Japanese war crimes were not fully punished

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Kim Sung
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Japanese war crimes were not fully punished

Post by Kim Sung » 07 Mar 2008 13:58

Sewer King wrote:The book Researching Japanese War Crimes: Introductory Essays (US National Archives, 2006) is here available for download. It seems to be a thorough, readable, and masterful guide to its title subject.

Thanks for the excellent link. It's a well-written, balanced article on Japanese war crimes.

According to pages 156~157 of the above article, the Japanese military burned many documents and evidences related to their war crimes, which made it difficult to prove and prosecute Japanese war crimes after the war. The Japanese military had time enough to hide their war crimes while the Germans were incessantly pushed by the rapidly advancing allies in the later stages of the war. With the US authorities' application of the double standard to Japanese and German war crimes, it is one of the reasons why Japanese war crimes were not fully punished compared to German war crimes.

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Re: Japanese War Crimes

Post by Penn44 » 08 Mar 2008 00:34

Kim Sung wrote:With the US authorities' application of the double standard to Japanese and German war crimes, it is one of the reasons why Japanese war crimes were not fully punished compared to German war crimes.


Can you first explain what you mean by your claim of a "double standard," and then explain and offer evidence to support your claim that Japanese war crimes were not fully punished compared to German war crimes?

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Peter H
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Re: Japanese war crimes were not fully punished

Post by Peter H » 08 Mar 2008 12:23

A comparasion of death sentences for War Crimes:

Germany
http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/61 ... girls.html

In total, 5,025 men and women were convicted of war crimes between 1945 and 1949 in the American, British and French zones, by Allied War Crimes Tribunals. Many of the staff from the concentration camps were arrested and tried for murder and acts of brutality against their prisoners. Over 500 of these were sentenced to death and the majority executed, at least 21 of these were female.


Soviet,Polish,Czech figures not included would probably double this figure?


Japan
According to Drea around 991 Japanese were executed for war crimes by the Allies.Around another 20,000 were imprisoned,(3,000 Class A,B,C and 17,000 Class D).

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Re: Japanese war crimes were not fully punished

Post by Kim Sung » 08 Mar 2008 14:53

Peter H wrote:Soviet,Polish,Czech figures not included would probably double this figure?


http://www.holocaust.com.au/lb/ontrial.htm

Afterwards, the Allied occupation authorities continued to try Nazis. In total, 5025 Nazi criminals were convicted between 1945-1949 in the American, British and French zones, as well as a number who were tried in the Soviet zone. The United Nations War Crimes Commission also prepared lists of war criminals who were later tried in Allied countries and countries which had been under Nazi occupation. Polish tribunals, for example, tried approximately 40 000 Nazi war criminals.


Let's keep in mind that most of German war crimes were committed in Eastern Europe.

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Re: Japanese war crimes were not fully punished

Post by Kim Sung » 08 Mar 2008 15:10

More on the following links

By early 1947, 90,000 Nazis were being held in concentration camps, another 1,900,000 were forbidden to work as anything but manual labourers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De-Nazification

The Allies did not seek merely to punish the leadership of the National Socialist regime, but to purge all elements of national socialism from public life. One phase of the denazification process dealt with lower-level personnel connected with the Nazi regime. Their pasts were reviewed to determine if the parts they had played in the regime were sufficiently grievous to warrant their exclusion from roles in a new Germany's politics or government. Germans with experience in government and not involved in the Nazi regime were needed to cooperate with occupation authorities in the administration of the zones.

http://www.germanculture.com.ua/library ... denazi.htm

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Re: Japanese war crimes were not fully punished

Post by Peter H » 08 Mar 2008 15:41

The Soviet definition of what was a war crime needs to be established.Many of the Germans held until 1956 were convicted of "crimes" like destroying Soviet public property,economic vandalism etc.Others saw this as a byproduct of armed conflict.If someone in retreat issued an order to rip up a rail line he could be convicted of such a crime.

