my explanation he hit me hard on the head several times with a large door key. I went along to the office to report this; the Commandant was in attendance, also the interpreter. During my explanation this same guard struck me across the face hard at least half a dozen times in front of the Commandant who just sat and smiled and did not intervene at this malicious treatment.


I was then told to leave the office. On doing as I was bidden the guard attacked me again, this time gripping me by the throat and forcing me backwards and all the time slapping my face and breast. I realised now he was trying to push me backwards over a table which was standing underneath the statue in the corridor opposite the front door. If it had not been for the timely interception of the interpreter and another guard, this incident would have been much more serious than it was. After these two officers had released me from the attacking guard, I went back to the dining room; just as I was seated this same guard rushed at me again, this time with the intention of hurling a chair at me. For many days afterwards my throat was bruised and sore.


This incident took place on the 22nd October 1942.


(signed) Helen Guy




16) Made by Mrs Lyon


One day in May 1943, while cleaning the room, I wanted to shake the baby's blanket from the window. Observing a guard standing under it, I let him understand that we were cleaning. His reaction filled me with horror for fury gleamed from his eyes. He madly attempted to pull the blanket, indicating that he wanted to throw it away. Failing to do so he drew his sword, moving to hit me and, at the same time, ordering me out. I had two reasons for not obeying his command: 1) the sword and the previous brutality of this particular guard; 2) an order from the Captain, which had come out only a few minutes before the incident, forbidding anyone to go out for any reason.


Before we had time to think or to realise what was happening, we heard the sound of heavy military boots in the corridor. The door was burst open. He pushed past all obstacles in our overcrowded room making straight for me.


For a second or two we faced each other while the other occupants of the room became petrified with apprehension and horror. Swinging his whole body and, first lifting one arm, then the other, he was able to put maximum strength into each of the four blows on my face. His fury was animal, not human. I had no means of warding off his fearful attack.


An appeal to the Captain proved that we were entirely in the hands of our jailers. Their use of violence on us would always be met with approval in the office.


Since the 15th January I have had six weeks in bed. My ears have been discharging pus and blood. Peroxide was provided; otherwise there has been little to alleviate the fearful pain or to reduce the temperature, often over 39oC, for days at a time.


In Paris as a child of twelve I had to undergo an ear operation. It was entirely successful and during eighteen years I had no more trouble.


The blows I received last may seem to have aggravated a recurrence of the old trouble from which I had been free so long.


(signed) Y. Lyon




17) Report from Mrs A. K. Thoms of an incident which took place on August 1st, 1942


I had been asked by the women in this camp, whose representative I am, to go into the office and complain about the bread which, at that time, was exceedingly doughy and uncooked and had been upsetting everybody; the children were in fact unable to eat it at all. The majority of the women accompanied me to the office but were sent back. I had taken a piece of bread with me which I showed to the Captain, explaining that it was making people sick, etc. and I asked whether it would be possible to obtain a better quality in future. At this point Mr Midori Kawa, the interpreter, with an extremely evil look upon his face, commenced to shout and yell at me. I then spoke to him personally and endeavoured to enlist his sympathy whereupon he smacked my face several times. I was exceedingly shocked at this behaviour and demanded to see my husband or, if that were not possible, a representative of the German Embassy. At this time Mr Midori Kawa flew at me and, grasping my throat, said, "You demand!". With his hands still around my throat he forced me up against the wall and continued to hurl abuse at me. Although the office was full of guards, no one came to my rescue despite my having appealed to the Captain himself to do so. When Midori Kawa finally released me I left the office greatly distressed and filled with fear at the prospect of having to continue my duties on behalf of the women internees.


(signed) Florence Thoms




18) Made by Mrs Garner


Owing to the fact that we were in a very congested room, I and four of my room mates commenced putting down our beds just before the nightly roll call as, by so doing, it enabled us all to be in bed by lights out. On numerous occasions guards had even sat on our made beds before roll call and we assumed they recognised our difficulties and accepted the fact that we were breaking a rule. However nothing was said for fifteen months until one night towards the end of October we were suddenly called to the office and made to stand under the bell before the open door in front of the building for four hours. During the time we were standing there the guards in the office sat over a charcoal brazier while we, on the contrary, were dressed only in our night attire. It was bitterly cold and one guard, taking pity on us, closed the door. This respite however was short lived as it was promptly opened again. At the end of four hours I broke down and wept hysterically whereupon all the guards and the sergeant came out of the office and, after some talk, told us to go to bed.


This incident took place in October 1943.


(signed) Muriel Garner




19) Made by Mrs L. Yates


Early in May 1943 I was sitting in the garden a little apart from the other women internees, reading a book, when a certain guard known to us as 'Loopy' came up to me and attempted to draw me into conversation against my will.


After a few preliminary remarks in broken English he came unpleasantly close to me and, with a lecherous look on his face, said, "You sleep with me, I give you two bars of soap". (This remark was accompanied by suggestive, vulgar gestures.) I told him firmly to go away and so, finally, he urinated a few feet in front of me and, approaching me a second time, he exposed his person making obscene and lewd gestures. I screamed and, fearing that the noise would draw someone to the scene, he moved away and I was able to push him aside and run into the house.


