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Gdańskie Studia Azji Wschodniej

Proces przed Międzynarodowym Trybunałem Wojskowym dla Dalekiego Wschodu i jego miejsce w świadomości historycznej Japończyków

Data publikacji: 2013

Gdańskie Studia Azji Wschodniej, 2013, Zeszyt 4 , s. 7 - 49

https://doi.org/10.4467/23538724GS.13.012.2058

Autorzy

,
Karol Karski
Wydział Prawa i Administracji Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego, ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 26/28 00-927 Warszawa
Wszystkie publikacje autora →
Dominika Świętońska
Krajowa Izba Gospodarcza, 00-074 Warszawa ul. Trębacka 4
Wszystkie publikacje autora →

Abstrakt

The Trial Before the International Military Tribunal for the Far East and Its Place in the Historical Consciousness of the Japanese

Judgments passed by the Nuremberg Tribunal (1946) and the Tokyo Tribunal (1948) are the main symbols of calling the perpetrators to account for starting World War II and for the atrocities committed during that war. Both trials were groundbreaking events for the world at the time. For the first time individuals were brought before international courts to be held responsible for violations of international law. Moreover, they were not low-ranking defendants, but people who had had a real and personal impact on the actions of their states. Until that moment individuals as a rule had been in no relation whatsoever to international law. States established obligations for themselves and  resolved various issues among themselves. If they wanted to charge natural persons for violations of its provisions, they did so before domestic courts and under domestic law. International criminal law ceased to be a trumpeted but never implemented postulate of jurists and „peace loving” politicians, who often only paid lip service to the cause. It became reality.

However, people tried before the Tokyo Tribunal were not condemned by Japanese society. Sentenced to prison, they could, after serving their sentences, again become constitutional members of the Japanese government, as was  the case of Shigemitsu Mamoru, who, four years after his early release, regained the office of Minister of Foreign Affairs. In addition, he became Deputy Prime Minister. This happened despite the fact that he had been convicted by the  Tokyo Tribunal of crimes against peace and of war crimes. Significantly, in 1956 he represented Japan at the 11th session of the UN General Assembly, during which the country was admitted to the UN. Kaya Okinori, Minister of  Finance in 1941–1944, eight years after being released from prison in which, according to the Tokyo Tribunal’s sentence, he was to have spent the rest of his life for committing crimes against peace, again became a cabinet  member, this time as Minister of Justice (sic!).

Others, who were sentenced to death, died in custody during the trial or in prison while serving their sentences, became divine spirits kami venerated in Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine. After all, as the Japanese believed, they died serving  Japan at the hands of foreigners, „sacrificed on the altar of peace”. The divine spirit of another convict, who died immediately after his release from prison, was also thought worthy of being placed in the Yasukuni Shrine. Those who  were not released on health grounds left the Sugamo prison – having been pardoned – in the mid-1950s at the latest. Members of the armed forces had the time spent in prison counted towards their pension. All convicted by the  Tokyo Tribunal are seen by Japanese society not as criminals but as victims of the occupying powers; some even regard them as heroes.

In addition, one of the Tribunal judges (Radhabinod Pal from India), who refused to take note of the changes in international law that had occurred over the years, stated in his dissentient judgment that, among others, the accused  were not guilty, because they did what other had done before them. Today he is venerated at the Yasukuni Shrine together with the divine spirits of the Japanese convicts. All have been paid tribute on many occasions by Japanese Prime Ministers.

The Tokyo Trial is sometimes described as a „Nuremberg of the Far East”. When it comes to the form of punishing the perpetrators of crimes under international law, we can accept such a description. When it comes to its reception by Japanese society, from which the perpetrators had come, there is no such analogy.

Bibliografia


Informacje

Informacje: Gdańskie Studia Azji Wschodniej, 2013, s. 7 - 49

Typ artykułu: Oryginalny artykuł naukowy

Tytuły:

Angielski:

The Trial Before the International Military Tribunal for the Far East and Its Place in the Historical Consciousness of the Japanese

Autorzy

Wydział Prawa i Administracji Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego, ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 26/28 00-927 Warszawa

Krajowa Izba Gospodarcza, 00-074 Warszawa ul. Trębacka 4

Publikacja: 2013

Status artykułu: Otwarte __T_UNLOCK

Licencja: Żadna

Udział procentowy autorów:

Karol Karski (Autor) - 50%
Dominika Świętońska (Autor) - 50%

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