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Tokkeitai

The Tokkeitai were the military police of the Japanese Navy, corresponding to the Kempeitai in the Army. In occupied territories that were placed under Navy jurisdiction, the Tokkeitai had police jurisdiction, which they exercised ruthlessly. The Tokkeitai likewise had jurisdiction over Navy prisoners. Though not as well known as the Kempeitai, they acquired a reputation among those Allied internees, prisoners of war, and subject peoples with whom they dealt that was fully as vile.

The Tokkeitai was a relatively young service, established in 18 July 1942 by the Navy Ministry. It is likely that part of the motivation for its establishment was to protect Navy personnel from the excesses of the Kempeitai.

The Tokkeitai were responsible for recruiting "comfort women" for official brothels set up in areas under Navy jurisdiction. Many, perhaps most, of these women were recruited against their will. The Tokkeitai also are alleged to have massacred hundreds of persons suspected of involvement in Communist plots in Borneo, while the Tokkeitai at Kendari killed a number of prisoners of war, including all the surviving crew of destroyer Edsall, sunk south of Java in March 1942.

References

Japan Times (2007-4-18; accessed 2009-10-27)
Kehn (2008)
Lamont-Brown (1998)



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