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Remembering The War Crimes Trial: The Tokyo Trial View Of History

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Chapter Summary

The Tokyo War Crimes Trial, officially known as the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE), was the longest war crimes trial following the Second World War. This paper will explore the nature of Japan's memory of the Tokyo Trial, examining how the Japanese practice of inward-facing/outward-facing diplomacy has crucially shaped the public's perception of the Trial's meaning. In the immediate wake of defeat, a sense of resignation and nihilism prevailed among the Japanese, who accepted the charges and sentences imposed upon their 'honest and trusted leaders to whom [their] fate had been entrusted as adequate punishment for the actions Japan had taken. The Tokyo Trial may be best understood as a colossal event in international politics that aimed at carrying out a dramatic change from war to peace. And it is in this aspect of the Tokyo War Crimes Trial that one can find its utmost significance.

Keywords: diplomacy; IMTFE; international politics; nihilism; Second world war; Tokyo; war crimes trial



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