Pacific Theater

 

Document Archive

The Center houses over 1 million microfilmed pages of records of WWII era trials of Japanese war criminals. These national-level trials of Japanese were held by several different countries, including the U.S., China, Britain and Australia; and in many different locations, including Japan, Singapore, the Philippines, and China. The Center also houses records of U.S. Navy Trials and Australian Trials. Information on these records is not online at this time, but the microfilm reels are available for research use. Please contact the Center for access to microfilm reels.

The trials of Japanese were held by several different countries, including the U.S., China, Britain and Australia; and in many different locations, including Japan, Singapore, the Philippines, and China. The Center’s goal is to examine this massive amount of information, and provide navigation guides, as well as detailed analyses of key cases to make the documents from these fascinating cases more widely available to the public. This has been a large-scale undertaking in data management, and some of the case listings and trial synopses are available on this website.

Current Projects

United States

U.S. Army Trials of Japanese War Criminals Conducted in Yokohama, Japan

The trial records of Japanese War Criminals Tried at Yokohama, Japan, between 1946 and 1949 (found and copied from the U.S. National Archives) is one of the largest groups housed at the Center.

The group is broken up into 2 sets: 59 microfilm reels of The records of Trials and Clemency Petitions for Accused Japanese War Criminals Tried at Yokohama, Japan (1946-1948); and 5 microfilm reels of Reviews of the Yokohama Class B and C war crimes Trials by the 8th Army judge Advocate (1946-1949).

A complete index of trials, as well as summaries of reviews are available:

  • Index of trials: 190 trials listed with date, location, and defendants in MS Word format.
  • Detailed Information: Summary of 160 JAG Reviews of Yokohama trials listen by primary defendant, including specifications, verdict, defense and prosecution arguments and JAG recommendation.
Japan

Researchers are currently working with the National Archives of Japan in Tokyo to locate and reproduce trial records of Japanese war criminals after WWII. An online database with searchable details of trials is currently being created.

Singapore

The Center is collaborating with a variety of individuals and institutions in Singapore on an ambitious project focusing on the war crimes trials held there in the aftermath of WWII. This project includes documentation, an oral history of the trials, doctoral research, publication of trial records, and a conference and public exhibition. Our partners include the National University of Singapore (ProfessorsTan Tay Yeong and Kwa Chong Guan), The National Heritage Board (Professor Kevin Tan and Lily Tan), and the National Archives of Singapore.

The Center currently holds records of 45 war crimes trials prosecuted by the British, which took place in Singapore in the aftermath of WWII. TheseTrials involved atrocities which took place in Japanese Occupied areas of South East Asia and Asia during World War II, including: New Britain, the Andaman Islands, Thailand (Siam), Burma, and Singapore.

The number of accused tried in each trial ranges from 1 to 43. Most atrocities were against Prisoners of War of various nationalities, mostly British, Dutch and Australian. In some trials, the atrocities were against civilians of the area where the crime took place.

Details from all 45 of these trials are available:

  • Index of Trials: 45 trials listed with defendants, victims, crime scene and summary of charges listed in MS Word format.
  • Details of Trials: Summary of each case including findings, sentences, charges, facts relating to charges, arguments raised by prosecution and defense.
Australia

In collaboration with the Australian National Archives and our partner center at the University of Marburg, we have digitzed all of the case files and many other documents from the Australian War Crimes Program (1945-1951). These will be available online in the near future.

Special Publications:

The Australian War Crimes Trials and Investigations (1942-51) by D.C.S. Sissons

England

In collaboration with the English National Archives (PRO) and our partner center at the University of Marburg, we are completing the digitization of all of the more than three hundred British trials involving Japanese accused of warcrimes.

China

The records of the several hundred Chinese nationalist trials involving Japanese defendents are still sealed in the archives of the People’s Republic of China. Our ongoing acquisition program has succeeded in acquiring a substantial amount of trial records from other archival sources in Japan, Taiwan, and the United States.

We have now over two hundred judgments from the Nanjing, Paoting, and Shanghai tribunals. We are still in the process of acquiring more judgments in the hope of digitizing them in the future. Also, the center contains several lists of the Japanese war criminals, which include information on the trials against them. This summer, the center also has acquired documents from the National Archives of the United Kingdom on the United Nations War Crimes Commission Far Eastern and Pacific Sub-Commission, to which the Chinese nationalists participated and submitted reports on the progress of their trials.