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Item title: Allied prisoners of war in Japanese hands
Title (kanji)
Location:Australian War Memorial (AWM55 12/64)
View information about obtaining a copy of this document
AJRP details
AJRP module: Australian War Memorial official records
AJRP series: Allied Translator and Interpreter Section (ATIS) publications
AJRP sub-series: ATIS research reports
AJRP folder:
Location details
Institution: Australian War Memorial
Call number: AWM55 12/64
Inst. series: AWM55
Inst. sub-series: AWM55 12/-
Item: RR-86 supplement 1
Item qualities
Quantity / desc: 59 pages
Access: Open
Item type: Unpublished, Official
Category: Information report
Item content
Creation date (d/m/y): 19/11/1945
Conflict code: Pacific War (1941-1945)
Australian unit names:
Allied unit names:
Japanese unit names:
Languages: English
Burma–Thai Railway [Burma–Thailand]
China–Hong Kong
French Indochina (Vietnam, Laos & Cambodia)
Kao-hsiung [Japan–Formosa, Formosa (Taiwan)]
Content: This is an Allied Translator and Interpreter Section (ATIS) research report issued on 19 November 1945 on the location and treatment of 48 Allied prisoners of war and is a supplement to RR-86 on the same subject. Based on material available to 1 October 1944, it contains instructions for the treatment of Allied prisoners of war, regulations concerning the collection of prisoners, and information on the payment of prisoners of war. The bulk of this report is based on excerpts from Japanese interrogation reports concerning the location, treatment and conditions in prison camps in British North Borneo, French Indo-China, China, Japan, Korea, Malaya, the Netherlands East Indies, the Philippines, New Ireland and New Britain. One section deals specifically with camps where Allied prisoners were used as labourers, including French Indo-China, China, Formosa, Burma, Thailand, Malaya, Korea, New Britain, Thailand, Solomon Islands, Japan, Singapore, Netherlands East Indies and the Philippines. Illustrations include maps of the prisoner-of-war camps at Takao (Kao-hsiung), Saigon, Nagoya and Batavia. The appendix comprises a map showing the location of Allied prisoner-of-war camps throughout Asia and the Pacific.

The report concluded that units in Burma were instructed to treat prisoners of war humanely and Asian prisoners were also to be treated sympathetically in order to win their support for the New Order. The Japanese policy appeared to be to use Allied prisoners for their technical skills, and as a result they tended to be concentrated in areas subjected to Allied bombing. Treatment of Allied prisoners in forward areas also appeared to be particularly bad and prisoners at Rabaul were reported to be in very poor physical condition with many having already died. Evidence from escapees from camps in the Netherlands East Indies suggested that prisoners were treated harshly. In most cases Japanese interrogation reports suggested that Allied prisoners were well treated. Evidence from non-Japanese sources, however, suggested a markedly different picture of atrocities, starvation and the denial of medical attention. Until mid-1944 ATIS researchers only had sporadic and conflicting reports about the conditions in Japanese prisoner-of-war camps. This report reflects the limited body of evidence ATIS researchers worked with, but also the mounting evidence of widespread maltreatment and atrocities.
Other information
Last modified:03/05/2009 09:06:54 AM
Source:AJRP staff

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