Advertisement

Criminal Law Forum

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 15–50 | Cite as

The gift of clemency following British war crimes trials in the Far East, 1946–1948

  • R. John Pritchard
British Postwar War Crimes Courts

Keywords

International Economic 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    These statistics do not agree with tallies compiled by officials at the time or with other figures that appear in Japanese reports. Some of the confusion is due to the possibility of giving more than one “reading” to Japanese names and to the identification of Korean and Taiwanese accused by both Japanese and Korean or Chinese names. Nevertheless, I am confident that the numbers given here are reliable. For a detailed breakdown of convictions, acquittals, sentences, confirmations of sentence, commutations, remissions, and (where known) actual dates on which each was criminal was finally released, see 1The British War Crimes Trials in the Far East, 1946–1948 (R. John Pritchard ed., 21 vols., forthcoming 1997) [hereinafterBritish War Crimes Trials]. By comparison to the Japanese figures, the number of German war criminals convicted by British military courts was 678, of whom 160 were executed and the remainder sentenced to varying terms of imprisonment. FJ 1661/127/'54, Minute by H.J. Evans, Foreign Off. West. Dep't, 4 Nov. 1954, FO 371/110508. The official documents cited in this article are available at the Public Record Office, Kew, England. A detailed source note will be published inA Comprehensive Index and Guide, in 1British War Crimes Trials, supra. Very briefly, the first identifying number in a citation (most often beginning F for Foreign Office Far Eastern Department or FJ for Foreign Office Japan and Pacific Department) is the document number originally assigned in the responsible government ministry; the number at the end of the citation (usually beginning FO for Foreign Office or WO for War Office) has been assigned retroactively by the Public Record Office.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    E.g., F 14844/1661/23, Letter by E. de Weck, Chief, ICRC Far East. Sec., to Foreign Off., London, covering 6 Sept. 1949 visit by Fred Bieri, ICRC Delegate at Hong Kong, to Japanese in custody as war criminals at Stanley Prison, FO 371/76253.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    There were exceptions, including Heinrich Schweizer-Iten, whose experiences are movingly recalled inThe Experiences of a Delegate (Unrecognised) of the International Committee of the Red Cross during the Japanese Occupation of Singapore and Malaya, 1941–1945, in 9British War Crimes Trials, supra note 1.See generally Olive Checkland,The International Committee of the Red Cross and Its Investigations into Japanese Prisoner of War and Civilian Internment Camps, in 9British War Crimes Trials, supra; ICRC,Report of the International Committee of the Red Cross on Its Activities during the Second World War (September 1, 1939–June 20, 1947) (1948); Marcel Junod,Warrior without Weapons (1982); André Durand,From Sarajevo to Hiroshima (1984). Far Eastern POWs and civilian internees were virtually unanimous in their scathing contempt and unrelenting condemnation of the ICRC.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    These points will be discussed at greater length in a chapter to be based upon the present essay in 8British War Crimes Trials, supra note 1. These statistics do not agree with tallies compiled by officials at the time or with other figures that appear in Japanese reports. Some of the confusion is due to the possibility of giving more than one “reading” to Japanese names and to the identification of Korean and Taiwanese accused by both Japanese and Korean or Chinese names. Nevertheless, I am confident that the numbers given here are reliable. For a detailed breakdown of convictions, acquittals, sentences, confirmations of sentence, commutations, remissions, and (where known) actual dates on which each war criminal was finally released, see 1The British War Crimes Trials in the Far East, 1946–1948 (R. John Pritchard ed., 21 vols., forthcoming 1997) [hereinafterBritish War Crimes Trials]. By comparison to the Japanese figures, the number of German war criminals convicted by British military courts was 678, of whom 160 were executed and the remainder sentenced to varying terms of imprisonment. FJ 1661/127/'54, Minute by H.J. Evans, Foreign Off. West. Dep't, 4 Nov. 1954, FO 371/110508. The official documents cited in this article are available at the Public Record Office, Kew, England. A detailed source note will be published inA Comprehensive Index and Guide, in 1British War Crimes Trials, supra. Very briefly, the first identifying number in a citation (most often beginning F for Foreign Office Far Eastern Department or FJ for Foreign Office Japan and Pacific Department) is the document number originally assigned in the responsible government ministry; the number at the end of the citation (usually beginning FO for Foreign Office or WO for War Office) has been assigned retroactively by the Public Record Office.