Imperial Japanese penal official said Korean ‘ideological criminals’ (independence activists) were ‘not well made as human beings’, but ‘if only their thoughts could be corrected, then they will get better’ so they can be ‘used’ for wartime labor, but ‘this is not the case with ordinary criminals’

The following are parts 3 and 4 of an interesting roundtable discussion by Imperial Japanese colonial officials discussing how to best utilize the incarcerated juvenile criminals, ideological criminals, and common criminals under their control for wartime production purposes. Please see this previous post for parts 1 and 2 of this roundtable discussion. Apparently, colonial officials believed that ideological criminals, who included Korean independence activists, could have their thoughts corrected, so they had more labor potential than common criminals, who were perceived to be less reformable. One gullible penal official was apparently duped into paying in part for the Korean clothes of one laborer who had a criminal record for theft, and the official’s home was later burglarized, presumably by the laborer himself.


Gyeongseong Ilbo (Keijo Nippo) September 12, 1943

Talking about Judicial Protection

Roundtable discussion organized by the head office of Keijo Nippo newspaper – Part 3

Guidance for Increasing Military Strength

Encouraging Prisoners in the Construction of Airfields

Speakers (in no particular order)

  • Mr. Fukuzō Hayata, Director of the Legal Affairs Bureau of the Governor-General’s Office
  • Mr. Michiyoshi Masuda, President of Seoul Law School
  • Major Nishida, Director of Seoul Naval War Office
  • Mr. Norimitsu Ohno, Director of the Seoul Court of Inquiry
  • Mr. Yūzō Nagasaki, Director of Seoul Probation Office
  • Mr. Utarō Sakafuji, Administrative Officer of the Legal Affairs Bureau’s Criminal Affairs Division
  • Mr. Yasunori Miyazaki, Secretary of the Criminal Affairs Division, Bureau of Justice
  • Mr. Shizuo Kojima, Director, Ideology Division, Korean Federation of National Power
  • Mr. Shōichi Fujii, Seongam Academy
  • Mr. Masataka Ōkubo, Director of Yasaka Youth Dōjō
  • Keijo Nippo: Mr. Akio, Director of Editorial Department, Mr. Mine, Director of Social Affairs Department
Roundtable Discussion Scene

Keijo Nippo Reporter: No matter how earnestly we give guidance with love and fervent instruction, I think that there will still be people who will cause trouble for the Bureau of Justice. What are the views of those in the military as to how the subjects of judicial protection should be mobilized?

Naval Major Nishida: I think it would be fine if they are readily used under the firm guidance of companies in the production area that believe that what they are doing is directly useful to the nation. There may be a security issue or two, but in the context of the war, these issues are not so important, and I think this is the quickest way to meet the demands of the nation.

We have used prisoners to build certain airplanes, but I have heard that most of the prisoners were so enthusiastic and happy to know that their work in a place without any comfort services was helping to protect Japan. I have also heard that they were more efficient than those who were used from one group.

I think it would be very good if you could supervise them and assign them to such areas, rather than just suddenly releasing them out of the blue.

Keijo Nippo Reporter: As a specialist, what is your opinion on the problem that crime is preventing the increase in military strength in wartime?

Mr. Miyazaki, Secretary of the Criminal Affairs Division: Recently, the public has been paying a great deal of attention to the issue of production buildup. This is the people’s mindset of responding to the current stage of the war, and anyone who stands in the way must be resolutely removed. Judicial protection is playing a significant role in removing such obstacles.

So far, the goal of judicial protection has been to passively maintain public order, but from now on, it must also get involved in the wartime aspects of life which are directly involved in the production buildup.

The number of Korean subjects of general judicial protection is estimated at around 3,000, and even though it is difficult to figure out what to do once we gather them together, it is not effective to handle them as a dispersed group. The most important thing is to gather them together and use their combined strength towards the goal of increasing production.

Mr. Ohno, Director of the Seoul Court of Inquiry: I have been thinking about what you said earlier, and although I think that people who commit ideological crimes are not well made as human beings, if only their thoughts could be corrected, then they will get better. However, this is not the case with ordinary criminals. In the fall of the year before last, I had some work to do at home, so I hired three laborers from the Seoul Educational Foundation.

