Q What is your name?
A Mikio Taneichi.
Q How old are you?
Q Were you an officer in the Imperial Japanese Army?
Q What was your command in February of 1945?
A I was in command of the main strength of the 7ᵗʰ Company of the 17ᵗʰ Regiment.
Q Who was your regimental commander in February of 1945?
A Masatoshi Fujishige.
Q Did you receive any orders from his headquarters in February of 1945?
Q Were you ordered to go to Calamba in February of 1945?
Q Did you go there?
Q Did you take any of your men with you?
Q When did you arrive there?
A Did you mean for the subjugation?
Q When did you arrive in Calamba?
Q What did you do there?
A I cooperated with the subjugation of Calamba.
Q In what way did you cooperate with the subjugation of Calamba?
A In the morning, under orders from Captain Saito, I gathered the residents from the northeaster section into a church.
A It was in the morning.
Q What time of the morning?
A I believe it was after seven o’clock in the morning.
Q What was the date?
A It was on the 12ᵗʰ.
Q How many hours did you spend gathering men and sending them to the Catholic church that day?
A It took about three and a half hours.
Q What did you do for the balance of the day?
A I made reconnaissance of the terrain of the Calamba area.
Q Who ordered you to do that?
A I conducted the terrain reconnaissance with the understanding of Captain Saito and also under orders of the regimental headquarters.
Q Did you kill anybody on that day?
Q To the best of your knowledge, did your men kill anyone that day?
A No, they did not.
Q When you gathered these people into the church, did you know that Captain Saito intended to kill them?
A I imagined that the bad ones were to be killed.
Q Have you ever been stationed in Tanauan?
Q Were you there on the 10ᵗʰ of February, 1945?
Q Do you know a woman by the name of Miss Corazon A. Burgos?
Q Do you remember a young girl in a white dress who testified in this courtroom on Monday of this week?
A I saw this woman for the first time at the trial here.
Q Did you rape any woman in Tanauan?
Q Do you know Yuzo Sakata?
Q Do you know Taichi Yamada?
Q Do you know Bunji Kanto?
Q Did you know those officers on the 12ᵗʰ of February, 1945?
A I knew Lieutenant Sakata, but I didn’t know the other two very well.
A They did not.
COLONEL WORTMAN: Cross-examination?
LIEUTENANT PHARR: Yes, sir.
Q Did you say you saw Sakata in Calamba on the 12ᵗʰ of February 1945?
Q Where were you when you saw him?
A I was in the vicinity of the barracks on the western edge of Calamba. In the afternooon, around 1300, I met him in the vicinity of the church.
Q How many officers of the Japanese Army did you see in Calamba on the 12ᵗʰ of February 1945?
A I can only ascertain definitely six of them.
Q Who were they?
A (Continuing) — seven of them.
Q Will you name those officers?
A Captain Ginsaku Saito, First Lieutenant Yamada of the Air Corps, First Lieutenant Sakada, Second Lieutenant Muramatsu, Second Lieutenant Kusanagi; I cannot remember the names of the others.
INTERPRETER OGITA: Sakada, S-a-k-a-d-a; Muramatsu,
Q Did you see Taichi Yamada, on of the accused in this case, at Calamba on February 12ᵗʰ?
A Yes, I saw him there. I met him for the first time at that time.
Q Was there more than one Lieutenant Yamada in Calamba on February 12ᵗʰ?
A There were two of them. One was Lieutenant Yamada of the Air Corps, and one was Lieutenant Yamada, who is one of the accused.
Q Why did you go to Calamba on February 12ᵗʰ, 1945?
A I went because I received orders to cooperate from the headquarters of Saito Battalion and the regimental headquarters.
Q How were you dressed on February 12ᵗʰ, 1945?
A I was wearing an officer’s cap, shirt, and I was in military uniform.
Q Were you wearing boots?
Q When did you finish the gathering of the men in Calamba?
A I believe it took until ten o’clock.
Q In the morning?
Q Then where did you go?
A There is a river running to the north of Calamba. I went there for reconnaissance.
Q What was the purpose of that reconnaissance?
Q Did you do any reconnoitering to the south or west of Calamba?
A I did not have the time. To the west and northwest of Calamba, the area is flat and we knew the terrain from maps.
Q Did you know what was happening on February 12ᵗʰ at Calamba?
A I found out about it later.
Q What happened?
A I heard that the bad ones among the residents of Calamba were killed.
Q Did you know before you gathered those people that they were going to be killed?
A I believed that the bad ones such as guerrillas and spies and men who resisted were to be killed. When I say “guerrillas,” I mean that includes bandits and also communists who cooperated with the guerrillas.
Q Did you gather only the bad ones that morning?
A I gathered all the residents under orders.
Q What time did you get to Calamba?
A About five o’clock.
Q Of what day?
A The 12ᵗʰ.
Q Is that five o’clock in the morning?
A I saw him after a little while.
Q Did you discuss with Captain Saito that morning before daylight the plans for the day?
A No, I did not.
Q What did Captain Saito tell you that morning?
A He did not say anything specially.
Q How did you know what you were to do?
A It was because I received orders.
Q From whom?
A From Captain Saito?
Q What were the orders?
A It said I was ordered to gather the residents from the northeast section and put them into the church.
