Calumny and Miscarriage of Justice: The Tokyo Trial Never Proved “Nanking Massacre” Really Happened Yet Hung General Matsui for Negligence with Divided Verdicts

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Those “Mountain of Evidence” Have Never Substantiated

Even Pulitzer Prize winner, John W. Dower (2000, Embracing the Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War 2) speaks of “Nanking Massacre” in his book as if it was a cold fact and seems to have never doubted if the massacre really happened.

People think “Nanking Massacre” has completely been proved by “a mountain of hard evidence” such as:

●Testimonies of victims and eyewitnesses
●Video footage and photographs
●Confessions of the “perpetrators”; soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army
●The Tokyo trial with testimonies of victims and eyewitnesses

For 70 years since the Second World War ended, Japan has been falsely accused by people who believe that these so-called “hard evidence” are all truly valid.

A few people, who have realised that those have never been substantiated at all, speak up for Japan and often meet furious criticisms.
They are always branded as “unremorseful, right-wing revisionist”.

Those critiques believe they are on the side of justice (and very often think they are intelligently superior, too) determined not to listen to those “stupid right-wingers”.

But, they must know, since nobody has ever proved “Nanking Massacre” really happened, they need to prove it showing solid, verified evidence before accusing Japanese grandfathers of unlawful killings outside of the battle, rape, arson and theft as war crimes.

The Soldiers of the Japanese Imperial Army Were Folsely Accused

The burden of proof rests on the party who advances a proposition affirmatively (“actori incumbit onus probandi”).

If one accuses people of doing wrong, they have to prove that the suspected indeed have done the said wrongdoing with objective, substantiated evidence.

If they cannot do that, it means that makes the suspected either presumed innocent or falsely accused.
If the accuser knowingly smears someone, it will be calumny.

Calumny: The making of false and defamatory statements about someone in order to damage their reputation

Those are basic principle of laws. It is common sense.

Tokyo Trial Shamelessly Ignored Defense Counsel’s Challenge

In the Tokyo trial, however, that was completely ignored.
The prosecutors and judges treated the “Nanking Massacre” as if it was already a fact that was completely verified and when it was challenged by the Defense Counsel, they simply swept it aside.

The 29th of August, 1946 was one of the days the prosecutors of the Tokyo trial gave evidence on the “Nanking Incident”.
The Defense Counsel Levin says to the president of the court:

MR. LEVIN: Mr. Brooks calls [sic] my attention to the fact that in another portion of the affidavit is contained the statement that 300,000 were killed in Nanking, and as I understand it the total population of Nanking is only 200,000.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, you may have evidence of that, but you cannot get it in at this stage.

(p.4,551, ”International Military Tribunal for the Far East; R. John Pritchard. The Tokyo major war crimes trial: the transcripts of the court proceedings of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East”)

The schedule of the procedure in the Tokyo trial was designed to have been a huge disadvantage to the Defendants.
All Prosecutors’ case was presented consecutively taking 192 days, (finished on 24 January 1947), before the defendants’ case started to be presented.

Here, there is a fact that most of the people of the world do not know:
GHQ, the US occupation army authority, put whole Japan under their censorship during the 7 year occupation.

When the Tokyo trial started on 3 May 1946, all Japanese media was already under the tightest censorship and could say nothing against the will of GHQ.
As the Prosecutor of the Tokyo Trial “revealed” those “war crimes” of the Imperial Japanese Army that were “hidden from the Japanese national by the evil leaders of wartime Japan”, the puppet newspapers and NHK, the Nippon Hoso Kyokai (Japanese broadcasting Association) report them as if they were “shocking facts”.

Naturally, Japanese people were appalled by hearing of those war crimes the IJA alleged to have committed in the war.
By the time the Defense Cases on “Nanking Massacre” started to be heard on 5 May 1947, people’s head had already been saturated by those “atrocities that the IJA committed” that all Japanese own media, their authority, reported.

The Prosecutors’ “evidence” for the “Nanking Incident” was started to be presented on 25 July 1946.
Along with some Chinese witnesses, foreign members of the International Committee of the Nanking Safety Zone, Robert O. Wilson, Miner S. Bates, Lewis S.C. Smythe and Reverend John Magee gave “evidence” as the prosecutor’s witnesses.

