Beyond Victor’s Justice? The Tokyo War Crimes Trial Revisited


The aim of this new collection of essays is to engage in analysis beyond the familiar victor’s justice critiques. The editors have drawn on authors from across the world — including Australia, Japan, China, France, Korea, New Zealand and the United Kingdom — with expertise in the fields of international humanitarian law, international criminal law, Japanese studies, modern Japanese history, and the use of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. The diverse backgrounds of the individual authors allow the editors to present essays which provide detailed and original analyses of the Tokyo Trial from legal, philosophical and historical perspectives. Several of the essays in the collection are based on the authors’ extensive archival research in Japan, Australia, the United States and New Zealand, providing rich insights into Japanese societal attitudes towards the Trial, biological experimentation by the Japanese Army in China, as well as the trial of Korean prison guards and prosecutions for rape and sexual assault in the post-war period. Some of the essays deal with particular participants in the Trial, examining the role of individual judges, and the selection of defendants and the decision not to prosecute the Emperor. Other essays analyse the Trial from a legal perspective, and address its impact on concepts such as command responsibility, conspiracy and war crimes. The majority of the essays seek to identify and address some of the ‘forgotten crimes’ in the Tokyo Trial. These include crimes committed in China and Korea (particularly the activities of the infamous Unit 731), crimes committed against comfort women, and crimes associated with the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the conventional firebombing of other Japanese cities and the illicit drug trade in China. Finally, the collection includes a number of essays which consider the importance of studying the Tokyo Trial and its contemporary relevance. These issues include an examination of the way in which academics have ‘written’ the Trial over the last 60 years, and an analysis of some of the lessons that can be drawn for international trials in the future.
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Biographical Note

Yuki Tanaka is a Research Professor of History at the Hiroshima Peace Institute, Hiroshima City University and was the Sir Ninian Stephen Visiting Scholar at the Asia Pacific Centre for Military Law at The University of Melbourne in 2008. Tim McCormack is a Professor of Law at The University of Melbourne Law School and was recently appointed Special Adviser on International Humanitarian Law to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Gerry Simpson is a Professor of Law at The University of Melbourne Law School and is the Director of the Asia Pacific Centre for Military Law, and the Global Justice Studio.

Review Quote

"A monograph of comparable importance should have been written and published years will certainly be a valuable asset to scholars and practitioners of international, especially criminal, law as well as to historians and philosophers." -Sergey Sayapin, Journal of International Criminal Justice

Table of contents

Foreword Sir Gerard Brennan; Note on Language; Notes on Contributors; Editors’ Preface Part One A Retrospective Chapter 1 The Tokyo Trial: Humanity’s Justice v Victors’ Justice Fujita Hisakazu; Chapter 2 Writing the Tokyo Trial Gerry Simpson; Chapter 3 Japanese Societal Attitude towards the Tokyo Trial: From a Contemporary Perspective Madoka Futamura; Part Two The Accused Chapter 4 Selecting Defendants at the Tokyo Trial Awaya Kentarō; Chapter 5 The Decision Not to Prosecute the Emperor Yoriko Otomo; Part Three The Judges Chapter 6 Justice Northcroft (New Zealand) Ann Trotter; Chapter 7 Justice Bernard (France) Mickaël Ho Foui Sang; Chapter 8 Justice Patrick (United Kingdom) Lord Bonomy; Chapter 9 Justice Roling (The Netherlands) Robert Cryer; Chapter 10 Justice Pal (India) Nakajima Takeshi; Part Four The Trial Proceedings Chapter 11 The Case against the Accused Yuma Totani; Chapter 12 Command Responsibility for the Failure to Stop Atrocities: The Legacy of the Tokyo Trial Gideon Boas; Part Five Forgotten Crimes: China and Korea Chapter 13 Reasons for the Failure to Prosecute Unit 731 and Its Significance Tsuneishi Kei-ichi; Chapter 14 The Legacy of the Tokyo Trial in China Bing Bing Jia; Chapter 15 Forgotten Victims, Forgotten Defendants The Hon O-Gon Kwon; Part Six Forgotten Crimes: The Comfort Women Chapter 16 Knowledge and Responsibility: The Ongoing Consequences of Failing to Give Sufficient Attention to the Crimes against the Comfort Women in the Tokyo Trial Ustinia Dolgopol; Chapter 17 Silence as Collective Memory: Sexual Violence and the Tokyo Trial Nicola Henry; Chapter 18 Women’s Bodies and International Criminal Law: From Tokyo to Rabaul Helen Durham and Narrelle Morris; Part Seven Forgotten Crimes: Atomic Bombs, Saturation Bombing and the Illicit Drug Trade Chapter 19 The Atomic Bombing, the Tokyo Tribunal and the Shimoda Case: Lessons for Anti-Nuclear Legal Movements Yuki Tanaka; Chapter 20 The Firebombing of Tokyo and Other Japanese Cities Ian Henderson; Chapter 21 Punishing Japan’s ‘Opium War-Making’ in China: The Relationship between Transnational Crime and Aggression at the Tokyo Tribunal Neil Boister; Part Eight Tokyo Today Chapter 22 Tokyo’s Continuing Relevance Sarah Finnin and Tim McCormack. Index.