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    F 16343/1661/23, Minute by E.J.F. Scott, Foreign Off. Japan & Pac. [Far East.] Dep't, 24 Oct. 1949, ref. to F 5529, Flag A, 31 Mar. 1949, FO 371/76254; F 3062/1661/23, FEC 314/7, Note by Nelson T. Johnson, Sec'y Gen'l, Far East. Comm'n, 21 Feb. 1949, communicating Decision of Committee No. 5 (War Criminals) at 15th Meeting, 18 Feb. 1949, FO 371/76250; F 3300/1661/23, FEC Policy Decision 55, 1 Mar. 1949, with Minute by A.L. Scott, Foreign Off. Japan & Pac. Dep't, 5 Mar. 1949, FO 371/76250. The Far Eastern Department of the Foreign Office was reorganized several times during the postwar period and from time to time the Japan and Pacific Department emerged as a separate entity. The Far Eastern Commission, based in Washington, D.C., was a group of talented but politically disconnected representatives of ambassadorial rank from the 11 Allied powers actively engaged in the war against Japan. Its mission was to work out policies that General MacArthur would implement, but in practice General MacArthur generally operated more or less independently.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    See generally Philip R. Piccigallo,The Japanese on Trial (1979).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Id. See generally Philip R. Piccigallo,The Japanese on Trial (1979). at 126. According to the leading historian of the Australian trials, Professor D.C.S. Sissons (Canberra), these figures were wildly exaggerated. Private communication to the author, Aug. & Sept. 1995.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    E.g., F 18276/1661/23, Minutes on news reprots inThe Times (London) about the forthcoming Manus Island trials, 9 Dec. 1949, FO 371/76254.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Piccigallo,supra note 6,See generally Philip R. Piccigallo,The Japanese on Trial (1979), at 138.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Subject to the General Headquarters of the Supreme Allied Commander, South East Asia (SACSEA), Lord Louis Mountbatten, whose writ ran throughout South East Asia Command (SEAC), the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GO C-in-C) of the Far Eastern Land Forces (FARELF) had overall supervision of British war crimes operations throughout Southeast Asia.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    F 17616/1661/23, Letter from Emmanuel Shinwell, Sec'y of State for War, to Ernest Bevin, Foreign Sec'y, 19 Oct. 1949, FO 371/76254.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    I am indebted to A.P. Spooner, M.B.E., for an opportunity in 1991 to examine his entire collection of papers relating to his experiences in war crimes operations. His experiences are recounted in A.P. Spooner,War Crimes Investigations and the Javanese Insurrection, in 19British War Crimes Trials, supra note 1; A.P. Spooner,Trials and Tribulations of a War Crimes Investigation Team in Burma, in 5British War Crimes Trials, supra; A.P. Spooner,Central Control and Co-Ordination: Singapore GHQ and the Investigation of Japanese War Crimes, in 7British War Crimes Trials, supra. The statistic of 9,000 cases appears in local press reports that seem to have been well informed.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    F 4211/195/23, Telegram IZ 1509 from SACSEA to Cabinet Offs. (SEAC Rear Link), 12 Mar. 1946, FO 371/54241.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Altogether provision was made for 39 Japanese defense counsel and 33 interpreters to serve the British war crimes courts. BM/AG/WCS/50697, Memorandum by Col. R.B. Lambe, War Crimes Sec., Adjutant General's Off., HQ ALFSEA, on “Japanese Defence Counsel & Interpreters: War Crimes Trials,” 16 Oct. 1946, addressed to HQ Malaya Command, HQ Singapore District, HQ Burma Command, HQ BT Siam, HQ Land Forces Hong Kong, and HQ Armed Forces Netherlands East Indies, in file “Japan & Japanese: Current Operations: Japanese War Criminals and Prisoners of War,” WO 203/6087, and further Memorandum by Col. R.B. Lambe on “War Crimes Defence Counsel & Interpreters,” to HQ Japanese Expeditionary Forces, Southern Regions, Johore Bahru, 5 Nov. 1946, in the same file.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    File 12/1/1, Brief for the Chief of the Imperial General Staff, 8 Nov. 1946, within larger file, “Japan & Japanese: Current Operations: Japanese War Criminals and Prisoners of War,” WO 203/6087.