Event Title

The Tokyo Trials: What Makes a Fair Trial?

Poster Number

009

Faculty Mentor

Catherine Chang, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of History

Location

Rutledge Building

Start Date

12-4-2019 12:00 PM

End Date

April 2019

Description

The second World War raged on from 1937 (1939 in Europe) until the surrender of the Japanese in September 1945. This global conflict saw two large powers, Germany and Japan, act in brutal ways that caught the attention of the international community. To the Allied forces, the Holocaust and the atrocities committed by Japan in China were examples of the evil man is capable of. For this reason, the Allies conducted two trials, Nuremburg and Tokyo, to punish those they deemed responsible for the brutality. This paper will focus on the latter. To analyze the objectivity of the trial, the conduct of the Tokyo trials, seen through its records, will be compared to a document entitled “What is a Fair Trial?”. Drafted by the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights in 2000, the document presents guidelines for how each aspect of a trial should be conducted in a fair way. By comparing the trials to an objective document, its true nature will be found, which runs contrary to the fair process its proponents argued for. Although many aspects of the pre-trial were fair, the subsequent components were designed in a way to punish the Japanese far beyond the scope of their country alone. This ultimately created a show trial that put Japan on the world stage and made it an example for what stepping out of line in the new world order looked like.

Course Assignment

HIST 335 – Chang

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Apr 12th, 12:00 PM Apr 20th, 2:00 PM

The Tokyo Trials: What Makes a Fair Trial?

Rutledge Building

The second World War raged on from 1937 (1939 in Europe) until the surrender of the Japanese in September 1945. This global conflict saw two large powers, Germany and Japan, act in brutal ways that caught the attention of the international community. To the Allied forces, the Holocaust and the atrocities committed by Japan in China were examples of the evil man is capable of. For this reason, the Allies conducted two trials, Nuremburg and Tokyo, to punish those they deemed responsible for the brutality. This paper will focus on the latter. To analyze the objectivity of the trial, the conduct of the Tokyo trials, seen through its records, will be compared to a document entitled “What is a Fair Trial?”. Drafted by the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights in 2000, the document presents guidelines for how each aspect of a trial should be conducted in a fair way. By comparing the trials to an objective document, its true nature will be found, which runs contrary to the fair process its proponents argued for. Although many aspects of the pre-trial were fair, the subsequent components were designed in a way to punish the Japanese far beyond the scope of their country alone. This ultimately created a show trial that put Japan on the world stage and made it an example for what stepping out of line in the new world order looked like.