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War criminals in the Post-war world: The case of Kato Tetsutar

Wilson, S. (2015) War criminals in the Post-war world: The case of Kato Tetsutar. War in History, 22 (1). pp. 87-110.

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Katō Tetsutarō was a suspected Japanese war criminal tried by US military commissions in Yokohama after the Second World War. He was convicted of murdering an escaped American prisoner of war, and was originally sentenced to death. In a highly unusual move, however, the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers in Japan, General Douglas MacArthur, ordered a retrial, in which Katō received a sentence of 30 years. He was ultimately released in March 1958. Katō’s case provides an especially effective illustration of the tension in Allied thinking about war crimes trials between a desire for justice or vengeance, on the one hand, and recognition of the political pressures of the Cold War on the other, and of the varied forms this tension took as prosecutions progressed.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Arts
Publisher: Sage Publications
Copyright: © 2015 by SAGE Publications
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