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Borneo Investigation Report

S/M Beppu, Yoichi Statement


I S/M Beppu, Yoichi on interrogation at Labuan on 1st December, 1946 state as follows:-

I clearly remember the statement I made to you  at Papar on 25th November, 1945. Portions of that statement are not correct and I will now tell you the whole story.

When S/M. Sticpewich escaped I was sent out with a party to look for him and after spending four or five days in fruitless search returned to No. 2 jungle camp on the night of the 31st July, 1945. The following day, 1st August, 1945, I was suffering with a bad attack of malaria and wished to spend the day in bed. Aboyt 0800 hrs Captain Takakua instructed that all N.C.O.s, officers and an interpreter should assemble in his quarters. Although ill I was forced to attend. The following were present at the conference - Captain Takakua, 1/Lt Watanabe, S/M Tsuji, S/M Fujita (interpreter), S/M Ichikawa (QM), Sgt. Beppu, Sgt. Okada. CaptainTakakua commenced by saying that owing to certain regretable incidents of PoWs escaping during the last fortnight and that it was necessary for the rest of them to be disposed of. After considering the problem of their disposal he finally decided on a method and issued the following instructions - S/M Tsuji would take the walking PoWs and I was to take the five Officers. In vain I protested that I was ill and unable to do it. Takakua said that owing to the shortage of N.C.O.s and the fact that Sgt. Iwabe was out of camp looking for S/M Sticpewich I must carry out his orders. He then detailed the name of the acual PoWs that were to be taken by each N.C.O/ and nominated the places where they were to be killed. S/M Tsuji left the camp with his party at about 1100 hrs and  Sgt. Okada and I left with our parties about 1200 or 1300 hrs.

The following guards were detailed by me to bring the PoWs out and kill them at the place I showed them :-

            • Nakayama, Tanao
            • Kawakami, Kiyoshi
            • Hashimoto, Masao
            • Yamamoto, Jire
            • Nagahiro, Masao
            • Suzuki, Saburo
            • Woyama, Tatsuo
            • Yoshiya, Konjo

The last two have since died. These guards took charge of the five PoW Officers. As I was feeling so ill and feverish I decided to move on slowly ahead of the party resting from time to time. I finally reached the place which Captain Takakua had selected and left an indicator there for my party. The place was on the right hand side of the road going towards Ranau and at approximately the 111 mile peg. As my party had not yet arrived I went over on to the left hand side of the road and rested about 20 to 30 minutes, I heard shots and I went back to the right hand side and found my party on the high ground about twenty or thirty metres off the road. In accordance with my instructions they had already killed the five PoWs. These men had been killed by shooting. I did not kill any but the guards were acting under my instructions and as I only passed these instructions on from Captain Takakua it is not my responsibility. When I saw that the task had been completed I passed on Captain Takakua instructions that separate graves should be dug and the PoWs buried. I can definitely state that their hands were not bound nor were they blindfolded nor did I hear screams from them. I returned with the guards to camp arriving about 1500 hrs. When I arrived back both S/M Tsuji, Sgt. Okada had already returned. I felt so ill that I went straight to bed and did not speak to the others. Captain Takakua made me furnish my report of the mornings activities which I wrote out and gave to a soldier to take to him.

S/M Fujita (medical) had been shot in the leg and was confined to his bed. he was only present at the morning conference and took no active part in the killings.

S/M Fujita (medical) had been shot in the leg and was confined to his bed. He was not present at either the conference or killings.

1/Lt. Watanabe was present at the conference but I do not know what he did after that.

I remember taht No.1 jungle camp where the PoWs were taken when the air raids became so bad. This was about the 27th or 28th April and about 50 PoWs were taken to this camp. I do not know what happened to them. About the 1st of June, 2/Lt. Suzuki, Sgt. Iwabe and Formosan guards came across to our camp. This would be about a week or ten days before Captain Takakua and S/M Sticpewich arrived in the camp. Suzuki’s party brought eight or nine PoWs with them. I do not know what went on in the No.1 camp but Sgt. Iwabe should be able to tell you.

I do not know anything about Private Murray except thet I heard that someone had stolen his biscuits.

I remember the occasion thet S/M Sticpewich refers to when two men escaped from our camp and after three days were recaptured by natives who handed them over to the Kempei Tai. These men were probably brought back from the Kempei Tai by S/M Fujita (interpreter). They were placed in the guard room and one escaped. The remaining man was placed on half rations (200 grammes) and because of lack of food got Beri Beri, Malaria and Dysentery and died. At the time Capt. Nagai was away and I believe 2/Lt. Suzuki passed the sentence on the PoW. I would not like to say whether Captain Nagai was actually responsible for the sentence even though away from the camp.

I Sergeant Major Beppu, Yoichi, declare that the above statements are to the best of my knowledge the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.



                    Signed in Japanese Characters


                    Witness:- Signed W.H. Sticpewich


[Borneo Investigation Report] [Part One] [Part Two] [Part Three] [Part Four] [Part Five] [ Major Suga Speech] [1/Lt Watanabe Statement] [Hashimoti Maao Statement] [S/M Beppu,  Yoichi Statement]





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