Statement of Ichiro Kobayashi Related to Japanese Activities in Batangas in World War II - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Statement of Ichiro Kobayashi Related to Japanese Activities in Batangas in World War II - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Statement of Ichiro Kobayashi Related to Japanese Activities in Batangas in World War II

This page contains the testimony from one accused, Warrant Officer Ichiro Kobayashi, submitted as evidence in U.S.A. v Shumpei Hagino, et al., one of the war crimes trials conducted after the conclusion of World War II in the Pacific in 1945. This document was the record of a deposition conducted most likely at a Japanese prisoners-of-war where he was being held captive after the conclusion of hostilities. The pages contained herein are now declassified and were part of compiled documentation1 of war crimes trials conducted by the United States Military Commission after the conclusion of World War II. This transcription has been corrected for grammar where necessary by Batangas History, Culture and Folklore. The pagination is as it was contained in the original document for citation purposes.

Manila War Crimes Trial US Army
Photo taken during the war crimes trials in Manila.  Image credit:  U.S. National Archives.

[p. 1]




Q What is your name and rank?
A Kobayashi, Ichiro, Warrant Officer Japanese Army.
Q What was your organization?
A 17th Regiment, 2nd Battalion, 6th Company.
Q When did you come to the Philippines?
A In September 1944 with the 17th Regiment.
Q What were your duties with the 6th Co.?
A I was the platoon officer of the 2nd Platoon.
Q What was the strength of your platoon?
A Approximately 20, including myself.
Q What were the names of the members of your platoon? A
1. Masaki, Kazuo – Cpl.
2. Asaki, Kizaemon S/Pvt.
3. Ogasawara, Kuranosuke – Pfc.
4. Abe, Kuyishiro – Cpl.
5. Takeda, Takeo – Pfc.
6. Yamaguchi, Saihachi – Pfc.
7. Saito, Hisao – Pfc.

[p. 2]

8. Minami, Hiroshi – Cpl.
9. Endo, Kenjuro – L/Pvt.
10. Anzua, Tadao – S/Pvt.
11. Sato, Gentaro – S/Pvt.
12. Ito, Masao – Pfc.
13. Ishidoya – Pfc.
14. Mizawa, Tatsuji – S/Pvt.
These are the only ones that I am able to remember.

Q Where were you stationed?

A At Batangas from October 1944 until the latter part of February 1944. In the latter part of February 1944, we moved to 2nd Battalion Headquarters near Dita where we stayed until April 20, 1945 when we withdrew to the mountains. While at Batangas, my men and myself were not stationed with the 6th Co. but were located in the wharf area where we were doing guard duty.

Q Did you ever hear or see Col. Fujishige’s order relating to the mopping up of all who opposed the Japanese Army?

A No.

Q Did you ever go on any expedition to mop-up the Filipinos?

A Yes. Shortly after we moved to Dita, I went with some of my men to Bauan. I did not know the purpose of this expedition before leaving.

Q How many men did you take with you?

A I believe eight or nine – two squads/

Q Who were these men?


1. Masaki, Kazuo – Cpl.
2. Asaki, Kizaemon – S/Pvt.
3. Ogasawara, Kuranosuke – Pfc.
4. Abe, Kyushiro – Cpl.
5. Takeda, Takeo – Pfc.

[p. 3]

6. Yamaguchi, Saihachi – Pfc.
7. Saito, Hisao – Pfc.
8. Ishidoya – Pfc.
9. Mizawa, Tatsuji – S/Pvt.
I am giving you these names from memory so there might be some mistakes, however, these were the ones that went to Bauan to the best of my memory.

Q Where are these men now?

A They are all dead or missing in action with the exception of SAITO Hisao, Pfc. I believe he is still alive but I don’t know where he is.

Q Do you know the names of any others that went on the expedition to Bauan?

A Yes. There were Lt. Takemoto, Lt. Owari, Lt. Hagino, Lt. Takahashi, Lt. Fukwoka, W/O Kato, M/Sgt. Mogami and M/Sgt. Suzuki.

Q What were the duties of these?

A Lt. Takemoto was [the] expedition commander. I do not know that the duties of Lt. Owari and Lt. Hagino were as they were from Headquarters. Lt. Takahashi was in charge of the 6th Co. Lt. Fukwoka was in charge of the Battalion Artillery. W/O Kato was a platoon commander from the 6th Co. M/Sgt. Mogami was a platoon commander of the Engineer Platoon. M/Sgt. Suzuki was the 1st Sgt. for the 6th Co. I do not know the orders these received when we arrived at Bauan.

Q Tell me about the expedition.

A We left in the dark and arrived at an assembly point outside of Bauan while it was still dark. When it became light, I went into the town with the others and we went to the courthouse. While at the assembly point, Lt. Takahashi gave orders to put a squad of men under his command and to wait at the courthouse with the other squad for further orders. I went to the courthouse about 8:30 A.M. and shortly after, I saw Lt. Takemoto come out of the courthouse with the Mayor of the town. I went up to Lt. Takemoto and asked what was going on and he told me that he ordered the Mayor to have all the men report to the

[p. 4]

church and women and children to the school. I placed my men in scattered positions as there were American planes flying about and awaited further orders. About noontime, the town was burning, and because of the heat, we withdrew about a hundred meters to the hillside. Shortly after this, a messenger, S/Pvt. Asaki, came to us and told us that Lt. Takashi ordered us to return to the place where we had assembled in the morning. We went to the assembly point, after having to wait for American planes that were overhead to leave, and then after waiting at this point for a while, we returned to Dita.

Q Did you or your men round up the Filipinos and bring them to the church?

A No.

Q Did you have orders to stop any Filipino from escaping?

A No.

Q Just what did you do when you received orders from Lt. Takahashi until noon when you withdrew to the hillside?

A Nothing. We were just waiting near a concrete building that was near the courthouse for further orders.

Q Did you or the squad of men under you in any way harm any of the Filipinos?

A No.

Q Do you know what happened at the Church at Bauan?

A No.

Q Do you know of any other expeditions of the Japanese Army?

A No.

Q Do you know anything of the mopping up activities in and around Cuenca?

A No.

Q Did you go on an expedition to Taal?

A No.

[p. 5]

Q Do you know anything of this expedition?

A The only thing that I know is that one of W/O Kato’s men was wounded at Taal.

The foregoing statement has been interpreted and read to me by Sgt. Harold T. Oie and I have initialed each of the 5 pages, including all corrections, and signed this, the last page, as evidence that I fully understand the same, that I made such [a] statement voluntarily, without hope of reward or fear of force or punishment, and with the full realization that it may be used against me in court.

I solemnly affirm that the information contained herein is true.

(of Ichiro Kobayashi)


/s/ George D. Murphy, Jr., 2nd Lt., CMP
/s/ Sgt. Harold T. Oie
2nd Lt., INF (PA)
Notes and references:
1 “Statement of Ichiro Kobayashi, part of the documentation in U.S.A. v Shumpei Hagino, et al.,” part of the U.S. Military Commission compilation of war crimes documentation, online at the Internet Archive.
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