Image: DW


In addition to the trials at Nuremberg in Germany, the Allies set up a tribunal to bring to trial the leaders of Japan. The Tokyo Tribunal was set up in 1946 to try the Japanese for joint conspiracy to start and wage war, conventional war crimes, and crimes against humanity. Japan’s campaign to conquer Southeast Asia and the Pacific Ocean had begun in 1931. Over the course of the war, Japan engaged in mass rapes, killings, torture, and human experimentation.

Many historians believed that the Tokyo trials were simply victor’s justice. Some people also claimed that the tribunal and its indictments reflected a strong racial bias. Only three of the 11 judges presiding at the trials were Asian. An Indian judge, Justice Radhabinod Pal, noted that the Japanese leaders were being prosecuted and convicted for starting a war of conquest against countries like Indonesia, Indo-China, and Malaysia, all of which had been acquired and colonised by Europeans in such aggressive methods as the Japanese were accused of using. Beyond that, a lot of violators were let go as part of political deals that involved the US using information from Japanese human experimentation to rise up against the USSR.