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Id. File 12/1/1, Brief for the Chief of the Imperial General Staff, 8 Nov. 1946, within larger file, “Japan & Japanese: Current Operations: Japanese War Criminals and Prisoners of War,” WO 203/6087.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Sentences imposed by British war crimes courts were not legally valid until the trial records were reviewed by a ranking judge advocate (often the Deputy Judge Advocate General) and confirmed by the general on whose orders the trial had been held. The confirming officer was not bound by the reviewer's legal advice, and some generals were notably reluctant to reduce punishments to the extent recommended.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    File 12/1/1,supra note 15. File 12/1/1, Brief for the Chief of the Imperial General Staff, 8 Nov. 1946, within larger file, “Japan & Japanese: Current Operations: Japanese War Criminals and Prisoners of War,” WO 203/6087.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Telegram 14022 from GHQ SCAP, Tokyo, to HQ ALFSEA, conveying message for Lt.-Gen. Numata Takezô, Chief of Staff, Japanese Expeditionary Forces, Southern Regions, from Director of the First Demobilisation Bureau [formerly, War Ministry], 22 Nov. 1946, WO 203/6068. For a classic and somewhat reactionary commentary in English on the Japanese Constitution, see Fujii Shin'ichi,The Constitution of Japan (1965).Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    The Tokyo War Crimes Trial: The Complete Transcripts of the Proceedings of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (R. John Pritchard ed., with Sonia Magbanua Zaide, 22 vols., 1981);The Tokyo War Crimes Trial: Index and Guide (R. John Pritchard ed., with Sonia Magbanua Zaide, 5 vols., 1981–1987).Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    F 14337/1/'49, Letter from J.D. Higham, Head, Colonial Off. East. Dep't, to Lt.-Col. O.C. Barratt, Off. of the JAG of the Forces, 13 Dec. 1949, covering Report by Mr. Justice H.M.S. Brown forwarded by the Governor of Singapore, FO 371/76254.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Many of these accounts have been recycled and continue to have mileage left in them today.E.g., Gyakutai no Kiroku [Records of Maltreatment] (Satô Ryôichi ed., 1953), reissued and still in print under the titleSenpan Gyakutai no Kiroku [Records of Maltreated War Criminals] (Satô Ryôichi ed., 1982).Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    E.g., F 1770/1661/23, Report by Mrs. Besançon on the mentality of Japanese war criminals in jail in Singapore and the Malay states as deduced from their outgoing correspondence with their families during 1948, FO 371/76250 [hereinafter Besançon First Report]; F 11137/1661/23, Despatch from A.F.G. Blades, Ass't Comm'r of Police, Special Branch, Singapore Commissioner General in South East Asia, to Under-Sec'y of State for For. Aff., 9 July 1949, enclosing Mrs. Besançon's Third Report, covering Apr.–June 1949, 30 June 1949, FO 371/76253;see also F 5338/1661/23, Second Report by Mrs. Besançon, covering Jan.–Mar. 1949, 30 Mar. 1949, FO 371/76251.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Besançon First Report,supra note 23.E.g., F 1770/1661/23, Report by Mrs. Besançon on the mentality of Japanese war criminals in jail in Singapore and the Malay states as deduced from their outgoing correspondence with their families during 1948, FO 371/76250 [hereinafter Besançon First Report]; F 11137/1661/23, Despatch from A.F.G. Blades, Ass't Comm'r of Police, Special Branch, Singapore Commissioner General in South East Asia, to Under-Sec'y of State for For. Aff., 9 July 1949, enclosing Mrs. Besançon's Third Report, covering Apr.–June 1949, 30 June 1949, FO 371/76253;see also F 5338/1661/23, Second Report by Mrs. Besançon, covering Jan.–Mar. 1949, 30 Mar. 1949, FO 371/76251.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    F 1770/1661/23, Minute by Sir Esler Dening, (then) Ass't Under-Sec'y of State, Foreign Off. Japan & Pac. Dep't, 4 Feb. 1949, FO 371/76250.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    F 17659/1661/23, Demi-Official Letter from P.W.S.Y. Scarlett, Head, Foreign Off. Japan & Pac. Dep't, to Sir Alvary Gascoigne, Tokyo, 1 Dec. 1949, FO 371/76254. Maj.-Gen. Gascoigne was effectively the British Ambassador in occupied Japan.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    F 18863/1661/23, Tokyo Telegram 1358 to Foreign Off., London, 15 Dec. 1949, FO 371/76254.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Id. F 18863/1661/23, Tokyo Telegram 1358 to Foreign Off., London, 15 Dec. 1949, FO 371/76254.