This incident upset me terribly as this particular guard had many times before behaved towards me in a revolting manner and, on a previous occasion, had followed me to the lavatory when I was in a state of undress and, but for another woman barring the door with her body and using all her strength to keep him out, he would have forced his way inside with me.


When I told the wife of the interpreter how this guard had menaced me, she told me to be very careful of him as he was a sexual maniac and particularly dangerous at this time as his own wife was pregnant and refused him sexual intercourse and he was more insane than ever with repression. She subsequently told us that he had been removed to a mental home.


(signed) Lavender Yates




20) Made by Mrs Florence Thoms, Headwoman. Report of an incident at Fukushima Internment Camp in the autumn of 1942


Mrs Gleeson, an internee over fifty years of age, was only half dressed when the sergeant on duty walked into her room in the early morning. She indicated that she objected and shut the door on him whereupon he became nasty and took her to the office, pushing her in front of him and poking her all the time with his sword. Downstairs, in the corridor, another officer joined him and they both continued pushing and prodding her with a result that she became most upset and had an accident in her pants. After the accident she was made to clean up the corridor.


(signed) Florence Thoms




21) Made by Mr M. Molphy, Fireman, ex s.s. 'Pagassitikos'


One morning at about 9 o'clock in the summer of 1943, the internees were told to do weeding in front of the building and about 11 o'clock were told to stop and, as we came into the building, I went to wash my hands in the washroom as my hands were very dirty. As I was washing them, a guard saw me through the window and he came up slowly and, as I was coming out of the washroom, I met the very guard who saw me washing my hands and he told me to come down to the office and I went down with him. Down in the office the Commandant (the second Commandant) asked me through the interpreter, Midori Kawa, why do I wash my hands in that washroom, don't I know that it is out of order. I said no, so the Commandant told me to kneel down. The Commandant kicked me with his outdoor shoes on my kneecap and I tried to stand up. Failing to stand up the interpreter asked me why do I want to stand up. I said because I cannot balance myself on account of the kick on the knee and the interpreter said why do I violate the law. At the time of trying to stand up, the Commandant pushed me back and kicked me once on my left shoulder. At 2 o'clock, while kneeling, the Commandant went to the kitchen and got one roll of bread and slapped me on the face with it and then gave it to me to eat but I refused it and told the interpreter that I don't eat bread which I have been slapped with. Bread is made to be eaten not to slap people with. The Commandant told me through the interpreter to go and I went out and, after a few minutes, I was then called to the office and asked if I won't take the bread by the Commandant, through the interpreter. I still refused the bread and I was told to go upstairs. So till up to today I am suffering from this knee which at times swells up and pains me and prevents me from running freely.


(signed) M. Molphy






Statements made by the Chief of the Special Branch of the Police at the beginning and end of internment.


1) Report of a statement made by the first Chief of the Special Branch of the Police on the internees' arrival at the internment camp on the 11th July 1942:-


"You have a very bad Government which my Government has been compelled to take up arms against. Japanese soldiers are the bravest and best fighters in the world; they have never been defeated and will not be in this war. Japan is prepared to fight for fifty years. Britain and her allies shall be defeated as progress of the war to date proves and, furthermore, shall be punished for their tyranny and greed. I am very sorry for your unfortunate position but, if you remain good girls and boys and obey all the regulations issued by the Camp Commandant, you will receive good treatment and protection from the Japanese Government and shall have a very bright future."


2) Report of a statement made by the second Chief of the Special Branch of the Police on 16th August 1945:-


"Yesterday all the countries have come to an agreement and the war has come to an end, so you are all free and no longer internees but no orders have come yet. It is natural that you all want to go about freely as you like and to go into the streets but the people outside are still excited and so it is best for you all to remain inside here. You are going to live here for the time being and the Commandant would like to make the life here as pleasant as possible and wants Captain Stratford to represent you and say what you want. The Commandant will try his best to get what you want but he cannot promise everything.


At present there are many police officers here on duty as the people outside are very excited and there might be some stupid people outside to make trouble.


You will go home bye bye but the Commandant cannot say when.


One word of warning; all this excitement might lead to much noise, singing and music and the people outside might be annoyed, so you must be careful.


Some time ago your diamonds, etc. were handed over; the Commandant has communicated with Tokyo to return the things taken.


In the near future you will go back so if anyone has not got clothing let them come forward now and the Commandant will try to get something for them.


You have been here three years and must have felt the inconvenience, especially about food, but it is the same in all countries. The Commandant has been trying his best to get something more but it is still a difficult problem.


Unfortunately three people died but the rest have come through for the few more months till the time you return home.


The camp routine has been changed to make things as pleasant as possible but, with so many people living together, there must be a few regulations.


There are still some Red Cross boxes left over from the time of the previous Commandant and anyone can have them to pack their things in; let them give their names to Captain Stratford.


You are not to make too much noise; you must be careful not to stir up the people outside. The police officers are here to look after you and so you must listen to what they have to say for your own benefit.


There are only a few weeks now so be careful about your health."

----- END -----


Courtesy of Chris Best.