TRIALS OF 'B' & 'C' CLASS
JAPANESE WAR CRIMINALS
The terms, class A, B and C war crimes stem from the fact that the
Allied Nations, in keeping with international law on the subject, placed war
crimes in three main categories or classes: class A crimes being those
involving the planning, initiation or waging of a war of aggression; class B
and C crimes consisting of atrocities or inhuman acts committed against
prisoners of war, civilian populations, or particular races or groups and
commonly known as violations of the laws of war. This monograph concerns the
trials of class B and C war criminals and does not included the trial of the
class A criminals.
It is not the purpose of this work to describe the trials in detail. To do so would be a task far beyond the scope of this monograph and would serve little, if any, purpose as the verbatim records of all the trials are available for those who desire such information. Neither is it intended to go into all the sordid details of the many and varied atrocities and inhuman acts committed by the Japanese in violation of the laws of war. The prime purpose of this work is to show the necessity for the trials; the basis upon which the military commissions were established, their jurisdiction, and international character, the rules and regulations governing the trials and the manner in which they were conducted. It should be borne in mind that the establishment of commissions to try accused war criminals and the issuance of rules and regulations governing the trials and defining the crimes which the commissions were authorised to try, did not create the crimes nor make criminal what was not already criminal under well established international law. What was accomplished was the giving of a judicial hearing to the accused in accordance with international law and affording the accused many safeguards and privileges some of which he would not have been entitled to had he been tried under the laws of his own country. The accused were provided with investigators, interrogators, interpreters, witnesses, etc., as well as the right to be represented by an attorney of their own choosing and nationality, and, in addition, they were furnished Allied defence counsel which they could reject if they so desired.
Book 62. Trials of B
& C Class Japanese Criminals,
(Courtesy National Archives,
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