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    F 19402/1661/23, comprising 14337/1/'49, Letter fromC.J.J.T. Barton, Principal Officer, Colonial Off. Defence & Gen'l Dep't, 22 Dec. 1949, covering enclosures on returns from Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaya, and North Borneo giving a detailed listing of all Japanese to be repatriated from each locality, with Minute by P.W.S.Y. Scarlett, Head, Foreign Off. Japan & Pac. Dep't, 28 Dec. 1949, FO 371/76254. Note that a number of these Japanese held in British captivity were incarcerated not as war criminals but as offenders convicted of other crimes. Curiously enough, as far as the British authorities were concerned, the same principles were thought applicable to all.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Scarlett Minute,supra note 29. F 19402/1661/23, comprising 14337/1/'49, Letter from C.J.J.T. Barton, Principal Officer, Colonial Off. Defence & Gen'l Dep't, 22 Dec. 1949, covering enclosures on returns from Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaya, and North Borneo giving a detailed listing of all Japanese to be repatriated from each locality, with Minute by P.W.S.Y. Scarlett, Head, Foreign Off. Japan & Pac. Dep't, 28 Dec. 1949, FO 371/76254. Note that a number of these Japanese held in British captivity were incarcerated not as war criminals but as offenders convicted of other crimes. Curiously enough, as far as the British authorities were concerned, the same principles were thought applicable to all.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    President Harry Truman had relieved General MacArthur of all his commands in the Far East on 11 April 1951.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    FJ 1661/137/'53, FO 371/105441;see also FJ 1663/5/'56, Memorandum by J.C. O'Dwyer, Foreign Off. Far East. Dep't, on “Japanese War Criminals Convicted by United Kingdom Military Courts,” 23 Apr. 1956, FO 371/121085.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    FJ 1661/135/'50, Annex II of Memorandum by J.A. Pilcher, (new) Head, Foreign Off. Japan & Pac. Dep't, 6 Dec. 1952, regarding Circular 5 issued by SCAP in Tokyo, 7 Mar. 1950, FO 371/105441.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    FJ 1661/135/'50, Minute by J.A. Pilcher, Head, Foreign Off. Japan & Pac. Dep't, 12 Dec. 1952, FO 371/105441.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    BM 158 AG3(VW), Minutes of a conference at the War Office attended by Sir Thomas Barnes, Treasury Solicitor; Brig. Henry Shapcott, Military Deputy, Off. of the JAG of the Forces; and Robert Scott-Fox, and Acting First Sec'y, War Crimes Sec. of German Dep't, Foreign Off. (which dealt with all matters relating to war crimes), TS 26/159.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    MD/JAG/FS/1/43, Letter from Brig. Henry Shapcott, Military Deputy, Off. of the JAG of the Forces, to Legal Div., Zonal Executive Offs., British Army on the Rhine, 11 Sept. 1947, in MO/JAG/FS/1/43 (file), WO 311/35. The JAG of the Forces served as the legal office for both the Army and the Royal Air Force (but not the Navy) and came within the Lord Chancellor's Office.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    WCG/15228/2/Legal, Letter from Grp. Capt. A.G. Somerhough, Officer in Charge, War Crimes Group, North West Eur., 5 Sept. 1947, and supporting Note to Somerhough from Col. J.R.D. Gilbert, Acting Deputy Adjutant General, 2 Sept. 1947, in MO/JAG/FS/1/43 (file), WO 311/35.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Somerhough Letter,supra note 37. WCG/15228/2/Legal, Letter from Grp. Capt. A.G. Somerhough, Officer in Charge, War Crimes Group, North West Eur., 5 Sept. 1947, and supporting Note to Somerhough from Col. J.R.D. Gilbert, Acting Deputy Adjutant General, 2 Sept. 1947, in MO/JAG/FS/1/43 (file), WO 311/35.Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Shapcott Letter,supra note 36; MD/JAG/FS/1/43, Letter from Brig. Henry Shapcott, Military Deputy, Off. of the JAG of the Forces, to Legal Div., Zonal Executive Offs., British Army on the Rhine, 11 Sept. 1947, in MO/JAG/FS/1/43 (file), WO 311/35. The JAG of the Forces served as the legal office for both the Army and the Royal Air Force (but not the Navy) and came within the Lord Chancellor's Office.see also infra note 40 Legal/HQ/52144/1, Letter from T. Harvey-Moller, Deputy Chief, Legal Div., to Central Secretariat, Zonal Executive Offs., 30 Apr. 1948, copied to Maj.-Gen. Sir Henry McGeagh, Judge Advocate General, in MO/JAG/FS/1/43 (file), WO 311/35.Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Legal/HQ/52144/1, Letter from T. Harvey-Moller, Deputy Chief, Legal Div., to Central Secretariat, Zonal Executive Offs., 30 Apr. 1948, copied to Maj.-Gen. Sir Henry McGeagh, Judge Advocate General, in MO/JAG/FS/1/43 (file), WO 311/35.Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    ThePeleus case, the first to be tried by the British Military Court at Hamburg, opened on 17 October 1946 and closed three days later. An abbreviated record of the trial appears inThe Peleus Trial (John Cameron ed., 1948).Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    DUS(A)/BM/179, Enclosure to 0160/2608, Note from Sir Thomas J. Cash, Deputy Under-Sec'y of State (Administration) at the War Off., for Maj.-Gen. K.G. McLean, Vice Adjutant General, 22 Apr. 1948, in MO/JAG/FS/1/43 (file), WO 311/35.Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Id. DUS(A)/BM/179, Enclosure to 0160/2608, Note from Sir Thomas J. Cash, Deputy Under-Sec'y of State (Administration) at the War Off., for Maj.-Gen. K.G. McLean, Vice Adjutant General, 22 Apr. 1948, in MO/JAG/FS/1/43 (file), WO 311/35.Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Note from Sir Henry McGeagh, Judge Advocate General, for Emmanuel Shinwell, Sec'y of State for War (through S.R.A. Hutchinson, M.P., Parl. Under-Sec'y, & Gen. Sir Richard N. O'Connor, Adjutant General), 6 May 1948, in MO/JAG/FS/1/43 (file), WO 311/35.Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Id. Note from Sir Henry McGeagh, Judge Advocate General, for Emmanuel Shinwell, Sec'y of State for War (through S.R.A. Hutchinson, M.P., Parl. Under Sec'y, & Gen. Sir Richard N. O'Connor, Adjutant General), 6 May 1948, in MO/JAG/FS/1/43 (file), WO 311/35.Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Id. Note from Sir Henry McGeagh, Judge Advocate General, for Emmanuel Shinwell, Sec'y of State for War (through S.R.A. Hutchinson, M.P., Parl. Under-Sec'y, & Gen. Sir Richard N. O'Connor, Adjutant General), 6 May 1948, in MO/JAG/FS/1/43 (file), WO 311/35. Note from Sir Thomas J. Cash, Deputy Under-Sec'y of State (Administration) at the War Off., to Maj.-Gen. K.G. McLean, Vice Adjutant General, 9 June 1948, in MO/JAG/FS/1/43 (file), WO 311/35.Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    FJ 1661/120/23, Draft Memorandum by J.C. O'Dwyer, Foreign Off. Japan & Pac. Dep't, on “Japanese Minor War Criminals: Implementations of Recommendations of War Office Review Board, 1949, as to Length of Sentences,” 17 Apr. 1953, FO 371/105441.Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    FJ 1662/83/′53, Minure by J.C. O'Dwyer, Foreign Off. Japan & Pac. Dep't. 25 July 1953, FO 371/105452.Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    FJ 1661/36/′52, Letter from S.R.A. Hutchinson, M.P., Parl. Under-Sec'y of War, to Lord Reading, Parl. Under-Sec'y for For. Aff., 27 June 1952, responding to a proposal by the latter (FJ 1661/27/′52), FO 371/99510.Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    FJ 1661/36/′52, Minutes by Lord Reading, Parl. Under-Sec'y for For. Aff., & Sir William Strang, Perm. Under-Sec'y of State for For. Aff., 22 May 1952, and by Sir Anthony Eden, Foreign Sec'y, 24 May 1952, FO 371/99510.Google Scholar
  51. 51.
    FJ 1661/121/′52, Minute by J.C. O'Dwyer, Foreign Off. Japan & Pac. Dep't, 31 Jan. 1953, FO 371/105432.Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    FJ 1661/234/′53, Minute by J.C. O'Dwyer, Foreign Off. Far East. Dep't, following a conversation with G.I.A.D. Draper, Off. of the JAG of the Forces, 28 Nov. 1953, FO 371/105449.Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    FJ 1661/2/′52, Tokyo Despatch 1660/2/′52, U.K. Liaison Mission in Japan to Foreign Off. Japan & Pac. Dep't, 7 Jan. 1952, FO 371/99509, with SCAP decision, implemented by a Memorandum to the Japanese Government, SCVAPIN 2192, 31 Dec. 1951, copy attached.Google Scholar
  54. 54.
    FJ 1661/110/′54, Memorandum by J.C. O'Dwyer, Foreign Off. Far East. Dep't, 8 Sept. 1954, FO 371/110507; FJ 1663/16/′55, Memorandum by J.C. O'Dwyer, Foreign Off. Far East. Dep't, 14 Apr. 1955, FO 371/115290; FJ 1661/137/′54, Unsigned Memorandum, Foreign Off. Far East. Dep't, n.d., FO 371/110508.Google Scholar
  55. 55.
    FJ 1661/41/′52, Tokyo Despatch 184, Amb. Sir Esler Dening to Anthony Eden, Foreign Sec'y, 7 July 1952, FO 371/99510.Google Scholar
  56. 56.
    FJ 1661/61/′52, Tokyo Despatch 221, Amb. Sir Esler Dening to Anthony Eden, Foreign Sec'y, 11 Aug. 1952, FO 371/99511.Google Scholar
  57. 57.
    Id. FJ 1661/61/′52, Tokyo Despatch 221, Amb. Sir Esler Dening to Anthony Eden, Foreign Sec'y, 11 Aug. 1952, FO 371/99511.Google Scholar
  58. 58.
    Id. FJ 1661/61/′52, Tokyo Despatch 221, Amb. Sir Esler Dening to Anthony Eden, Foreign Sec'y, 11 Aug. 1952, FO 371/99511. Later, A.J. de la Mare, Head of Chancery at the British Embassy in Tokyo, wrote: “We are not acknowledging these petitions and have quietly burnt the signature books.” FJ 1661/54/′52, Demi-Official Letter from de la Mare to J.A. Pilcher, Head, Foreign Off. Japan & Pac. Dep't, 30 July 1952, FO 371/99511.Google Scholar
  59. 59.
