Japanese massacre of 548 Brit and Dutch PoWs was ”covered up”September 19th, 2008 - 12:59 pm ICT by ANI
London, Sept.19 (ANI): The British Government covered up the massacre of hundreds of British prisoners of war by Japanese sailors during the Second World War, it has been claimed in a declassified report. A total of 548 British and Dutch PoWs were machine-gunned when the Suez Maru, the Japanese “Hell Ship” transporting them, was sunk by an American torpedo attack in the Flores Sea off Indonesia in November 1943.
According to a statement made by the Japanese ship’’s commander, attempts were made by a minesweeper to rescue the PoWs, but they could not be reached in time.
However, six years later a crewmember revealed the truth. The ships purser backed him up.
It also emerged that the then-Secretary of State for War, Manny Shinwell, was informed, and despite the perpetrators being in custody, the decision was taken not to prosecute them, according to a BBC investigation.
By that point, while more than 700 Japanese soldiers had been found guilty of war crimes, the Cold War was under way and Japan was needed as an ally against the Soviet Union, reports The Telegraph. (ANI)
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Tags: ally, bbc investigation, brit, british government, british prisoners, declassified report, flores sea, japanese ship, japanese soldiers, maru, minesweeper, perpetrators, pows, prisoners of war, sailors, second world war, soviet union, suez, torpedo attack, war crimes