This week, we’ll begin a discussion of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, better known as the Tokyo War Crimes Trials. Who is being tried, what for, and why?
Listen to the episode here.
Dower, John. Embracing Defeat.
Maga, Tim. Judgment at Tokyo.
Takeda, Kayoko. Interpreting the Tokyo War Crimes Trials: A Sociopolitical Analysis.
The trials were held in the old assembly hall of the army officer’s academy; for those defendants who had come out of the army, I suppose that must have been quite a strange experience.
The court in session with the justices seated on the raised platform. The flags behind them give a sense (fair or unfair) of who the trial is for.
The Tokyo Trials required an immense amount of background work, from translation to categorizing and recording all the evidence to simply keeping the building running. This staff photo gives you an idea of the number of people working behind the scenes to keep it all going.
A shot of the court in full session.
Interpreters like these men were responsible for breaking down language barriers for defendants, prosecutors, and judges; the official trial language was English, but several defendants and at least one judge (the Russian one) didn’t speak it.
Japanese nationals entering the court were subject to search; this did not go a long way towards convincing them that this trial was for their benefit.