    E.g., FJ 1661/25/′52, Commonwealth Relations Off. to J.S. Gendee, Ottawa, No. FE 12/44/1, 23 May 1952, on the construction of San Francisco Peace Treaty Art. 11 as read with Art. 25, FO 371/99510; FJ 1661/29A/′52, British Embassy, Washington, D.C., to Foreign Off., London, 14 June 1952, FO 371/99510; FJ 1661/32/′52, Foreign Off. to British Embassy, Washington, D.C., 14 Nov. 1952, FO 371/99510.Google Scholar
  60. 60.
    FJ 1661/42/′52, Tokyo Despatch 185, Amb. Sir Esler Dening to Anthony Eden, Foreign Sec'y, 7 July 1952, FO 371/99511.Google Scholar
  61. 61.
    FJ 1661/41/′52, Tokyo Despatch 184, Amb. Sir Esler Dening to Anthony Eden, Foreign Sec'y, 7 July 1952, FO 371/99510.Google Scholar
  62. 62.
    FJ 1661/135/′52, Minutes by J.A. Pilcher, Head, Foreign Off. Japan & Pac. Dep't, & Sir Robert H. Scott, Foreign Off. Japan & Pac. Dep't, 2 & 4 Dec. 1952, FO 371/99515; Minute by Sir William Strang, Perm. Under-Sec'y of State, 4 Dec. 1952, FO 371/99515; Memorandum by J.A. Pilcher, Head, Foreign Off. Japan & Pac. Dep't, 12 Dec. 1952, FO 371/99515.Google Scholar
  63. 63.
    FJ 1661/135/′52, Minute by Anthony Nutting, M.P., Parl. Under-Sec'y of State for For. Aff., 8 Dec. 1952, FO 371/99515.Google Scholar
  64. 64.
    FJ 1661/134/′52, Minute by J.C. O'Dwyer, Foreign Off. Japan & Pac. Dep't, 9 Dec. 1952, FO 371/99515; FJ 1661/265/′53, Memorandum by Amb. Sir Esler Dening, n.d., FO 371/105449; FJ 1661/274/′53, Foreign Off. Despatch 463 to Tokyo, 13 Nov. 1953, FO 371/105449; FJ 1661/285/′53, Demi-Official Letter from Sir Frederick Gentle, Vice Judge Advocate General, to Anthony Nutting, M.P., Parl. UnderSec'y of State for For. Aff., 24 Nov. 1953, with Minutes by P.L. Bushe-Fox, Foreign Off. Ass't Legal Adviser, 3 Dec. 1953, & J.C. O'Dwyer, Foreign Off. Far East. Dep't, 5 Dec. 1953, FO 371/105449.Google Scholar
  65. 65.
    FJ 1661/82/′54, Minute by C.T. Crowe, Head, Foreign Off. Far East. Dep't, 2 Sept. 1954, FO 371/110507.Google Scholar
  66. 66.
    Examples include the cases of Honorary Capt. Mikizawa Koshirô and Sgt.-Maj. Terada Isamu. FO 371/110507. The trial records of Mikizawa are at WO 235/958; those of Terada are at WO 235/931. The trial transcripts will be published in 9 & 11British War Crimes Trials, supra note 1. These statistics do not agree with tallies compiled by officials at the time or with other figures that appear in Japanese reports. Some of the confusion is due to the possibility of giving more than one “reading” to Japanese names and to the identification of Korean and Taiwanese accused by both Japanese and Korean or Chinese names. Nevertheless, I am confident that the numbers given here are reliable. For a detailed breakdown of convictions, acquittals, sentences, confirmations of sentence, commutations, remissions, and (where known) actual dates on which each war criminal was finally released, see 1The British War Crimes Trials in the Far East, 1946–1948 (R. John Pritchard ed., 21 vols., forthcoming 1997) [hereinafterBritish War Crimes Trials]. By comparison to the Japanese figures, the number of German war criminals convicted by British military courts was 678, of whom 160 were executed and the remainder sentenced to varying terms of imprisonment. FJ 1661/127/′54, Minute by H.J. Evans, Foreign Off. West. Dep't, 4 Nov. 1954, FO 371/110508. The official documents cited in this article are available at the Public Record Office, Kew, England. A detailed source note will be published inA Comprehensive Index and Guide, in 1British War Crimes Trials, supra. Very briefly, the first identifying number in a citation (most often beginning F for Foreign Office Far Eastern Department or FJ for Foreign Office Japan and Pacific Department) is the document number originally assigned in the responsible government ministry; the number at the end of the citation (usually beginning FO for Foreign Office or WO for War Office) has been assigned retroactively by the Public Record Office.Google Scholar
  67. 67.
