What About Germany and Japan Was Deemed to Be “Guilty”?
An Analysis of the Starting Point

Germany and Japan get compared often, but what did the two nations do, and what crimes were they found to be “guilty” of? Let us look at the Nuremberg Trial and the Tokyo Trial that judged the leaders of the two nations after the war.


The Victorious Nation One-sidedly Judged the Losing Nation

At the Nuremberg and Tokyo Trials, the victorious nations, especially the USA, judged the leaders of Germany and Japan, the losing nations. But it was a trial fraught with problems, such as ignoring the objections of the losing nations. Another problem was that they were judged with ex post facto law. Ex post facto law refers to laws that are made to incriminate acts that were not crimes at the time they occurred, and are not recognized by Constitutional states.

Crime against humanity and crime against peace were created as ex post facto laws at the Nuremberg and Tokyo Trials. In these trials, the accused were judged for war crimes such as prisoner abuse.


What is a crime against peace?

A crime against peace is defined: “To plan, prepare, start and carry out a war of aggression through conspiracy.” A conspiracy is when more than two people agree to carry out an illegal act together.


What is a crime against humanity?

This is defined as follows: “When a state institutionally tries to exterminate in mass, and strategically, citizens or certain ethnic groups or races.”


“Crimes” of Germany and Japan Judged by Victorious Nations

Germany Japan

Nuremberg Trial

Nazi officers were tried. 24 defendants (2 were not heard due to illness).

Tokyo Trial

Leaders of the Japanese army were tried. 28 defendants (3 were not heard due to death, etc.)

Usual war crimes



Crimes against peace


This crime was not focused on much, compared to “crimes against humanity”.


However nobody was sentenced to death for this crime alone. Those convicted of this crime were called class A war criminals.

Crimes against humanity


The Holocaust against Jews was institutionally and strategically carried out. “Crimes against humanity” was created to judge this.


A holocaust similar to that perpetrated by the Nazis never occurred, and nobody was convicted of crimes against humanity.


Conclusion: It cannot be properly called a trial!

Germany’s trial was focused on “crimes against humanity”. On the other hand, Japan was tried for usual war crimes. Of course, the “Jewish massacre” by the Nazis was not something that could be forgiven. However, the Nuremberg Trial and the Tokyo Trial were judged one-sidedly by the victorious nations towards the losing nations using such things as post de facto law, and they could not be properly called fair trials.

What About Germany and Japan Was Deemed to Be “Guilty”?
Copyright © IRH Press Co.Ltd. All Right Reserved.