I took notice of these laborers who had relatively good potential, so I invited them back to my house several times, so I could work with them and guide them. I thought to myself, if it went well, then there would be much to gain. My wife also felt this way and did various things, such as serving them dinner before sending them home, and letting them take some fruits home.

One of them was 17 years old and had one conviction for theft, but he was completely repentant and said he would do anything to get back on his feet. He said he would figure out something to do even without my prompting, but he eventually came to me and asked if I had a relatively preferential job for him. As New Year’s Day approached, he asked me, “I found this store selling some Korean clothes for 17 yen, but I only have half the money to pay for it. I’m wondering if you could provide me with the rest of the money to help pay for it?” He was just a small 17-year-old child with no parents, so I decided to help him purchase it.

However, he never came again. After a while, my house was burglarized. I cannot believe that my way of doing things was a success in any way, even as a joke. I think it is a difficult question to answer as to why I failed. The judicial protection program is designed to guide and rehabilitate subjects by showing them compassion. It is extremely easy to first show them compassion, but it is extremely difficult to guide and rehabilitate them.

Mr. Miyazaki: Mr. Ohno mentioned that judicial protection services are very difficult to manage. I think that it is very difficult for judicial protection services to remake a subject’s personality into a perfect person.

However, it is not enough for today’s protection services to merely strive towards the perfection of the subject’s personality. When human resources are in dire need of replenishment, it is not enough to perfect the human personality. Instead, I believe that the most important demand for judicial services today is to directly contribute to the buildup of production.

I believe that this is, at the same time, the goal of judicial protection. In this respect, juvenile protection seems to be very easy. There is a possibility that the trial court can place a juvenile in a juvenile reformatory institution or in a judicial protection group and firmly deal with them. Furthermore, ideological criminals under judicial protection also have the probation office to watch over them, so it is possible to put all of their cases together there. But there are difficulties when it comes to general judicial protection.

Mr. Ohno: It’s just two sides of the same coin, isn’t it?

Mr. Satō, Chief of the Protection Division of the Legal Affairs Bureau: That requires organization.


Gyeongseong Ilbo (Keijo Nippo) September 14, 1943

Talking about Judicial Protection

Roundtable discussion hosted by the head office of Keijo Nippo newspaper – Part 4

Rehabilitated prisoners who are sent south

Futaba Cram School, a juvenile protection school with an attractive reputation

Keijo Nippo Reporter: I would like you to share your thoughts from the standpoint of judicial punishment.

Mr. Sakafuji, Officer of the Criminal Affairs Division: I am in a position directly related to judicial protection, and from that standpoint, I believe that judicial protection must always move in the same direction as judicial punishment. However, simply viewing things in light of the ongoing current war situation, we find ourselves needing to cooperate in all aspects to increase military strength. In terms of its essential and systemic aspects, judicial punishment has been very passive in nature.

However, in order to break through these various restraints to some extent, and to actively embark on this project, we are currently dispatching a considerable number of people to the south. We have received a large number of requests from those who wish to be dispatched to the south. In general, the volunteers want to gain redemption by serving during wartime, and there is a significant feeling that this desire for redemption can be used towards the purpose of increasing military strength. However, for this reason, we do not send any number of people who wish to join us, but rather we select and train from among those who wish to join us.

At present, prisons also provide special training and technical training for this purpose, but I believe that an organizational plan must be established to mobilize subjects under judicial protection to increase military strength based on the Imperial Way of Labor.

Since subjects under general protection are dispersed, it is acceptable to organize a few protection groups for all of Korea. Labor groups can be organized, and they can become the basis for increasing military strength through work. This is where the way forward for judicial protection can be found.

Keijo Nippo Reporter: Now, Mr. Satō will give us an overview of judicial protection in the past year.

Mr. Satō: Judicial protection can be divided into three parts: juvenile criminal protection, ideological criminal protection, and general criminal protection. The system for juveniles was established for the first time in Korea on March 25 last year, but the law was promulgated on March 23 and came into effect on March 25. That left only two days to implement the law, which did not leave enough time to actually implement it. I must say that most of last year was spent in preparation for the implementation of this law.