    FJ 1661/127/′54, Minute by H.J. Evans, Foreign Off. West. Dep't, 4 Nov. 1954, with statistical summary from enclosure taken from CW 1661/123/′54, FO 371/110508.Google Scholar
  68. 68.
    Demi-Official Letter 128 from Harold Macmillan, Foreign Sec'y, to Sir Frederick Hoyer Millar, British Amb. in Bonn, 25 Apr. 1955, FO 371/110508.Google Scholar
  69. 69.
    FJ 1661/22/′55, Minute by C.T. Crowe, Head, Foreign Off. Far East. Dep't, 7 May 1955, FO 371/115290. Seesupra note 17. Sentences imposed by British war crimes courts were not legally valid until the trial records were reviewed by a ranking judge advocate (often the Deputy Judge Advocate General) and confirmed by the general on whose orders the trial had been held. The confirming officer was not bound by the reviewer's legal advice, and some generals were notably reluctant to reduce punishments to the extent recommended.Google Scholar
  70. 70.
    Crowe Minut,supra note 69. FJ 1661/22/′55, Minute by C.T. Crowe, Head, Foreign Off. Far East. Dep't, 7 May 1955, FO 371/115290. Seesupra note 17. Sentences imposed by British war crimes courts were not legally valid until the trial records were reviewed by a ranking judge advocate (often the Deputy Judge Advocate General) and confirmed by the general on whose orders the trial had been held. The confirming officer was not bound by the reviewer's legal advice, and some generals were notably reluctant to reduce punishments to the extent recommended. For an American viewpoint, see John Mendelsohn,War Crimes Trials and Clemency in Germany and Japan, inAmericans as Proconsuls: United States Military Government in Germany and Japan, 1944–1952, at 226, 254–59 (Robert Wolfe ed., 1984).Google Scholar
  71. 71.
    FJ 1661/20/′55, Minutes by A.L. Mayall, Foreign Off. Far East. Dep't, 29 Apr. 1955, & J.C. O'Dwyer, Foreign Off. Far East. Dep't, 10 May 1955, FO 371/11520.Google Scholar
  72. 72.
    FJ 1661/20/′55, Minute by unidentified official in Foreign Off. West. Dep't (signature unclear), 11 May 1955, FO 371/115290.Google Scholar
  73. 73.
    FJ 1661/20/′55, Minutes by J.A.C.C. Alexander[-Sinclair], Foreign Off. human rights specialist, 12 May 1955, & Lord Reading, Minister of State for For. Aff., 14 May 1955, FO 371/115290.Google Scholar
  74. 74.
    FJ 1662/22/′55, Minute by C.T. Crowe, Foreign Off. Far East. Dep't, 7 May 1955, FO 371/115290.Google Scholar
  75. 75.
    FJ 1662/22/′55 Minutes by P.H. Dean, Ass't Under-Sec'y of State and Foreign Off. Legal Adviser, & Lord Reading, Minister of State for For. Aff., 5 May 1955, FO 371/115290.Google Scholar
  76. 76.
    FJ 1661/37/G (file) (1955), FO 371/115292,cited in FJ 1663/5/′56, Memorandum by J.C. O'Dwyer, Foreign Off. Far East. Dep't, on “Japanese War Criminals Convicted by United Kingdom Military Courts,” 23 Apr. 1956, FO 371/121085.Google Scholar
  77. 77.
    O'Dwyer Memorandum,supra note 76 FJ 1661/37/G (file) (1955), FO 371/115292,cited in FJ 1663/5/′56, Memorandum by J.C. O'Dwyer, Foreign Off. Far East. Dep't, on “Japanese War Criminals Convicted by United Kingdom Military Courts,” 23 Apr. 1956, FO 371/121085.Google Scholar
  78. 78.
    FJ 1661/139/′53, Letter from R.R. Pitman, Home Off., to J. C. O'Dwyer, Foreign Off. Far East. Dep't, 21 Mar. 1953, FO 371/105441.Google Scholar
  79. 79.