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Re: Japanese war crimes were not fully punished

Post by Peter H » 08 Mar 2008 15:49

Herbert Bix relates that Hirohito in theory could have been convicted of war crimes.The Japanese Emperor and much of his public service was spared this fate.Intentionally MacArthur relied on the "puppet" status of the Emperor to allow a smooth running of the Allied occupation of Japan.Otherwise one estimate is that US forces in Japan could have faced a werewolf type resistance(shades of Iraq) and an enormous increase in manning and expenditure required for the task.It should be mentioned that Allied & Soviet occupation forces in all of Germany numbered around 400,000 in 1949.In Japan the figure was under 80,000 men.

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Re: Japanese war crimes were not fully punished

Post by Kim Sung » 08 Mar 2008 16:48

Peter H wrote:Herbert Bix relates that Hirohito in theory could have been convicted of war crimes.The Japanese Emperor and much of his public service was spared this fate.Intentionally MacArthur relied on the "puppet" status of the Emperor to allow a smooth running of the Allied occupation of Japan.

Anyway, that was a double standard. If Hirohito had been convicted and, more desirably, the emperor system had been abolished at that time, right-wing movement and historical revisionism rampant in today's Japanese society could been curtailed to a considerable extent just as we see in today's German society.

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Re: Japanese war crimes were not fully punished

Post by Peter H » 09 Mar 2008 01:16

The short term Asian experience in war crime prosecutions and crimes against humanity seems mixed at best.I have seen no mass convictions or purges for what the Khmer Rouge did in Cambodia,the slaughter in Bangladesh in 1971,nor for Chinese misdeeds during the Cultural Revolution,the atrocities in Tibet etc.No captured North Koreans were ever put before a court for war crimes between 1950-1953.Those that tortured McCann in Vietnam have never been brought to justice.Mao himself was quiet willing to forgive Japanese atrocities in China for the economic aid from Japan that followed from the 1960s.In an ideal world all such crimes would be followed up and convictions enforced.Victor's justice could at least had been enforced in the first two examples.

I wouldn't call "Right-wing movement and historical revisionism rampant in today's Japanese society",they only get the better press as their extreme views generate controversy.

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Re: Japanese war crimes were not fully punished

Post by Kim Sung » 09 Mar 2008 02:30

Peter H wrote:The short term Asian experience in war crime prosecutions and crimes against humanity seems mixed at best.I have seen no mass convictions or purges for what the Khmer Rouge did in Cambodia,the slaughter in Bangladesh in 1971,nor for Chinese misdeeds during the Cultural Revolution,the atrocities in Tibet etc.No captured North Koreans were ever put before a court for war crimes between 1950-1953.Those that tortured McCann in Vietnam have never been brought to justice.Mao himself was quiet willing to forgive Japanese atrocities in China for the economic aid from Japan that followed from the 1960s.In an ideal world all such crimes would be followed up and convictions enforced.Victor's justice could at least had been enforced in the first two examples.

I don't think the above examples were as massive and large-scale war crimes as Japanese ones committed in 1930s~1940s. The examples of the Khmer Rouge, the Bangladesh slaughter, the Chinese Cultural Revolution, the Korean War atrocities were basically domestic matters which have been partly solved and will get right political evaluations by their own hands in the future. And I'm critical of Chinese domestic human rights violations, too. What I point out is that so-called victor's justice was not applied to Germany and Japan equally and coherently, which made a considerable psychological gap in two countries' attitudes of their war crimes.


Peter H wrote:I wouldn't call "Right-wing movement and historical revisionism rampant in today's Japanese society",they only get the better press as their extreme views generate controversy.

That's a moot point. Many scholars view recent Japanese right-wing movement as a more systematic and societal change combined with Japan's shrinking politico-economic status in East Asia.

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Re: Japanese war crimes were not fully punished

Post by Penn44 » 09 Mar 2008 03:44

The failure of the Western Allied efforts at denazification and war crimes trials has often been noted in histories of the Allied occupation of Germany and in histories of German re-integration with the West (e.g., re-militarization). German right-wing (and left-wing) revisionism is notorious. By and large, Nazi-era German elites returned to power after the war, and most were re-instated to lost jobs and re-imbursed for salaries lost during occupation.

One cannot say that the western Allies succeeded in punishing the Germans, but not the Japanese nor can one say that German society is open towards German war crimes, but Japanese society is not.

Extreme nationalism, be it right-wing or left-wing, and its impact on revisionism is a problem in the world. The South Korean "pardon" of South Korean war criminals is just one example of it.

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Re: Japanese war crimes were not fully punished

Post by Peter H » 09 Mar 2008 04:41

With the German experience the Allies had a clear target to crush and punish,the Nazi Party itself and a system that organised a mechanised killing apparatus that ran the camps and the killing squads in Eastern Europe.With Japan no systematic policy of genocide or mass killings was planned in advance comparable to the Nazis.However the militaristic clique that ran Japan were rascists and ruthless bastards that didn't care for nor controlled the unleashed fury of their soldiers.The Japanese ran amok not caring about the victims of their aggression nor world public opinion.I think its been estimated that over 10 million civilian victims of Japanese aggression resulted in Asia between 1931-1945.

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Re: Japanese war crimes were not fully punished

Post by Kim Sung » 09 Mar 2008 04:47

Penn44 wrote:Extreme nationalism, be it right-wing or left-wing, and its impact on revisionism is a problem in the world. The South Korean "pardon" of South Korean war criminals is just one example of it.

Complete nonsense. This forum doesn't exist to spread a totally untrue claim.

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Re: Japanese war crimes were not fully punished

Post by Kim Sung » 09 Mar 2008 05:04

German attitude on their past

Germany's response to its war crimes has been largely lauded by the former Allies. The Government of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany until 1990) offered official apologies for Germany's role in the Holocaust. Additionally, German leaders have continuously expressed repentance, most notably when former Chancellor Willy Brandt fell on his knees in front of a Holocaust memorial in the Warsaw Ghetto, also known as the Warschauer Kniefall in 1970. Germany has also paid extensive reparations, including nearly $70 billion to the state of Israel. It has given $15 billion to Holocaust survivors and will continue to compensate them until 2015. Additionally, the government of Germany coordinated an effort to reach a settlement with German companies that had used slave labor during the war; the companies will pay $1.7 billion to victims. Germany also established a National Holocaust Memorial Museum in Berlin for looted property.

Germany's treatment of war criminals and war crimes has also met with approval. Germany helped track down war criminals for the Nuremberg Trials and opened its wartime archives to researchers and investigators. Additionally, Germany verified over 60,000 names of war criminals for the U.S. Department of Justice to prevent them from entering the United States and provided similar information to Canada and the United Kingdom. On the other hand numerous war criminals were never brought to justice and lived their lives as respected citizens and even state officials, despite numerous pleas for their extradition or trial, stated by countries invaded by Germany. For instance, this was the case of Heinz Reinefarth and Erich von dem Bach, each of them responsible for death of dozens of thousands of civilians in Poland and the Soviet Union.

The German education system focuses on teaching about the Holocaust and the Third Reich and denounces the crimes committed during World War II. Additionally, German legislation outlaws Nazi works like Mein Kampf and makes Holocaust denial a criminal offence. Furthermore, even other symbols of Nazism, like the Swastika and so-called "Hitler Salute", are illegal in Germany.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_war_crimes


Ever since I read a story recently about Germany’s near-obsession with public acknowledgment of the Holocaust, I’ve been thinking about what it takes for a nation to own its sins.

By “own,” I mean that first part of a process to which 12-steppers and many psychologists adhere. Until people take ownership of the wrong they’ve done, they have no real chance to break out of denial, make amends, heal and move forward.

Most religions incorporate this same kind of process in their faith practice as a key element of reconciling with God and community. There is acknowledgment or confession of sin, active atonement and a sincere, sustained effort to not repeat the wrong.

The task is difficult for an individual, whether in therapy or church. For a nation, history tells us, it’s almost impossible.

For the Germans, the notion of owning sins was of particular attention last week: The country marked the 75th anniversary of the Nazi’s official assumption of power. Nicholas Kulish of the New York Times reported from Berlin that “the building of monuments to the Nazi disgrace continues unabated” in Germany more than 60 years after the end of World War II.

