Delaney Tokyo Trial Papers

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The International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE), also known as the Tokyo Trials or the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal, was in session from April 29, 1946 to November 12, 1948. It was established to try Japanese military and government officials for crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, and war crimes during World War II. Twenty-eight defendants were charged with waging aggressive war, inhumane treatment of prisoners, and crimes against humanity. Judges for the Tribunal were sent from eleven allied countries: Australia, Canada, China, France, the United Kingdom, India, New Zealand, Holland, the Philippines, the Soviet Union, and the United States. Sir William Webb from Australia served as President of the Tribunal. American Joseph B. Keenan, a former assistant to the U.S. attorney general, was the chief prosecutor.

The legacy of the IMTFE (Tokyo), like the IMT (Nuremberg) before it, is important for the establishment of post-conflict justice as a norm of international law. Prior to the Second World War, defeated militaries and governments were at the mercy of victorious forces who may or may not have carried out severe forms of justice – often without adequate or tested facts upon which to base their judgments. The decision by Allied powers to prosecute Imperial Japanese and Nazi war leaders for their crimes against peace and humanity was a turning point in international law and the jurisprudence that emerged from those international tribunals gave birth of a new field of public law – international criminal law. That field, now 70 years old, is used today to prosecute similar defendants at tribunals in The Hague and around the world. Without the IMTFE and IMT, the groundwork for today’s justice against dictators, war leaders, and despots would not have been laid.

To assist those wanting to do further research on a specific item in the collection, the pages referencing the item from The Tokyo War Crimes Trial : Index and Guide volume 3, are included. The Index and Guide was annotated, compiled, and edited by R. John Pritchard and Sonia Magbanua Zaide and volume 3 includes a narrative summary of the proceedings.

This collection of papers from the Tribunal was originally owned by Thomas Ronald Delaney (Creighton Law '30) and came into his possession during his participation as part of the Tojo prosecution team during the International Military Tribunal of the Far East from 1947-1948. He donated the papers to the Creighton School of Law Library in August 1985.

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    Thomas Ronald Delaney Donation Note
    (1982) Delaney, Thomas Ronald
    T. Ronald Delaney's note about donating this collection of documents to the Creighton University Law Library.
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    Opening Statement (Defence Division V - USSR)
    (1947) International Military Tribunal of the Far East
    Opening statement for Division IV of the defense case, read by Aristides Lazarus to the Tribunal on May 16, 1947, concerning Japanese relations with the Soviet Union. It was presented in four sub-divisions: the Anti-Comintern Pact, the Changkufeng Incident of 1938, the Nomonhan Incident of 1939, and general Russian-Japanese relations from 1928-1945, including the Russo-Japanese Neutrality Pact of 1941 and Japanese military measures on the Asian mainland.
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    IPS Doc. #3288 -- Admiral Shimada Reports on War Conditions to the Throne Honoured With Gracious Imperial Message Approving His Merits Vice Admiral TAKAHASHI and others Also Proceeded to the Imperial Palace.
    (1947) International Military Tribunal of the Far East; Asahi shinbun (Tokyo-ban)
    Prosecution document received in evidence by the Tribunal as Exhibit No. 3560 during the defense case for SHIMADA, Shigetaro, on December 4, 1947, and was read on December 5, 1947. It is an article dated September 16, 1941, from the evening edition of the "Tokyo Asahi Shinbun." It stated that SHIMADA, former Commander-in-Chief of the Chinese area fleet, had triumphantly returned to Tokyo and reported to His Majesty concerning the Chinese coastal blockade operations, the Navy "eagles" bombing of Chungking and the hinterlands of China, the occupation of French Indo-China, the morale of the officers and men in the front, and other matters. Certified by Sakamoto, Izumi on November 17, 1947.
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    Def. Doc. #2923 -- Synopsis of Pressure upon Japan by America, England, China and Holland Since July '40 until the outbreak of the War
    (1947) International Military Tribunal of the Far East
    Defense document for TOJO, Hideki, Prime Minister of Japan, presented to the Tribunal as Exhibit No. 3660 during the reading of TOJO's affidavit on December 29, 1947. It is a brief compiled by the Japanese Foreign Ministry & the Information Section of the Army & Navy Departments of the Imperial General Headquarters. Certified by Miyama, Yozo on December 9, 1947. Translation from Japanese to English by the Defense Language Branch.
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    Def. Doc. #2946 -- Certificate concerning non-availability of "Principles of Executing the National Policies of the Empire"
    (1947) International Military Tribunal of the Far East
    Defense document for TOJO, Hideki, Prime Minister of Japan, presented to the Tribunal as Exhibit No. 3661 during the reading of TOJO's affidavit on December 29, 1947. The certificate attests that the document "Principles of Executing the National Policies of the Empire" containing the decisions of the council in the Imperial presence, held on November 5, 1941, is not at present in the custody of the First Demobilization Bureau. Certified by Miyama, Yozo on December 15, 1947.