Brackman, Arnold C. The Other Nuremberg: The Untold Story of the Tokyo War Crimes Trials.
New York: Morrow, 1987.
There were a few Nazis killed at Nuremberg but the punishments meted there were few in
number and not severe at all. Well, the story is the same at the Tokyo trials. In all, there were
seven of the Tokyo prisoners who were executed. Of those sent to various terms of
imprisonment, all were freed by the mid-1950s. The Japanese high command in WWII got off
very lightly. The Emperor, Hirohito, was not brought to trial at all and the story was given out
that he had been only a figurehead in government, the military - particularly the army - was
calling all the shots. In fact, it was Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Allied Commander, who
saw to the safety of the Emperor believing, as he did, that Hirohito's survival would bring
stability to Japan and he wanted a stable country.
I was particularly interested in the trial's views on the War Crimes in China committed in those
Factories of Death as described by Harris. Where was the testimony relevant to the brutish and
bestial behavior of those men in Unit 731? What was said about Ishii and the others?
Brackman reports that there was almost no mention of Bacterial or Chemical Warfare but, when
it did come up briefly, it was dropped by the prosecution. Brackman writes: "Like several other
observers at the trial I was puzzled and intrigued (by reports of BW and CW atrocities). As a
layman, I thought this was the sort of thing the IMTFE (International Military Tribunal Far East)
should concern itself with instead of the seemingly endless debates on technical aspects of the
law. But I did not follow up on the incident nor did I mention it in my United Press dispatch that
day. The reason was uncomplicated: I, like many other correspondents at the trial, was
overwhelmed by testimony. Within the transcript were mot than 1,001 tales, and it would require
a Scheherazade to tell them all." (P. 197) And this is pretty much all that gets mentioned about
the possibly millions of Chinese subjected to BW and CW in the years 1932-45.
It seems incredible that in the two-year trial in Tokyo, so little came up about Unit 731! It seems
equally bizarre that most of the time the lawyers quibbled about the law and the rights of the
accused, and the fact that "aggressive war" was not a crime. So-called scientific research and its
abuse of subjects in that research was not even a topic.
I know from other sources that the decision had been made not to prosecute the criminals of Unit
731 so that they would cooperate and provide their data on CW and BW to our researchers. That
unholy deal brought us nothing in return: the Japanese were far behind us in BW and CW
research. We got nothing and they got off. And the lawyers played their games and only seven