Q Were you with Captain Saito on the punitive expedition to Tanauan on February 10ᵗʰ?
A No I did [was] not.
Q Were you in Tanauan on February 10ᵗʰ 1945?
Q Did you know that lots of people were killed there that day?
A I did not know.
Q Did you assist in the subjugation of Tanauan?
A I, myself, did not assist, but a portion of my unit was assigned to the expedition.
Q Where did you go?
A I was not concerned with the expedition.
A I was engaged in training my men and also preparing for combat with paratroops.
Q How many men did you have in Tanauan?
A I had 60 men, but approximately 20 of them were assigned to the expedition, so on that day, I had about 40 men.
Q Did you know what was going to happen in Tanauan on February 10, 1945?
LIEUTENANT PHARR: The Commission, the defense counsel, the accused, the prosecution are present; the prosecution is ready to proceed.
COLONEL WORTMAN: You may proceed.
LIEUTENANT PHARR: You are the same Mikio Taneichi who was on the stand prior to the recess, is that true?
LIEUTENANT PHARR: I will remind you that you are still under oath.
Q What did you discuss with Lieutenant Yamada in regard to the subjugation of Tanauan?
A Lieutenant Yamada of the Air Corps came to consult me. The problem was what to do with women and children who were in the guerrillas. As I have mentioned before, when I say “guerrilla,” that includes bandits and communists also.
Q Did he have reference to the subjugation when he said, “What will we do with the women and children?”
Q What did you tell him to do with the women and children?
A I told him to investigate that thoroughly.
Q Then what was he to do with the women and children after he investigated them?
A I do not know.
Q And why did you tell him to investigate the women and children?
A I just told him that it was difficult to determine if they were guerrillas or not, so I told him to investigate them.
Q If Lieutenant Yamad of the Air Corps determined that women and children were guerrillas, what was he to do with them?
A I do not know, because our discussion did not go that far.
Q Why did you go to Tanauan with 60 men?
A I went them for combat against paratroops.
A On the evening of the 7ᵗʰ of February.
Q Did you engage any paratroopers in combat while you were in Tanauan?
A I don’t believe there were any.
Q As far as you know, were there ever any paratroopers who landed in Tanauan?
A No, however, on the third of February, they did land in Tagaytay.
Q How long were you stationed in Tanauan?
A From the seventh until the thirteenth and also around the seventeenth or eighteenth until the evening of the twenty-third.
Q Did you know many Filipinos were being killed in and around Tanauan during the entire period of time that you were stationed there?
A I did not know. However, I heard that a portion of the bad ones were killed.
Q Did you spend the night of February twelfth 1945 in or near Calamba?
A No, I did not.
Q Where did you go on the night of February twelfth?
A I returned to Tanauan.
Q What time of night did you return to Tanauan?
A I believe it was around eight o’clock in the evening.
Q I direct your attention to the map which is before the Commission at this time scaled 1:50,000 and ask you to point out on the map the road which you took from Calamba to Tanauan.
A (Witness points to map.)
Q As you were leaving Tanauan about eight o’clock, did you notice houses on the outskirts of Calamba burning?
Strike the last question.
Q Did you know who set those houses on fire?
A I did not know.
Q Did you know that the bodies of Filipinos were burning in those houses at that time?
A I heard about it.
Q At any time during February twelfth 1945, were you in the southern part of the town of Calamba?
Q Were you in the southeastern part of the town?
Q Do you know where Barrio Aplaya is?
Q Who was in charge of killing the people at Calamba on February the twelfth 1945?
A Captain Saito.
Q And who was in charge of the killing at Tanauan on February the tenth 1945?
A Lieutenant Yamada of the Air Corps.
A It is a different person.
COLONEL WORTMAN: Redirect?
COLONEL WORTMAN: Questions by the Commission?
COLONEL MADDEN: I have some, Sir.
Q I call your attention again to the map of [the] Batangas-Laguna Area, Scale 1:50,000. It has been prepared from standard maps and over-printed by J.G. Gutierrez, Second Lieutenant, Corps of Engineers, 3 January 1946. I hand you this pointer. Will you indicate on the map the headquarters of the 17ᵗʰ Infantry at the time of the various incidents, that is, between 1 February and 15 February 1945?
A The name of the place is not designated on the map. It was in this area (pointing).
A Including all the units which were attached and also such units as the fishing unit, it was later called the Fuji heidan.
Q Now, will you indicate the headquarters of the 1st Battalion of the 17ᵗʰ Infantry at the same time, the 1ˢᵗ to 15ᵗʰ of February, 1945?
A I do not know where it was.
Q Will you indicate the headquarters of the 7ᵗʰ Company of the 17ᵗʰ Regiment on those dates, the 1ˢᵗ to 15ᵗʰ of February?
A You mean were I was?
Q If you were in command of that company, I mean that.
A From the 1ˢᵗ of December, it was a Japanese area.
|Photo taken during the war crimes trials in Manila. Image credit: U.S. National Archives.|
1 “Transcription of the Testimony of Mikio Taneichi in U.S.A. v Mikio Taneichi, et al.,” Reel 91 of the U.S. Military Commission compilation of war crimes documentation, online at the Internet Archive.