Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Tokyo trials


Unlike the Nuremberg trial, where the Nazi system was clearly seen as responsible, only individuals were sentenced at the Tokyo trial and many Japanese question its legitimacy, which, some observers argue, suggests the nation has been slow to fully accept its collective responsibility. 02 May 2006

Despite being accused by some critics of being responsible for the march to war, Hirohito was protected by General Douglas MacArthur, shogun of occupied Japan, who needed the emperor to unify the defeated country

The subject is still a taboo in Japan.

The victorious Allies (Australia, Britain, Canada, China, France, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Soviet Union and the United States), as well as India and the Philippines, each provided one judge and one procurer.

The Indian judge, Radhabinod Pal, dissented strongly with the majority, saying that the US and European nations' own imperialistic histories meant they had no right to try Japan, and declaring the accused innocent from the start.

Other judges, like the French judge, stopped short of that but appeared uncomfortable with the lack of evidence after many important documents were lost or destroyed.

The impartiality of the judge from the Philippines is also contested as he was a survivor of the "Bataan Death March", during which prisoners of war in the Philippines were forcible transferred by Japanese forces.

"It was a tribunal by victors," said Tojo's granddaughter.



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