The editor, Kazuo Sato, was Professor Emeritus of Law with Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo, and started the book with an essay on Bernard. V.A. Roling, Judge dispatched by the Dutch government for the Tokyo trial. He was one of the three judges who wrote a minority verdict. He states that Judge Roling differed from the majority view, among others, on the two important points. One was his view that the Charter of the trial should be subjected to the views of the judges rather than the judges should be dictated by the Charter. Another concerned the interpretation of the Pact of Paris of 1928. He denied the majority view and believed that this pact could not be interpreted to have made war of aggression illegal. He argued that the Pact simply deprived protection provide by the Pact of those nations which would be engaged in aggressive wars. Professor Sato states that Roling’s arguments are based on solid bases with sufficient references to authoritative documents.
The remaining parts of the book are divided into six chapters. In each of them, the views of several number of notable persons are introduced. The number ranges from four to 16. One person’s view will be selected and shown below from each chapter. (The English text is by the editor of this website, and not necessarily identical to the original)
Chapter 1: Criticism from Unknown Americans
W.O. Douglas, Judge with the U.S. Supreme Court stated, when the Supreme Court denied the review of the verdicts of the Tokyo trial in 1949, that the International Military Tribunal in the Far East (the official name of the Tokyo trial) had been given authority from the founder of the tribunal, and was not a court in which the rights of the petitioners can be reviewed freely on the basis of the international law, and that as Judge Pal had written, it was an instrument of the political authority. (p.64-65)
Chapter 2: How was the Court on War Crimes Planned?
British Viscount Montgomery remarked “The Nuremberg trial made the defeat in a war a crime because the generals of the losing nation are to be hanged to death.” (p.79) An identical remark can be made to the Tokyo trial.
Chapter 3: “The War Crimes Committed by the Allied Powers” were not Accused
William Logan, American Attorney, in defense of the Japanese defendants at the closing session of the Tokyo trial on March 10,1948 testified:
Japan had the right to declare the economic sanctions by the Allied Powers as nothing but the act of war. In spite of this fact, Japan with her own patience attempted to resolve the problem amicably through negotiations. Nonetheless, the economic sanctions were further strengthened and the military enclosure by the Allied tightened to the extent that Japan had to resort to a war as the last resort in order to defend the lives of the people. ….. In other words, the Great East Asian War was caused by unjustifiable provocations by the Allied nations, and was a war for self-defense for the survival of the nation. (P.112)
Chapter 4: The International Law was Violated
U.S. Secretary of State Frank Kellogg who initiated the Pact of Paris which is also known as “Kellogg-Briand Pact” made the following speech to the U.S. Congress in 1928: “The Anti-War Treaty proposal which the United States initiated did not contain any element that would restrict the right of self-defense. The right of self-defense is inherent to any independent nation, and is implicit in any treaty…..The need of going to war for self-defense can only be decided by the nation concerned. If the nation had a justifiable cause, the world would rather welcome the decision, and would not blame the country for it” (P.172)
Chapter 5: Did the Tokyo Trial Contribute to the Maintenance of Peace?
Professor George Friedman of Dickenson University who wrote The Coming War with Japan on the fiftieth anniversary of the Pacific War in 1991 stated “Why those reasonable and educated people chose to attack the Pearl Harbor? There are those who are accusing the act without understanding this question. Those are the one who are inclined to wage a war. Calling Japanese leaders “monsters” or paying respect to those who speak without thinking the tragic situation in which Japan was in at the time, does not help in any way. Far from solving the problem, those are the ones who make trouble. (p.222)
Chapter 6: Criticism of Tokyo Trial as the Starting Point of the Postwar Politics
The Lower House of the Japanese Congress passed a resolution to pardon all the prisoners of war in August 1953 and sought to obtain concurrence from the nations concerned. As a result, all the prisoners by the Tokyo trial were released by March 31, 1956.