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The first full-length treatment of the international war crimes tribunal held in Tokyo, 1946–48.


In the aftermath of the war in the Pacific, the victorious Allies brought to trial Tojo Hideki and twenty-seven other Japanese leaders for “crimes against peace” and “crimes against humanity.” After two and one-half years, the twenty-five surviving defendants were found guilty of most of the charges. Richard Minear’s comprehensive account, the first in English when it appeared in 1971, at the height of the Vietnam War, reviews the background, proceedings, and verdict of the trial from its Charter and simultaneous Nuremberg “precedent” to its later effects. Minear challenges the world view behind the trial; links it to U.S. policy, particularly in Vietnam; and sharpens the argument on Nuremberg and the feasibility of war crimes trials. In the twenty-first century, as the United Nations undertakes war crimes proceedings in the former Yugoslavia, Sierra Leone, Cambodia, and elsewhere, the issues raised here thirty years ago loom larger than ever.  

Richard H. Minear, Professor of History, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, is a specialist on Japanese intellectual history and on the Pacific War. Among his many publications are the translations Black Eggs: Poems by Kurihara Sadako (19