    The death toll from the Chinese Massacre may have been as high as 50,000. For a controversial account, see Ian Ward,The Killer They Called a God (1992). The original transcripts of theChinese Massacre case are to be found at the Public Record Office, Kew, England, in WO 235/1004; the proceedings will appear in 7British War Crimes Trials, supra note 1. These statistics do not agree with tallies compiled by officials at the time or with other figures that appear in Japanese reports. Some of the confusion is due to the possibility of giving more than one “reading” to Japanese names and to the identification of Korean and Taiwanese accused by both Japanese and Korean or Chinese names. Nevertheless, I am confident that the numbers given here are reliable. For a detailed breakdown of convictions, acquittals, sentences, confirmations of sentence, commutations, remissions, and (where known) actual dates on which each war criminal was finally released, see 1The British War Crimes Trials in the Far East, 1946–1948 (R. John Pritchard ed., 21 vols., forthcoming 1997) [hereinafterBritish War Crimes Trials]. By comparison to the Japanese figures, the number of German war criminals convicted by British military courts was 678, of whom 160 were executed and the remainder sentenced to varying terms of imprisonment. FJ 1661/127/′54, Minute by H.J. Evans, Foreign Off. West. Dep't, 4 Nov. 1954, FO 371/110508. The official documents cited in this article are available at the Public Record Office, Kew, England. A detailed source note will be published inA Comprehensive Index and Guide, in 1British War Crimes Trials, supra. Very briefly, the first identifying number in a citation (most often beginning F for Foreign Office Far Eastern Department or FJ for Foreign Office Japan and Pacific Department) is the document number originally assigned in the responsible government ministry; the number at the end of the citation (usually beginning FO for Foreign Office or WO for War Office) has been assigned retroactively by the Public Record Office.Google Scholar
  80. 80.
    Details can be found in 1British War Crimes Trials, supra note 1. These statistics do not agree with tallies compiled by officials at the time or with other figures that appear in Japanese reports. Some of the confusion is due to the possibility of giving more than one “reading” to Japanese names and to the identification of Korean and Taiwanese accused by both Japanese and Korean or Chinese names. Nevertheless, I am confident that the numbers given here are reliable. For a detailed breakdown of convictions, acquittals, sentences, confirmations of sentence, commutations, remissions, and (where known) actual dates on which each war criminal was finally released, see 1The British War Crimes Trials in the Far East, 1946–1948 (R. John Pritchard ed., 21 vols., forthcoming 1997) [hereinafterBritish War Crimes Trials]. By comparison to the Japanese figures, the number of German war criminals convicted by British military courts was 678, of whom 160 were executed and the remainder sentenced to varying terms of imprisonment. FJ 1661/127/′54, Minute by H.J. Evans, Foreign Off. West. Dep't, 4 Nov. 1954, FO 371/110508. The official documents cited in this article are available at the Public Record Office, Kew, England. A detailed source note will be published inA Comprehensive Index and Guide, in 1British War Crimes Trials, supra. Very briefly, the first identifying number in a citation (most often beginning F for Foreign Office Far Eastern Department or FJ for Foreign Office Japan and Pacific Department) is the document number originally assigned in the responsible government ministry; the number at the end of the citation (usually beginning FO for Foreign Office or WO for War Office) has been assigned retroactively by the Public Record Office.Google Scholar
  81. 81.
    The original transcripts of the Yasuda Kin'ichirô trial are to be found in WO 235/917; the proceedings will appear in 2British War Crimes Trials, supra note 1. Another Japanese war criminal convicted by a British military court, Sgt.-Maj. Shimojô Harukichi, was not released from Sugamo Prison until 23 June 1961 because of a subsequent conviction by an Australian war crimes court on different charges. The transcripts of his British trial are to be found in WO 235/943; the proceedings will appear in 3British War Crimes Trials, supra. Details can be found in 1British War Crimes Trials, supra note 1. These statistics do not agree with tallies compiled by officials at the time or with other figures that appear in Japanese reports. Some of the confusion is due to the possibility of giving more than one “reading” to Japanese names and to the identification of Korean and Taiwanese accused by both Japanese and Korean or Chinese names. Nevertheless, I am confident that the numbers given here are reliable. For a detailed breakdown of convictions, acquittals, sentences, confirmations of sentence, commutations, remissions, and (where known) actual dates on which each war criminal was finally released, see 1The British War Crimes Trials in the Far East, 1946–1948 (R. John Pritchard ed., 21 vols., forthcoming 1997) [hereinafterBritish War Crimes Trials]. By comparison to the Japanese figures, the number of German war criminals convicted by British military courts was 678, of whom 160 were executed and the remainder sentenced to varying terms of imprisonment. FJ 1661/127/′54, Minute by H.J. Evans, Foreign Off. West. Dep't, 4 Nov. 1954, FO 371/110508. The official documents cited in this article are available at the Public Record Office, Kew, England. A detailed source note will be published inA Comprehensive Index and Guide, in 1british War Crimes Trials, supra. Very briefly, the first identifying number in a citation (most often beginning F for Foreign Office Far Eastern Department or FJ for Foreign Office Japan and Pacific Department) is the document number originally assigned in the responsible government ministry; the number at the end of the citation (usually beginning FO for Foreign Office or WO for War Office) has been assigned retroactively by the Public Record Office.Google Scholar
  82. 82.
    FJ 1663/18/′56, Minute by A.L. Mayall, Foreign Off. Far East. Dep't, 29 May 1956, FO 371/121085.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Rutgers University School of Law at Camden 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. John Pritchard

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations