Originally posted on The Mad Monarchist.
Even today, the trial and conviction of Japanese war criminals remains a controversial topic. There are those in Japan who deny that any significant war crimes were committed by Japanese officials or military personnel as well as others who take the view that some war crimes may have been committed but that these were certainly no worse than those committed by the Allied powers and thus should be dismissed. On the other side, these efforts to deny or diminish to some degree the guilt of Japanese war criminals is the cause of anger and mistrust by people in other countries around the world, particularly victims advocacy groups and certain governments. Speaking for myself alone, I have never been very enthusiastic about the idea of “war criminals” in general. Accusations that the post-war Allied war crimes trials were examples of “victor’s justice” are hard to refute because each were a case of the winner passing judgment on the loser. It would seem very difficult to me for such justice to be truly blind and impartial. There is also the fact that such trials are held in the aftermath of a war when most people are far from being dispassionate and are eager to punish someone, even if the ones who are truly the most guilty are not around to bring to trial at all.
Second Philippine Republic
In dealing with the Empire of Japan, while I am not familiar with the details of every case, there certainly were numerous individuals who were convicted of war crimes unjustly. No doubt there were others who were truly guilty. Yet, there are also examples of men who were guilty of heinous war crimes who were never tried, convicted or punished alongside those innocent men who punished unjustly for the crimes of others. It demonstrates how, in the chaos of the aftermath of an immense conflict, how true justice, evenly applied, is extremely difficult to…