Testimony of Mikio Taneichi in Trial for Atrocities Committed in Batangas and Laguna 1945 (Part II)
Q Did you take your entire company to Tanauan on the 7 ?
A Not all of them, but the main strength. Before that, one platoon was left in Ipaan [Ibaan].
A I believe it was in Tanauan.
A I do not know.
Q I believe you testified he is not one of the accused present in the courtroom?
A The Lieutenant Yamada who is in the courtroom is from the fishing unit.
Q Where was the fishing unit located during the period first to fifteenth of February, 1945?
A I do not know.
Q Where was the unit of the accused, Yuzo Sakata, on the dates first to fifteenth of February, 1945?
A I do not know.
Q What was his unit?
A Construction Company.
Q Was that a unit of the Corps of Engineers of the Japanese Army?
Q Of what branch of the service was it a unit?
A The construction unit belonged to the regiment.
Q What regiment?
A The 17ᵗʰ Regiment. I do not know the actions of Lieutenant Sakata, but when he was in Calamba, I don’t think his unit was there.
Q What was the unit of the accused, Bunji Kanto?
A Engineer regiment.
Q And where was this unit during the period 1st to 15ᵗʰ of February, 1945?
A I do not know.
A We went by automobile.
Q And how did you return from Calamba to Tanauan on the night of the 12ᵗʰ - 13ᵗʰ?
A By automobile.
Q Did you return with all of the men that you took with you?
A Yes. I went together with other units from Tanauan and returned with those same units.
Q Who was the senior officer in command of that movement from Tanauan to Calamba on the night of the 11ᵗʰ - 12ᵗʰ of February?
A Lieutenant Yamada.
Q Is that the Lieutenant Yamada who is present in this courtroom?
Q Do you know if Lieutenant Yamada, to whom you have just referred as commanding that column, made a report of the operations at Calamba during the day of the 12ᵗʰ of February, upon his return to Tanauan?
A To whom?
Q To anyone – any superior officer.
A I do not know.
Q Did he ask you to make a report to him of your participation and the participation of your men in that operation?
A Lieutenant Yamada of the Air Corps and myself had no command relationship.
Q Then, do I understand you proceeded independently to Calamba and Tanauan despite the fact that a senior officer was present?
Q Then did you make a report to any superior headquarters of your participation in the operations on the 12ᵗʰ of February at Calamba?
A I made the report to Captain Saito.
Q How soon after your return to Tanauan did you make that report?
A I made the report while I was still in Calamba.
Q What was the substance of that report?
A I received orders to gather the residents, so I reported that the mission was accomplished.
Q Did you receive orders from Captain Saito or any other officer in charge at Calamba to return to Tanauan?
Q From whom?
A Captain Saito.
Q About when?
A About 7:30 in the evening.
Q How soon did you comply with those orders?
A I returned immediately after receiving that order.
Q On the 10ᵗʰ of February, 1945 at Tanauan, were you personally in charge and responsible for the operations there?
COLONEL WORTMAN: Will the reporter read the last question?
A Lieutenant Yamada of the Air Corps.
Q Were you under his command jurisdiction?
A No, we had no command relationships.
Q How do you explain your statement that he was in charge and you, present with another unit, had no command relation with him? Did you obey his orders whether you had [a] command relation or not?
A Lt. Yamada’s unit was the security garrison there. My unit was to fight any paratroopers which might land, so our mission was entirely different and we had no command relationship.
COLONEL WORTMAN: Read the last question and answer back.
Q Then who was in charge of the subjugation operations at Tanauan on the date 10 February 1945?
A It was the security garrison unit commander.
Q Did your unit cooperate or assist in any way in the subjugation operations on the 10ᵗʰ of February, 1945?
Q On whose orders?
A Regimental orders.
Q How were they received?
A We received it through telephone.
A The orders stated that the portion of my unit would be assigned to the garrison unit under Lt. Yamada and have them cooperate with him.
