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"The Tokyo War Crimes Trials" Topic

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180 hits since 30 Jul 2020
©1994-2020 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP30 Jul 2020 9:56 p.m. PST

"Occupation official turned historian Richard B. Finn notes, "World War II was the first major conflict in history in which the victors carried out trials and punishment of thousands of persons in the defeated nations for 'crimes against peace' and 'crimes against humanity,' two new and broadly defined categories of international crime." For most people, this calls to mind the trials of Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg. But an equally difficult, fascinating, and controversial set of trials occurred in Tokyo, under the watchful eye of Supreme Commander Douglas MacArthur.

The Tokyo trials were not the only forum for the punishment of Japanese war criminals, merely the most visible. In fact, the Asian countries victimized by the Japanese war machine tried far more Japanese -- an estimated five thousand, executing as many as 900 and sentencing more than half to life in prison. But with Japan under the control of the Americans, the most prominent Japanese war leaders came under MacArthur's jurisdiction.

The Potsdam declaration of July 1945 had called for trials and purges of those who had "deceived and misled" the Japanese people into war. That was the simple part; there was major disagreement, both among the Allies and within the U.S., about whom to try and how to try them. Despite the lack of consensus, MacArthur lost no time, ordering the arrest of thirty-nine suspects -- most of them members of General Tojo's war cabinet -- on September 11, just over a week after the surrender. Perhaps caught off guard, Tojo tried to committ suicide, but was resuscitated with the help of American doctors eager to deny him even that means of escape…"
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Legion 431 Jul 2020 7:02 a.m. PST

Yes, many don't realize how large the Japanese War Crime Trials were. And many more of them were executed than the Germans.

Even that being said, some still escaped justice …

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP31 Jul 2020 12:21 p.m. PST

Sadly true….


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