Interrogations of Japanese Officials

6 Oct 1945

ww2dbaseForeword

The interrogations in this volume were conducted in TOKYO during the months of October, November, and December 1945 by officers of the Naval Analysis Division of the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey. While the original purpose of the interrogations was to gain evidence for an assessment of the role of airpower in the war with JAPAN, in the absence of any other body concerned with the conduct of this naval war, this purpose was broadened to include as wide a survey of wartime events as time and other restrictions would permit. The specific purpose of individual interrogations varied between that of obtaining comment and opinion from those very senior officers who were in a position to view the war as a whole, the discussion of specific operations and engagements with responsible commanders or other eyewitnesses, and the elaboration and clarification of documentary material.

Although the Imperial Japanese Navy was abolished shortly after the surrender, and its personnel retired and dispersed, permission was obtained from General MacArthur to retain a nucleus of experienced officers at the Naval War College at HIYOSHI. In addition to being interrogated on their particular specialties and experiences, these officers performed research at the direction of the Naval Analysis Division and, together with the Japanese Naval Liaison Officer, gave useful assistance in identifying and procuring other officers for interrogation.

Despite the cooperation of the Japanese, a number of unavoidable difficulties hindered the investigation. It was often a considerable problem to identify the proper individual for interrogation on a given subject, in many instances the most desirable candidates were dead, and in almost every case the selected officers had to be brought especially to TOKYO from all parts of JAPAN and even, in one case, from as far as SINGAPORE. All work was conducted by a small staff under pressure of time, without an adequate library, and in the face of an almost complete lack of original Japanese documents which had been either burned in air raids, or destroyed or hidden on surrender. Towards the end of the stay in JAPAN a quantity of hidden records were discovered; these have been returned to the United States and are now in process of translation, a work which will require a period of years to complete. In many instances, therefore, questions had to be explored entirely by interrogation with only partial or inaccurate war-time information as the starting point, with resultant delay and repetition.

So far as the question of veracity is concerned, it should be stated that almost without exception the Japanese naval officers interrogated were cooperative to the highest degree, and that no important attempt consciously to mislead the interrogator was ever noted. Accuracy on fine points was inevitably affected by the language problem which necessitated in most cases translation of both question and answer, by the specialized nature of the naval vocabulary which in some instances troubled the interpreters, and by the somewhat imprecise nature of the Japanese language itself. Allowance must also be made for the normal fallibility of human memory and in particular the memory of events months or years in the past which were witnessed under the intense strain of combat. Despite all these considerations it is felt that the interrogations provide an accurate picture of the war from the Japanese viewpoint, subject only to the qualifications that on important or disputed points documentary confirmation should where possible be obtained.

The planned use of this material was, as has been noted above, as evidence for an evaluation of the role of airpower in the Pacific war. These interrogations, together with other material accumulated by the Naval Analysis Division, form the basis of reports to be submitted to the chairman of the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey. In view, however, of the wide range of subject matter covered, the important and in some cases unique qualifications of the Japanese officers interrogated, and the improbability that such an investigation will ever or could ever be repeated, it is believed that these interrogations form a body of source material indispensable to any future study of the war with JAPAN.

R.A. Ofstie
Rear Admiral, USN,
Senior Navy Member,
U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey ww2dbase

