The Tokyo Trial

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The Tokyo Trials, also referred to as the International  Military Tribunal for the Far East, were the trials held to prosecute leaders of the Empire of Japan for crimes committed during World War II in the Pacific theater, following similar prosecution of Nazi leaders in the Nuremberg Trials. Japanese leaders were tried with Class ‘A’ charges, such as crimes against peace, because they led and directed the war.

This committee will consist of prosecutors arguing to convict the Japanese leaders of the charges they choose to bring against them, and a defense team representing the leaders on trial. The prosecution team consists of lawyers from the Allied powers and the defense consists of Japanese and American lawyers. This committee will be a joint crisis committee that will culminate in a trial wherein both sides of the committee meet to argue their respective positions. The prosecution will work as a team to decide who they would like to prosecute, what charges they will bring against the defendants, and what evidence they will use to argue the case. A special issue for the prosecution will be the body’s decision whether or not to press charges against Emperor Hirohito. Decisions on the aforementioned topics will be decided through the passing of directives to signify the prosecution’s decision. The defense will focus on the best arguments against the specific charges and evidence the prosecution may put forward. The defense team will debate topics such as the vagueness of possible charges and the validity of “victor’s justice.”

Prior knowledge of mock trial procedure is not necessary for this committee, our team asks that you participate to the best of your ability and are willing to be flexible. We will provide as many resources as possible to guide you through this committee, points of inquiry for clarification are always welcome. The trial will be run in an ad-hoc format so that the merits of the argument are the focus, not the correctness of procedure. During the trial the Chair, Vice-Chair, and other crisis staffers will serve as judges. Crisis staffers will be the defendants on trial, and the defense team may consult with them.

Background Guide: Tokyo-Trial-BG

Here are some additional resources to consult:

http://www.historynet.com/japanese-war-crime-trials.htm

https://academic.oup.com/ejil/article/21/4/1085/418156

https://apjjf.org/-Herbert-P.-Bix/2741/article.html

 

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