SUPREME COMMANDER FOR THE ALLIED POWERS
Supplement to Memorandum,
The Case of General Yamashita
22 November 1949
27 January, 1949
Since preparation of my memorandum of 22 November
1949 exhaustive reference to the voluminous Japanese press coverage of the
Yamashita trial has brought to light a formal statement made by
Yamashita's defense counsel on 7 Novenber 1945 while the trial was in
progress. This statement, as carried by the Nippon Times of that date, is
reproduced hereunder for this record because of its complete negation of
many of the statements and charges contained in the Reel book published
nearly four years later.
"JUST TRIAL ASSURED FOR GEN. YAMASHITA
""Defense Counsel, Major Guy, Issues Statement
"The following statement on the American Military
Commission procedure in the trial of General Tomoyuki Yamashita in Manila
was prepared by Major George F. Guy, assistant defense counsel, during his
visit to Tokyo to collect evidence for the defense and was released on
Tuesday by the PRO.
"DESCRIPTION OF AMERICAN MILITARY COMMISSION
TRYING TOMOYUKI YAMASHITA:
"The Military Commission now trying General.
Tomoyuki Yamashita at the United States High Commissioner's residence in
Manila, consists of five American Generals, appointed for this purpose by
Lieutenant General Styer, Commanding the United States Forces in the
Western Pacific. General Styer appointed this commission pursuant to
directions from General MacArthur's headquarters.
"The trial opened on October 29 and is still in
progress. The Generals originally appointed on the commission are:
"Major General Russell B. Reynolds, President ;
Major General Clerance L. Sturdevant, Law Member; Major General James A.
Lester; Brigadier General William G. Walker; Brigadier Gerard Egbert F.
The order, appointing the commission, also
appointed the following officers as prosecutors:
"Major Robert M. Kerr, Infantry, as Prosecutor;
Captain M. D. Webster, JAGD; Captain William N. Calyer, JAGD; Captain D.
C. Hill, JAGD; Captain Jack M. Pace, Infantry, as Ass't Prosecutors.
"Also on the same order the following officers for
the Defense Counsel:
"Colonel Harry E. Clarke, JAGD; Lieutenant Colonel
Walter C. Hendrix, JAGD; Lieutenant Colonel James G. Feldhaus, JAGD; Major
George F. Guy, Cavalry; Captain Adolf F. Reel, JAGD; Captain Milton
"Under American law and under the directive
concerning the appointment of the commission, all of the sessions thereof
are open to the public and anyone is free to attend and listen to the
proceedings. The only exception to this rule will be when the testimony is
of a delicate nature, such as when it is necessary for women to testify as
to attacks upon them. As a result, prectically all of the proceedings are
open and available to everyone who wishes to go to observe.
"General Yamashita is being afforded every
legitimate defense that can be advanced on his behalf. His counsel have
all been working arduously on the case since the first week in October,
when they were appointed, having even gone so far as to send Major George
F. Guy, Cavalry, to Tokyo for the purpose of uncovering evidence which may
be used in behalf of the defense of General Yamashita. The General cannot
be forced to testify himself unless he so wishes and he has not been
subjected to anything in the nature of a 'preliminary investigation' by
the prosecution prior to the actual opening of the trial itself. He is
being accorded all of the rights and defenses that would be accorded an
American officer on trial. All of the witnesses who testify against him
must do so in his presence and all of the documentary evidence introduced
against him must be exhibited to him and his counsel before it is received
in evidence by the commission. His counsel is also entitled to
cross-examine all witnesses testifying against him. All of the proceedings
are taken down in writing and the record thereof will, in the event of a
conviction, have to be approved by General MacArthur before any sentence
of the commission will be carried out. General MacArthur' s review of the
record will assure General Yamashita that any record of conviction is
legally sufficient to sustain the conviction.
''The Military Commission is a form of American
military court and is authorized by American law. A Military