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New series reveals evidence of Tokyo Trials

By Li Yu | 2015-05-21 | Hits:
(Chinese Social Sciences Today)

A Collection of Court Exhibits of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East

 

China has published its first book series detailing evidence presented at the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, commonly known as the Tokyo Trials, ahead of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II (WWII). Jointly published by Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) Press and the National Library of China (NLC) Publishing House, the series titled A Collection of Court Exhibits of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East comprises 50 volumes in addition to three index and appendix volumes.


On May 3, 1946, the Tokyo Trials were held to prosecute Japanese war criminals for WWII atrocities. Twenty-eight Japanese military and political leaders were charged with Class A crimes for conspiring to wage war, and more than 5,700 Japanese nationals were charged with Class B and C crimes, mostly entailing prisoner abuse.
 

However, Japanese conservatives continue to contest the legitimacy of the trials through their denial of war crimes. A Collection of Court Exhibits of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East provides irrefutable evidence of the atrocities committed by Japanese war criminals in WWII.
The series includes 4,169 court exhibits from the prosecution and defense, with each exhibit detailed in English and Japanese.

 

In addition to confidential Japanese government files acquired by the US military and other preserved secret files, the evidence also contains Red Cross reports, excerpts from personal diaries, letters and other personnel files. These materials are not only indispensable documents for research of the Tokyo Trials, but also concrete evidence of Japan’s responsibility in the September 18 Incident, the Marco Polo Bridge Incident and the Nanjing Massacre.

 

Cheng Zhaoqi, director of the Center for the Tokyo Trials Studies at SJTU, said court evidence of the trials has not been fully understood, which has hindered the restoration of historical truths. Cheng added that the lack of any systematic literature previously weakened studies of the Tokyo Trials in China.

 

The series was compiled based on evidence collected by the National Archives of the United States and the Tokyo-based Kokushikan University. Its supporting index and appendix provides full-text indices to names, places and incidents, in addition to corresponding Chinese-Japanese, English-Japanese cross references.
 

In 2013, The Proceedings of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East was published. Together with A Collection of Court Exhibits of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, both series are systematic literary resources of the Tokyo Trials.
 

Deputy curator of the NLC Chen Li said more than 2,000 volumes have been gathered that attest to Japan’s aggression in WWII. In addition to A Collection of Court Exhibits of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East and The Proceedings of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, the Record of Interrogations by the International Prosecution Section is also slated to come out this year.