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Japanese War Criminals: The Politics of Justice After the Second World War

by Sandra Wilson, Robert Cribb, Beatrice Trefalt and Dean Aszkielowicz Columbia University Press
Pub Date:
12/2016
ISBN:
9780231179225
Format:
Hbk 440 pages
Price:
AU$149.00 NZ$153.91
Product Status: In Stock Now
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Beginning in late 1945, the United States, Britain, China, Australia, France, the Netherlands, and later the Philippines, the Soviet Union, and the People's Republic of China convened national courts to prosecute Japanese military personnel for war crimes. The defendants included ethnic Koreans and Taiwanese who had served with the armed forces as Japanese subjects. In Tokyo, the International Military Tribunal for the Far East tried Japanese leaders. While the fairness of these trials has been a focus for decades, Japanese War Criminals instead argues that the most important issues arose outside the courtroom. What was the legal basis for identifying and detaining subjects, determining who should be prosecuted, collecting evidence, and granting clemency after conviction? The answers to these questions helped set the norms for transitional justice in the postwar era and today contribute to strategies for addressing problematic areas of international law.


 


Examining the complex moral, ethical, legal, and political issues surrounding the Allied prosecution project, from the first investigations during the war to the final release of prisoners in 1958, Japanese War Criminals shows how a simple effort to punish the guilty evolved into a multidimensional struggle that muddied the assignment of criminal responsibility for war crimes. Over time, indignation in Japan over Allied military actions, particularly the deployment of the atomic bombs, eclipsed anger over Japanese atrocities, and, among the Western powers, new Cold War imperatives took hold. This book makes a unique contribution to our understanding of the construction of the postwar international order in Asia and to our comprehension of the difficulties of implementing transitional justice.


 

Acknowledgments
Note on Names, Spelling, and Terminology
List of Abbreviations
Introduction
1. Defining War Crimes and Creating Courts
2. Investigation and Arrest
3. In Court: Indictment, Trial, and Sentencing
4. Dilemmas of Detention and the First Misgivings
5. Shifting Mood, Shifting Location
6. Peace and Article 11
7. Japanese Pressure Mounts
8. Finding a Formula for Release
9. The Race to Clear Sugamo
Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography
Index

A groundbreaking work that makes a significant contribution to current WW II scholarship.
Sandra Wilson is professor of history in the School of Arts and a fellow of the Asia Research Centre at Murdoch University. She is the author of The Manchurian Crisis and Japanese Society, 1931-33 (2002).


 


Robert Cribb is professor of Asian history at the Australian National University. He is author (with Li Narangoa) of the Historical Atlas of Northeast Asia: Korea, Manchuria, Mongolia, Eastern Siberia (Columbia, 2014).


 


Beatrice Trefalt is senior lecturer in Japanese studies at Monash University. She is the author of Japanese Army Stragglers and Memories of the War in Japan, 1950-1975 (2003), and coeditor, with Chris Dixon and Sean Brawley, of Competing Voices from the Pacific War (2009).


 


Dean Aszkielowicz teaches at Murdoch University and is the author of The Australian Pursuit of Japanese War Criminals, 1943-1958: From Foe to Friend (forthcoming).