Last year, we started by appointing juvenile protection officers. The Juvenile Court asked the chief public prosecutors in the six provinces within the jurisdiction of the Seoul Court of Inquiry to recommend suitable juvenile protection officers, and we appointed 151 of them as commissioned juvenile protection officers. The appointments were made on September 18, and it took a considerable period of time just to select the juvenile protection officers. The Juvenile Protection Center has established an organization called Futaba Cram School Foundation with the idea of providing direct guidance for the actual judicial protection of juvenile ideological criminals.

We are in the process of renovating buildings that have been confiscated from enemy states, but when this is completed, we plan to accommodate 200 juvenile offenders in both Incheon and Gongju, and if we give them focused training for two months, just as we do in mainland Japan, we will be able to train about 1,000 people five times a year. If we do not do this, we will not be able to provide actual judicial protection for the approximately 20,000 juveniles in our jurisdiction. In this way, we would like to have them serve in projects related to the current war situation and, if possible, become industrial warriors. The Seoul Juvenile Training Center is currently under construction. It is currently housed in a temporary building in the town of Ahyeon. It began operation in January of this year, but it has a capacity of about 20 students, which is inadequate.

The Juvenile Court began to handle all cases in January of this year, and from January to June of this year, the number of cases it has handled is 980. Since the facilities for the internment judicial protection of these juveniles are not yet complete, they are left in the hands of the protection officers, and we are in a hurry to add collective training as soon as possible.

Keijo Nippo Reporter: What about ideological crimes?

Mr. Satō: Currently, we have [redacted] people under judicial protection for ideological crimes. In the six years since the system started, the number of those placed on judicial probation has totaled 3,500, of which 45 were prosecuted for committing further crimes during their probationary period, so the number of recidivists is small. Our aim is to have passive allies and true converts alike devote themselves to the service of our country. When I see such admirable things, I am struck by their seriousness. They remake not only themselves, but also embark on the Imperialization movement, so that there are 44 Japanese language institutes and 12,000 graduates of those institutes, with 6,500 people currently attending lectures. In addition, we are making considerable efforts to ensure that the purpose of the conscription system is thoroughly understood.

Next, I would like to mention the activities of the Judicial Protection Commissioners. Last year, we appointed 4,500 commissioners in all of Korea. As of the end of June, there were 3,513 subjects under the oversight of the commissioners, of which 34 have been found to have committed a second offense. Considering the fact that the number of so-called previous offenders who committed a second offence during the probationary period is one third the number in previous years, I think 34 is a good result.

Keijo Nippo reporter: Lastly, what are your hopes for the general public regarding judicial protection?

Mr. Hayata: It is thought that judicial protection has always been considered to be important, but in the past, the critical importance of judicial protection was forgotten. Although the general public has become more aware of this issue, it is still not enough. I would like to see this point thoroughly raised, especially in newspapers and magazines.

In particular, I believe that the most important thing in this emergency situation is to maintain security in the home front. I am glad to see that the judicial protection activities have made considerable progress, but I think it is most necessary to secure human resources as well as to maintain security.

This is a particularly important issue in the current decisive war situation. In this sense, I would like to ask the general public to firmly pull those who are subject to judicial protection in the right direction. If we do so, we will be able to maintain public order and secure scarce human resources, which will immediately help to strengthen our armed forces. I would like the general public to be well aware of this.

Keijo Nippo Reporter: Thank you very much for your time.



京城日報 1943年9月12日





語る人 (順序不同)

  • 総督府法務局長 早田福蔵氏
  • 京城法学専門校長 増田道義氏
  • 京城海軍武官府 西田少佐
  • 京城覆審法院部長 大野憲光氏
  • 京城保護観察所長 長崎祐三氏
  • 法務局行刑課事務官 坂藤宇太郎氏
  • 同刑事課事務官 宮崎保典氏
  • 朝鮮聯盟思想課長 小島倭夫氏
  • 仙甘学園 藤井祥一氏
  • 弥栄青少年道場長 大久保真敬氏
  • 本社側:秋尾編輯局長 嶺社会部長


















京城日報 1943年9月14日