The Yokohama District Court ordered the government Thursday to pay compensation to the relatives of five now-deceased men for falsely imprisoning them in the "Yokohama Incident," often described as Japan's worst case of repression of free speech during the war.Another articleThe Japan Times published last year reported:
The three-judge panel ruled that the wartime "tokko" thought, or political, police launched a one-sided, speculative investigation that prosecutors and judges endorsed.
The police, the prosecution and the court all bear heavy responsibility for the outcome, it said. In the decision, (Presiding Judge) Oshima accused the political police of conducting an "illegal" investigation, including the torture of suspects.
The five defendants were convicted in August and September 1945 of procommunist activities based on the wartime Peace Preservation Law.
In the Yokohama Incident, the Kanagawa thought-control police arrested about 60 journalists on suspicion of spreading the idea of communism in violation of the Peace Preservation Law during the Pacific War; more than 30 were indicted. Torture was employed during interrogation and four died while in detention. Most of the defendants were given suspended sentences right after World War II ended. The former defendants are all dead.A longer article at The Asia-Pacific Journal entitled "The Retrial of the 'Yokohama Incident': A Six Decade Battle for Human Dignity" may be read here.
- Posted by Kimberly Hughes