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Old 02-19-2012, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Cape Cod
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My husband and I enjoy watching the Military Channel. There are many many programs about WWII that are enormously informative.

I don't recall ever hearing about any Japanese being tried as war criminals though. ie, It would seem to me that anyone connected with the Bataan Death March would have cause to have been tried.

Am I missing this information or am I correct, and, if so, why?
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Old 02-19-2012, 12:23 PM
 
Location: Sierra Vista, AZ
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The General was tried, most of the Japanese soldiers had died in the war.
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Old 02-19-2012, 02:03 PM
 
Location: Earth
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Originally Posted by Boompa View Post
The General was tried, most of the Japanese soldiers had died in the war.
MacArthur prevented most Japanese war criminals from being tried. Only the worst of the worst were tried (but not all 'Shiro Ishii, Japan's Mengele, was spared) MacArthur also spared all members of the Royal Family, even though Prince Chichibu in particular was amongst "the worst of the worst", and Hirohito was aware of what was going on contrary to the propaganda spun by MacArthur.
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Old 02-19-2012, 02:21 PM
 
Location: Cushing OK
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The German warcrimes trials took place first, before the rise of the RED Menace. And western faces and names were more recognizable and familiar. At the end, lesser Nazi's also got a pass due to the strategic position of Germany.

The Japanese trials were later, and Japan had become a strategicly placed ally. And many of the worse atorciites took place on isolated islands where nobody survived and no records existed anymore. It was judged that they must follow proper legal procedures to not act as the enemy had.

That so many things were hidden and never dealt with is truely a tragedy of the cold war.

McCarther DID conduct trials in the Philipines which were quick and dirty and intended to eliminate those known to have abused prisioners before any other authority arrived. This would be prior to politics getting in the way.
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Old 02-19-2012, 03:11 PM
 
Location: Earth
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Originally Posted by nightbird47 View Post
The German warcrimes trials took place first, before the rise of the RED Menace. And western faces and names were more recognizable and familiar.
The race of the victims also played a role.

The overwhelming majority of the victims of the Japanese were not white (other than Allied POWs and a few civilians). Asian lives were seen as less important than white lives.

I'd like to know more about MacArthur's trials in the Philippines prior to V-J Day. The more I read about Doug, the more it seems like he was the most overrated Allied general of WW2.
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Old 02-19-2012, 04:04 PM
 
Location: On a Long Island in NY
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Originally Posted by majoun View Post
MacArthur prevented most Japanese war criminals from being tried. Only the worst of the worst were tried (but not all 'Shiro Ishii, Japan's Mengele, was spared) MacArthur also spared all members of the Royal Family, even though Prince Chichibu in particular was amongst "the worst of the worst", and Hirohito was aware of what was going on contrary to the propaganda spun by MacArthur.
Then as now, the Emperor of Japan is a ceremonial head of state ... he couldent do much even if he wanted to.

Queen Elizabeth II has more power than Hirohito had and his son Akihito currently has ...
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Old 02-19-2012, 05:12 PM
 
Location: Earth
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Originally Posted by WIHS2006 View Post
Then as now, the Emperor of Japan is a ceremonial head of state ... he couldent do much even if he wanted to.

Queen Elizabeth II has more power than Hirohito had and his son Akihito currently has ...
Hirohito's position was largely ceremonial, but he did have influence and moral authority. He chose Tojo as PM rather than someone who was less committed to war. He was fully aware of decisionmaking by the government and aware of war crimes being committed.

The House of Savoy publically turned against Mussolini and backed Italian withdrawal from the Axis. Hirohito did not put his authority and status behind ending the militaristic government of the war years. And as the titular leader of Shintoism he had religious authority that Vittorio Emmanuele and Umberto didn't have.

And, while how much Hirohito could have done is a matter for debate, there were other members of the royal family who were actively involved in war crimes: not only Hirohito's brother Prince Chichibu but also Hirohito's uncles and cousins.
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Old 02-20-2012, 01:39 PM
 
Location: Southern Oregon
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There were about 6000 Japanese military personal who stood trial for war crimes, out of these about 950 were executed. It is speculated that the Empire of Japan during WWII was responsible for the deaths of up to 10 million people, civilians and POW's alike throughout the Asian area (this figure doesn't include those who died in combat) this would include China, Korea, Philipines, Indonesia and Vietnam just to name a few.
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Old 02-20-2012, 02:12 PM
 
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Yes there were trials at the aftermath of the war, in both Japan and China. But they never went far enough due to political pressures. This was the start of the cold war, China was still in the midst of a civil war, and, in the late 40's, was overrun by Mao's forces. And then you had Japan as a valuable pawn in the cold war, with both communist powers, and western powers, bidding for favorable positions with Japan. Thus, after the initial Japanese war crimes trials, the interest petered out. And, finally, somehow, by disregarding all history, reason, and logic, Japan actually was portrayed as a victim of the war, due to the atomic bombings.

The sad thing is, there are Japanese war criminals still alive today, celebrated as war hero's. Or who have statues or monuments in their honor in today's Japan. This is no "well one side's war criminal is another side's hero". The Japanese are guilty of war crimes that have no precedence in history, and are brutal to a degree that cannot be imagined or described - killings for sport, killings for pleasure. Nanking is an example. This isn't the Nazi version of systematic or mechanical massacres, which is bad enough. This is personalized murder by bayonet or bullet or literal raping to death 300,000 men, women, and children - civilians and unarmed prisoners of war. Acts that, ironically, even the Nazi's complained about in 1937.

So we have a second tradgedy in place - that the Japan of today, unlike the Germany of today, will not even acknowledge the brutality of the acts it committed in WW2. Japanese textbooks to children do not address it. Japanese politicians will refuse to acknowlege it. And to the typical Japanese citizen - Japanese war crimes are nonexistent.
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Old 02-20-2012, 02:28 PM
 
Location: Southern Oregon
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Dd714, in just one city alone Nanking, 100s of thousands of civilians were put to death as recreation for the Japanese soldiers, age didn't matter, infants, young children, most of the young girls were raped to death. Through out China at this time it is speculated that 10 million civilians died at the hands of the Japenese, some say the numbers are closer to 6 million.

I think that MacAuther should have done more, the whole Royal Family should have be tried for war crimes.
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