The Legacy of Extraterritoriality and the Trial of Japanese War Criminals in the Republic of China

  • Anja Bihler
Part of the World Histories of Crime, Culture and Violence book series (WHCCV)


Beginning in February 1946, the Republic of China established special military courts in ten cities and held a series of trials against Japanese, war crimes suspects. This chapter discusses the war crimes program from the broader perspective of postwar decolonization by focusing on the relinquishment and legacy of extraterritoriality in China and its impact on the way the war crimes trials were conducted. In addition, the Nationalist government’s war crimes program serves as a case study for the transition process from extraterritoriality to legal sovereignty and allows for a better understanding of the continuing effects of extraterritoriality in the Republic of China after 1943. To highlight the special legal historical background of the trials helps explain some of the unique features of the Chinese war crimes program that differed markedly from those held by the other Allies in the Asia Pacific region.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Open Access This chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License, which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anja Bihler
    • 1
  1. 1.Heidelberg UniversityHeidelbergGermany

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