Monday, November 12, 2007


This Day in the History of Military Justice

On this day in 1948, former Japanese premier Hideki Tojo and several other World War II Japanese leaders were sentenced to death by a war crimes tribunal. Tojo was found guilty of the following crimes:
1. Waging wars of aggression, and war or wars in violation of international law.
2. Waging unprovoked war against China.
3. Waging aggressive war against the United States.
4. Waging aggressive war against the British Commonwealth.
5. Waging aggressive war against the Netherlands (Indonesia).
6. Waging aggressive war against France (Indochina).
7. Ordering, authorizing, and permitting inhumane treatment of prisoners of war and others.

He was hanged in Sugamo Prison outside Tokyo on December 23, 1948. Tojo remains the only head of state to be executed for war crimes.

Shortly after the surrender, Tojo had a doctor mark with charcoal on his chest where his heart was and he shot just on the mark, but didn't die. There is a convincing historical argument that Tojo was merely doing what the Emperor directed but MacArthur chose to protect the Emperor. Tojo, many Japanese believe, was a scapegoat who did only what he had been ordered to do. Only following orders is no defense to war crimes, however, but I'm not sure the defense of duress has been fully explored.


Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?