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Item title: Allied prisoners of war in Japanese hands
Title (kanji)
Location:Australian War Memorial (AWM55 12/63)
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 12/63
Inst. series: AWM55
Inst. sub-series: AWM55 12/-
Item: RR-86
Item qualities
Quantity / desc: 59 pages
Access: Open
Item type: Unpublished, Official
Category: Information report
Item content
Creation date (d/m/y): 24/8/1944
Conflict code: Pacific War (1941-1945)
Australian unit names:
Allied unit names:
Japanese unit names:Batavia 48th Line of Communication Sector Unit
Languages: English
Burma–Thai Railway [Burma–Thailand]
China–Hong Kong
French Indochina (Vietnam, Laos & Cambodia)
Content: This is an Allied Translator and Interpreter Section (ATIS) research report on the location and treatment of 71 Allied prisoners of war. It contains instructions for the treatment of Allied prisoners of war in base areas, regulations concerning the collection of prisoners, instructions on the detachment of prisoners for work, a parole form for prisoners of war, comments on the technical ability of white prisoners and instruction on treatment intended to undermine "white prestige". The bulk of this report is based on excerpts from Japanese interrogation reports concerning the location, treatment and conditions in prison camps in French Indo-China, Japan, Korea, Malaya, the Netherlands East Indies, the Philippines, Formosa, Manchuria and New Britain. One section deals specifically with camps where Allied prisoners were used as labourers, including Burma, Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Netherlands East Indies and the Philippines. Appendices attached to this report include a diagram of the disposition strength of Batavia 48th Line of Communication Sector Unit, a map of the Innoshima prisoner-of war-camp in December 1942, a map of the Zentsuji prisoner-of-war camp in February 1942, a map of the Tarakan area, and a map showing the location of Allied prisoner-of-war camps throughout Asia and the Pacific.

The report concluded that at Singapore, Manila, Osaka, Sasebo and Keijo, prison camps were located in target areas, although it was not clear whether this was a deliberate policy or merely because it was a convenient site to hold labourers. 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. There was some evidence that treatment in camps in Japan and Korea were better than at other camps in the Pacific theatre.

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 09:07:12 AM
Source:AJRP staff

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