The Tokyo War Crimes Trial, U.Va.

The Tokyo War Crimes Trial

Digital Collection

Validity of Tribunal

How it Wasn't Newsweek News Article

Description: 
Newsweek article that reports on the defense arguments against the authority of the tribunal. Reports on how the defense argued that "Japan did not surrender unconditionally. The attack on Pearl Harbor was no more murderous than the dropping of the atom bomb. Planning and waging war are not crimes against the peace." The article then gives a vivid description on Keenan's response to the allegations and the subsequent arguments that occurred between the defense and prosecution teams.
Date: 
1946CE May 27th

Tokyo Tribunal Weighs Charge of Illegality News Article

Description: 
Reports on the defense challenge to the validity of the tribunal by arguing that Japan did not surrender unconditionally and that therefore, the court lacks the authority to try the 28 accused Japanese war criminals. The argument was presented by lead defense counsel Iichiro Kiyose. Joseph B. Keenan presented numerous counter arguments and Sir William Webb admonished him on his lengthy replies.

Tokyo Tribunal Rules Today on Its Jurisdiction News Article

Description: 
Reports on the upcoming ruling to be delivered by the tribunal regarding the Japanese challenge to the court's jurisdiction. Discusses Iichiro Kiyose's contention that "under terms of the Potsdam declaration, war crimes can be charged only to persons who violated international law after the outbreak of hostilities, and that the 11-nation court therefore cannot try government officials who held their posts prior to the war." Also mentions Dr. Shumei Okawa's mental condition.

All War Crimes Defendants to Have Individual Counsel News Article

Description: 
Reports on the reading of the 55-count indictment against the 28 accused Japanese war criminals. The tribunal ruled that the defense had until Monday to secure and present to the court the individual attorneys assigned to each of the defendants. Also reports on the evaluations Shumei Okawa would undergo to determine his mental state. Questions over the tribunal's jurisdiction were also discussed.

Counsel Declares War Trial Illegal News Article

Description: 
Reports on the arguments made by the defense counsel that "Japan surrendered conditionally, not like Germany" and in accordance with the Potsdam declaration. Ichiro Kiyose, the chief defense counsel who presented this argument, concluded that as a result of the terms under which Japan surrendered, the accused could not be brought to trial as war criminals in the same manner Nazi's were being prosecuted at Nuremberg. Also reports on the Joseph B. Keenan's rebuttal arguments. Shumei Okawa and Yosuke Matsuoka were not present due to medical conditions.

Trial of War Criminals by Military Tribunals

Contributors: 
Description: 
Gives an overview, history, and legal development / precedence for the establishment of international military tribunals to try war criminals. Written by the Vice Chairman, Section of International and Comparative Law, Major Williard B. Cowles, J. A. G. D. Reprinted from the American Bar Association Journal, June, 1944.
Date: 
1944CE Jun

Tentative Draft - The Apprehension and Punishment of War Criminals

Description: 
First page states : Tentative Draft. Preliminary Only and Not to be Taken as Representing Dept. of State Policy. Discusses four salient points to the prosecution of war criminals and the establishment war crimes tribunals. These include: "(1) the problem of determining who are war criminals, giving due regard to the conclusions reached by the United Nations War Crimes Commission; (2) the apprehension and treatment of war criminals pending trial; (3) their trail and punishment; (4) the special status of the Emperor."
Date: 
1945CE Jul 2nd

IMTFE Proceedings (April 29 - June 5, 1946)

Description: 
Official record / transcript of the IMTFE court proceedings from the opening day (April 29, 1946) until June 5, 1946. The first fourteen pages contain the background of international agreements, the formal establishment proclamation of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (including the policies and powers of the court), the names of all individuals involved in the proceedings, and the charges against the accused Japanese defendants.
Date: 
1946CE

Tojo, 26 Other Top Japs, Deny War Crimes Charges News Article

Description: 
Reports on the "not guilty" pleas offered by the 26 accused Japanese war criminals to the IMTFE although the pleas remain pending after Chief Defense Counsel Ishiro Kiyose presented a petition to the judges challenging the jurisdiction of the tribunal. Also reports on the attempt made by Sadao Araki to make a speech while entering his plea.

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