Japan LDP to set up panel to review Tokyo war crimes verdicts

(From Asahi Shimbun)

Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic party said Wednesday that it’s creating a panel reporting directly to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to “examine” the verdicts handed down by the Tokyo war crimes trial as well as Allied occupation policies in the aftermath of World War II.

Former Japanese PM Hideki Tojo (c) at the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal

Former Japanese PM Hideki Tojo (c) at the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal

The LDP said the panel would be set up the panel this month as part of moves to mark the 60th anniversary of the party’s founding.

The move follows comments made by Tomomi Inada, chairman of the LDP’s Policy Research Council. She said in June: “The perception of history on which the rulings of the tribunal were based were way too poorly constructed. We are in need of an examination by the Japanese.”

The panel will reportedly take a “fresh look” at the verdicts given by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, a series of trials the Allied nations held between 1946 and 1948 to judge the war crimes of Imperial Japan, from the First Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895) to World War II.

The group also intends to review the policies of the General Headquarters of the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (GHQ) headed by Gen. Douglas MacArthur. The US-led occupation lasted from 1945 until 1952, when the San Francisco Peace Treaty went into effect.

It will be headed by LDP Secretary-General Sadakazu Tanigaki, a relatively moderate party member. Asahi says Tanigaki’s appointment was intended to blunt protests from China and South Korea, which have criticized what they call Japan’s revisionist stance toward its role in World War II and its behavior as an imperial power in Asia.

Because of the issue’s sensitivity, Japanese news reports say the panel will function as a study group — meaning that it will not draw any conclusions.

Twenty-five Japanese Class-A war criminals tried by the tribunal were convicted of crimes against peace. Seven of them, including wartime Prime Minister Hideki Tojo (1884-1948), received death sentences and were hanged.

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