List of nearly 6,000 dead POWs found in Washington

A research organization dedicated to honoring the Japanese war dead found a full list of Japanese POWs who died in captivity at the hands of Americans. The list included 5,979 soldiers and military workers; it was collecting dust at the National Archives in Washington, DC. The list, created in 1952, had each deceased’s name, rank, prisoner number, date of death, cause of death, and place of burial. The organization hopes to recover the remains of the war dead, which are scattered all over the world (Hawaii, Indonesia, Okinawa, the Philippines) on US military territory, back to their families in Japan.

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(For more background on post-WW2 Japan, read Embracing Defeat, by MIT historian John Dower.)

4 thoughts on “List of nearly 6,000 dead POWs found in Washington

  1. You don’t really mean “at the hands ofthe Americans” do you? That suggests they were killed by the Americans?

  2. Why not?
    The deaths of prisoners held in German camps who died of malnourishment and disease as a result of their captivity are counted all the time.
    I fail to see why any allied forces would be held blameless simply because they were the victors of the war.

  3. This can be a very very sensitive topic. But let’s face it. War is war. Japan committed horrible acts. So did the Germans. But remember that it’s the victors that write the histories. My grandfather who was a POW in a US camp in Burma did NOT have anything nice to say about the American GIs (much to my surprise as I grew up with a US education).
    However, the important thing is, the list was found and efforts are being made to bring closure to a lot of families. And that’s a fantastic thing.