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03/18/2011 04:29 AM
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A Comparison Of The War Crime Trials Following World War Ii In Germany & Japan

A comparison of the war crime trials following World War II in Germany & Japan

The war crime trials that took place all over the world, after World War II, were the first of their kind, and were meant to change the justice system in terms of international law during war time. The tribunals at Nuremberg and Tokyo were the most well known, trying 52 Japanese and German leaders between them. While similar in purpose and end result, the structure and organization were very different. The crimes that were tried by each differed from case to case, and Nuremberg was much more thorough. It is also the more widely publicized, for many reasons. It is the world symbol for the justice that is served to criminals for crimes against humanity and peace, while Tokyo lingers on obscurity.
      The Japanese trials might never have happened, as far the world is concerned, including the Japanese. They have never apologized, and no real mention is given in any textbook. While some of the lack of publicity might be credited to the deficiency of communication with the Western world, much of it is purposeful, part of the hypocritical treatment of the aftermath of the war on the part of the Americans and British. Nuremberg is touted as the “real” justice, Tokyo is shoved under the rug, and the Italians are never tried, even with the piles of evidence against them. The war crime trials themselves are unequal, with Nuremberg trying criminals on many counts, and Tokyo limited the sentencable crimes to a bare minimum. Overall, the Tokyo trials are a mockery compared to Nuremberg, and should, and could, have been handled much better.
      The socio and political states of Germany and Japan during the war, and the mentalities of the people and their leaders must be analysed, as well as the trials themselves. The severity of the crimes, the type of people tried and the public response are also important, for both trials, including the reasons why Tokyo was so downplayed. The reasons…

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