Kulish quoted Avi Primor, a former Israeli ambassador to Germany, as saying, “Where in the world has one ever seen a nation that erects memorials to immortalize its own shame? Only the Germans had the bravery and humility.”

http://www.rushvillerepublican.com/stat ... 63057.html

I know there are also some minor unsolved issues in the German attitude on their war crimes. But the 'mainstream' German society is fully remorseful on their past. Economic and political Integration process of post-war Europe would have been inconceivable if the Germans had maintained a remorseless attitude on their past. In this point, the allies' denazification policy was successful although it was not 100% perfect. They didn't make such an effort on Japan as they made on Germany.

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Re: Japanese war crimes were not fully punished

Post by Penn44 » 09 Mar 2008 11:20

Kim Sung wrote:German attitude on their past

There is no one single "German attitude" towards the past. Social entities such as nations are complex, and your routine use of monolithic descriptions is inappropriate. German attitudes (in the plural) towards the past has been subject to change over the years (i.e., it is not a constant, but is historical) influenced as it was by numerous factors.

Kim Sung wrote:
Germany's response to its war crimes has been largely lauded by the former Allies.

You are quoting a Wikipedia article. Try reading any one of the standard works on the Allied occupation, German re-integration, German re-militarization, and you will clearly see that the Allied governments were no pleased with the overall German response to the war crimes issues. General Clay, US military governor and John McCoy, US High Commissioner were extremely dissatisfied with the majority German attitude towards war crimes and war criminals and the incessant efforts to free them. In particular, you should seek out the accounts of the desperate official and unofficial German efforts to rescue several of Einsatzkommando leaders from the hangman's noose.

Kim Sung wrote:The Government of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany until 1990) offered official apologies for Germany's role in the Holocaust. Additionally, German leaders have continuously expressed repentance, most notably when former Chancellor Willy Brandt fell on his knees in front of a Holocaust memorial in the Warsaw Ghetto, also known as the Warschauer Kniefall in 1970. Germany has also paid extensive reparations, including nearly $70 billion to the state of Israel. It has given $15 billion to Holocaust survivors and will continue to compensate them until 2015. Additionally, the government of Germany coordinated an effort to reach a settlement with German companies that had used slave labor during the war; the companies will pay $1.7 billion to victims. Germany also established a National Holocaust Memorial Museum in Berlin for looted property.


You need to review the historical-political context of the above events instead of blindly posting a Wikipedia article. According to historians like Jeffrey Herf, Bonn paid the Israelis the reparations more for international diplomatic reasons than for humanitarian reasons. Likewise, in the other instances, Germany paid the money to avoid worse consequences. In the late 1990s, I assisted a group of 75 US claimants who successfully filed a multimillion dollar reparations suit against Germany under the US-Germany Holocaust reparations agreement. Germany did not willingly pay the money; it was forced to do so to avoid sanctions against German companies operating in the US.

Kim Sung wrote:On the other hand numerous war criminals were never brought to justice and lived their lives as respected citizens and even state officials, despite numerous pleas for their extradition or trial, stated by countries invaded by Germany. For instance, this was the case of Heinz Reinefarth and Erich von dem Bach, each of them responsible for death of dozens of thousands of civilians in Poland and the Soviet Union.

This is evidence of how Germany actually reacted to German war crimes.

Kim Sung wrote:
Ever since I read a story recently about Germany’s near-obsession with public acknowledgment of the Holocaust, I’ve been thinking about what it takes for a nation to own its sins.

The negative reaction of many in Germany to the Wehrmacht war crimes exhibit and the Historikerstreit demonstrates that large sections of the German public has not fully accepted significant aspects of the Holocaust, and the role that many ordinary Germans played in it.

Kim Sung wrote:I know there are also some minor unsolved issues in the German attitude on their war crimes. But the 'mainstream' German society is fully remorseful on their past. Economic and political Integration process of post-war Europe would have been inconceivable if the Germans had maintained a remorseless attitude on their past. In this point, the allies' denazification policy was successful although it was not 100% perfect. They didn't make such an effort on Japan as they made on Germany.

Again, you should read the relevant histories of the Allied occupations and West German re-integration and not depend on Wikipedia articles to realize how false your simplistic assertions are.

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