Associated DocumentDateDate
Interrogation Nav 1, Captain Takahisa Amagi6 Oct 19451945-10-06
Interrogation Nav 4, Captain Taijiro Aoki9 Oct 19451945-10-09
Interrogation Nav 23, Captain Sukemitsu Ito9 Oct 19451945-10-09
Interrogation Nav 2, Captain Susumu Kawaguchi10 Oct 19451945-10-10
Interrogation Nav 20, Commander Masatake Okumiya10 Oct 19451945-10-10
Interrogation Nav 29, Captain Mitsuo Fuchida10 Oct 19451945-10-10
Interrogation Nav 5, Captain Kyuzo Tamura and Commander Binzo Sugita10 Oct 19451945-10-10
Interrogation Nav 24, Captain Taisuke Ito11 Oct 19451945-10-11
Interrogation Nav 16, Commander Masatake Okumiya12 Oct 19451945-10-12
Interrogation Nav 19, Commander Yutaka Isawa12 Oct 19451945-10-12
Interrogation Nav 12, Captain Rikihei Inoguchi15 Oct 19451945-10-15
Interrogation Nav 13, Captain Yasuji Watanabe15 Oct 19451945-10-15
Interrogation Nav 7, Vice Admiral Kayutaka Shiraichi15 Oct 19451945-10-15
Interrogation Nav 8, Commander Masatake Okumiya and Commander H. Sekino17 Oct 19451945-10-17
Interrogation Nav 11, Captain Atsushi Oi18 Oct 19451945-10-18
Interrogation Nav 6, Captain Mitsuo Fuchida18 Oct 19451945-10-18
Interrogation Nav 10, Captain Mineo Yamaoka19 Oct 19451945-10-19
Interrogation Nav 18, Lieutenant Commander Hiroshi Tokuno19 Oct 19451945-10-19
Interrogation Nav 14, Captain Masamichi Fujita20 Oct 19451945-10-20
Interrogation Nav 15, Captain Chihaya Takahashi20 Oct 19451945-10-20
Interrogation Nav 21, Commander Kintaro Miura20 Oct 19451945-10-20
Interrogation Nav 30, Commander Goro Matsura20 Oct 19451945-10-20
Interrogation Nav 34, Commander Chikataka Nakajima21 Oct 19451945-10-21
Interrogation Nav 117, Major Hiroshi Toga22 Oct 19451945-10-22
Interrogation Nav 17, Captain Kawakita Ishihara22 Oct 19451945-10-22
Interrogation Nav 22, Commander Nifumi Mukai22 Oct 19451945-10-22
Interrogation Nav 26, Captain Kyuzo Tamura22 Oct 19451945-10-22
Interrogation Nav 38, Captain Toshikazu Ohmae22 Oct 19451945-10-22
Interrogation Nav 36, Captain Toshikazu Ohmae24 Oct 19451945-10-24
Interrogation Nav 31, Rear Admiral Seizo Katsumata25 Oct 19451945-10-25
Interrogation Nav 32, Commander T. Miyamoto25 Oct 19451945-10-25
Interrogation Nav 33, Lieutenant Commander Hiroshi Tokuno25 Oct 19451945-10-25
Interrogation Nav 35, Rear Admiral Tomiji Koyanagi25 Oct 19451945-10-25
Interrogation Nav 37, Lieutenant Commander Noriteru Yatsui26 Oct 19451945-10-26
Interrogation Nav 39, Captain Hisashi Ohara26 Oct 19451945-10-26
Interrogation Nav 40, Captain K. Kanai26 Oct 19451945-10-26
Interrogation Nav 41, Commander Tonosuke Otani26 Oct 19451945-10-26
Interrogation Nav 44, Commander Moriyoshi Yamaguchi26 Oct 19451945-10-26
Interrogation Nav 47, Rear Admiral Shigetada Horiuchi26 Oct 19451945-10-26
Interrogation Nav 48, Lieutenant Commander T. Okamoto26 Oct 19451945-10-26
Interrogation Nav 46, Lieutenant Commander S. Yunoki27 Oct 19451945-10-27
Interrogation Nav 49, Commander Masatake Chihaya27 Oct 19451945-10-27
Interrogation Nav 52, Commander Yasumi Doi27 Oct 19451945-10-27
Interrogation Nav 54, Commander Saburo Tadenumo27 Oct 19451945-10-27
Interrogation Nav 45, Lieutenant Commander Shisei Yasumoto28 Oct 19451945-10-28
Interrogation Nav 43, Captain Toshikazu Ohmae30 Oct 19451945-10-30
Interrogation Nav 55, Vice Admiral Jisaburo Ozawa30 Oct 19451945-10-30
Interrogation Nav 59, Rear Admiral Akira Matsuzaki30 Oct 19451945-10-30
Interrogation Nav 50, Commander J. Fukamizu31 Oct 19451945-10-31
Interrogation Nav 57, Rear Admiral Mitsaharu Matsuyama31 Oct 19451945-10-31
Interrogation Nav 51, Commander Tadao Kuwahara1 Nov 19451945-11-01