Q Did those orders include you, yourself, as a part of the portion, among the orders of Lt. Yamada?
A I was not included in that portion.
Q Did you receive a report that a Filipino citizen, girl, was raped by a Japanese officer in Tanauan on 10 February 1945?
LIEUTENANT PHARR: The Commission is present, the defense counsel is present, the accused and prosecution are present.
COLONEL WORTMAN: You may proceed.
COLONEL MADDEN: May I have the last question read?
COLONEL WORTMAN: Read the last question, please.
A I do not know.
Q Did you phone your regimental commander, Colonel Fujishige, between the 7ᵗʰ and 12ᵗʰ of February, 1945 concerning the subjugation of Tanauan?
Q Did Colonel Fujishige give you strict orders which included the subjugation of woman and children?
A Fujishige told me not to pity any women and children who were guerrillas.
Q Did Colonel Fujishige tell you that women and children found to be guerrillas would be subjugated?
COLONEL WORTMAN: Subjugation. We have referred through the trial to subjugation activities at Tanauan. I want to know whether Fujishige’s orders required him to subjugate women and children if they were found to be guerrillas.
Q What were Colonel Fujishige’s orders to you with reference to women and children?
A He did not issue any orders, but when I spoke to him about the matter, he said not to pity women and children who were guerrillas.
COLONEL WORTMAN: Will the reporter read the last answer?
A At that time, there were approximately 60 men.
Q How many of your men did you take to Calamba for the subjugation activities there on Colonel Fujishige’s orders?
A Five or six men.
Q How many men did you bring back to Tanauan from Calamba after the subjugation activities had been completed.
A Five or six.
Q How many men did you turn over to Lieutenant Yamada to cooperate with the subjugation of the activities in Tanauan on the tenth of February?
Q Why did you rape Corazon A. Burgos at Tanauan, Batangas Province, on the tenth of February 1945?
A I did not rape any woman.
COLONEL WORTMAN: Comment by the prosecution?
LIEUTENANT PHARR: I know of no rule prohibiting the type of question a Commission may ask. He may ask any question that seems relevant to the issue. I think the question is entirely proper.
COLONEL WORTMAN: Ruling by the law member?
COLONEL HAMBY: Objection overruled.
Q If you met a woman with two children whom you believed to be guerrillas, what would you consider the regimental commander’s orders to subjugate would require you to do to them?
A I would take action according to orders.
Q According to your orders, what would you actually do if you had been ordered to subjugate them?
A I would subjugate them.
Q Describe in detail how you would subjugate them.
A I would act according to the order.
A I cannot say because it would depend upon the present situation at the time.
Q What did you understand by the orders to subjugate?
A Do you mean the general meaning of the word subjugation?
Q I want to know what you would do under your orders to subjugate them.
A It would be according to the various situations.
COLONEL WORTMAN: Read that back.
BY COLONEL WORTMAN:
Q Did your subjugation orders require you to slap faces and rape women?
A There was no such thing.
Q Anyswer my question “yes” or “no.”
Q Are you a graduate of the Japanese Military Academy?
COLONEL WORTMAN: Any further questions by the defense?
CAPTAIN GREER: No further questions.
COLONEL WORTMAN: Any further questions by the Commission?
CAPTAIN GREER: At this time, I would like to have an off-record discussion between the members of the prosecution and of the Commission.
COLONEL WORTMAN: Very well.
COLONEL WORTMAN: What is the purpose of the continuance?
CAPTAIN GREER: The purpose of this request is to give us such time to prepare the excerpts from the Fujishige case that we wish to introducefor the Commission’s scrutiny as well as prepare a photographic exhibit of the accused Taneichi’s teeth.
COLONEL WORTMAN: The request of the defense is granted. Is there any comment from the prosecution at this time?
COLONEL WORTMAN: Very well. The Commission will recess until day after tomorrow morning at 0830.
|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.