Interrogation Nav 53, Commander Tadao Kuwahara1 Nov 19451945-11-01
Interrogation Nav 56, Lieutenant (jg) Y. Okuno1 Nov 19451945-11-01
Interrogation Nav 60, Captain Yasumi Toyama1 Nov 19451945-11-01
Interrogation Nav 62, Captain Rokuemon Minami1 Nov 19451945-11-01
Interrogation Nav 63, Lieutenant Commander T. Okamoto1 Nov 19451945-11-01
Interrogation Nav 64, Rear Admiral Toshitane Takata1 Nov 19451945-11-01
Interrogation Nav 58, Commander Kokichi Mori3 Nov 19451945-11-03
Interrogation Nav 65, Captain Kyuzo Tamura8 Nov 19451945-11-08
Interrogation Nav 68, Captain Mitsugo Ihara10 Nov 19451945-11-10
Interrogation Nav 70, Vice Admiral Paul Wenneker11 Nov 19451945-11-11
Interrogation Nav 67, Commander Koichi Shimada12 Nov 19451945-11-12
Interrogation Nav 69, Rear Admiral Chiaki Matsuda12 Nov 19451945-11-12
Interrogation Nav 71, Captain H. Komoto12 Nov 19451945-11-12
Interrogation Nav 72, Vice Admiral Shigeyoshi Miwa12 Nov 19451945-11-12
Interrogation Nav 74, Captain S. Kamide13 Nov 19451945-11-13
Interrogation Nav 75, Admiral Soemu Toyoda13 Nov 19451945-11-13
Interrogation Nav 76, Admiral Mitsumasa Yonai13 Nov 19451945-11-13
Interrogation Nav 77, Captain Kameo Sonokawa13 Nov 19451945-11-13
Interrogation Nav 78, Vice Admiral Sentaro Omori13 Nov 19451945-11-13
Interrogation Nav 79, Commander Shigeru Nishino13 Nov 19451945-11-13
Interrogation Nav 80, Fleet Admiral Osami Nagano13 Nov 19451945-11-13
Interrogation Nav 82, Captain Tsuneo Shiki20 Nov 19451945-11-20
Interrogation Nav 83, Captain Kekichi Kato20 Nov 19451945-11-20
Interrogation Nav 83, Captain Nobuye Ukita20 Nov 19451945-11-20
Interrogation Nav 85, Captain Tadashi Koyama20 Nov 19451945-11-20
Interrogation Nav 88, Captain Bunzo Shibata20 Nov 19451945-11-20
Interrogation Nav 89, Commander Yoshimori Terai20 Nov 19451945-11-20
Interrogation Nav 91, Captain Akira Sasaki20 Nov 19451945-11-20
Interrogation Nav 96, Rear Admiral Shunsaku Nabeshima24 Nov 19451945-11-24
Interrogation Nav 66, Tsuda, Inoue, Shibata, and Nishikawa25 Nov 19451945-11-25
Interrogation Nav 90, Admiral Kichisaburo Nomura30 Nov 19451945-11-30
Interrogation Nav 90, Vice Admiral Takeo Kurita30 Nov 19451945-11-30
Interrogation Nav 94, Colonel Rinsuke Kaneko30 Nov 19451945-11-30
Interrogation Nav 97, Captain Takashi Miyazaki30 Nov 19451945-11-30
Interrogation Nav 98, Lieutenant General Torashiro Kawabe30 Nov 19451945-11-30
Interrogation Nav 101, Rear Admiral Akira Soji7 Dec 19451945-12-07
Interrogation Nav 102, Commander Kiyoshi Sogawa7 Dec 19451945-12-07
Interrogation Nav 103, Major Masuda Shimada7 Dec 19451945-12-07
Interrogation Nav 104, Captain Momochio Shimanouchi7 Dec 19451945-12-07
Interrogation Nav 106, Captain Kikunori Kijima7 Dec 19451945-12-07
Interrogation Nav 106, Rear Admiral Keizo Komura7 Dec 19451945-12-07
Interrogation Nav 109, Commander Tadashi Yamamoto8 Dec 19451945-12-08
Interrogation Nav 110, Captain Tokuma Abe8 Dec 19451945-12-08
Interrogation Nav 111, Commander Katsuji Mizutani8 Dec 19451945-12-08
Interrogation Nav 113, Colonel Ichiji Sugita9 Dec 19451945-12-09
Interrogation Nav 114, Lieutenant Colonel Roji Tanaka9 Dec 19451945-12-09
Interrogation Nav 115, Vice Admiral Shigeru Fukudome9 Dec 19451945-12-09
Interrogation Nav 116, Commander Ryosuke Nomura9 Dec 19451945-12-09
Interrogation Nav 117, Commander Yoshimori Terai9 Dec 19451945-12-09


Source: United States Strategic Bombing Survey (Pacific) Interrogation of Japanese Officials [OPNAV-P-03-100], courtesy of ibilio Hyperwar Project
Added By: C. Peter Chen





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