It seems that the president of the tribunal, Sir William Webb, kept insisting that those were the “evidences”, not the “affidavit”. (P.2529, Ibid)

Affidavit: A good way to think of an affidavit is as a sort of written court testimony. Where, in a court of law, you’d have to place your hand on a Bible and swear that you’re telling the truth and nothing but the truth, on an affidavit, you simply do this in writing. You’re under oath, but you’re on paper.


It looks like that the President Judge Webb did not want people’s attention to the fact that those pieces of “evidence” were not made under oath.

Also, the defendants’ counsels kept entering objection to their testimony as they were all hearsay, but “the objection to hearsay [had] been overruled repeatedly” by the president of the court. (p. 2,535, Ibid)

Foreigners of Nanking Saw No Illegal Killings by Themselves

On Thursday 15 August 1946, just after he was introduced to the court, Reverend John G Magee was asked by the prosecutor Mr. Sutton:
“What was the action of the Japanese soldiers toward the civilian Chinese men after they had possession of the city of Nanking on December 13, 1937?”

Rev. Magee answered:

“It was unbelievably terrible. The killing began immediately in several ways, often by individual Japanese soldiers or, up to thirty soldiers together going about, […] and then, soon, there was organized killing of great bodies of men. Soon there were bodies of men lying everywhere, and I passed columns of men being taken out to be killed. Those people were being killed by rifle fire and machine gun principally.

(p. 3,894, Ibid)

The manner of Rev. Magee delivering his testimony was that as if he had seen those “atrocities” of the IJA with his own eyes, but it was not the case.

On the second day of his testimony, after citing 400 strong cases of the IJA’s “atrocities” from the Documents of the Nanking Safety Zone, Rev. Magee was asked by Captain Brooks, the Defense Counsel:

“Now, how many of these acts of murder did you personally witness, Mr. Magee … approximately?”

And he answered:

“I thought I made that clear in my testimony.
I only personally witnessed the killing of one man.”

Capt. Brooks asked the same question about rape and Rev. Magee answered:

I told in my testimony of one man I saw actually in the act of rape.”
“[…] the other two men were on the bed with the girl and ran off, and their father said they raped her before we got there.”

(p.3,929, Ibid)

Rev. Magee said that he saw only one killing and one rape act. (The two other “rape” cases were hearsay.)

Rev. Magee actually wrote about this killing he personally “witnessed” in his diary on 19 December 1937:

“Just day before yesterday we saw poor wretch killed very near the house where we are living. So many of Chinese are timid and when challenged foolishly start to run. This is what happened to that man. The actual killing we did not see as it took place just around the corner of a bamboo fence from where we could see.”

(p.171, Eyewitnesses to Massacre; American Missionaries Bear Witness to Japanese Atrocities in Nanjing, edited by Zhang Kaiyuan)

The Chinese Soldiers Breached International Law

The Japanese Army first entered the city of Nanking and captured it on 13 December 1937.
Then, tens of thousands of Chinese soldiers ran into the Safety Zone disguising themselves as civilians, involving flagrant breach of the international law, namely 1907 Hague Convention, the Imperial Japanese Army had to run a mopping-up operation to capture those deserters/plain-clothe guerrillas.

The operation lasted several days until the day of the ceremonial entrance of the Imperial Japanese Army lead by General Matsui Iwane, the Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese Central China Area Army, and Prince Asaka, the Commander-in-Chief of the Shanghai Expeditionary Army.

This killing of a man witnessed by Rev. Magee happened on the day of the entrance ceremony.
Obviously, as Rev. Magee writes, however sad situation it was for that poor man, it was not illegal killing.

Then, what about other members of the International Committee of the Nanking Safety Zone? Did they personally witness those “murders”?

According to the Documents of the Nanking Safety Zone, they themselves witnessed only one killing; case number 185:

“On the morning of January 9, Mr. Kroeger and Mr. Hatz saw a Japanese officer and soldier executing a poor man in civilian clothes in a pond inside the Safety Zone on Shansi Road, just east of the Sino-British Boxer Indemnity Building.
The man was standing in the pond up to his waist in water on which the ice was broken and was wobbling around when Mr. Kroeger and Hatz arrived.
The officer gave an order and the soldier lay down behind a sandbag and fired a rifle at the man and hit him in one shoulder. He fired again and missed the man. The third shot killed him. (Kroeger, Hatz)

Note: We have no right to protest about legitimate executions by the Japanese army, but this certainly was carried out in an inefficient and brutal way. Furthermore, it brings up a matter we have mentioned many times in private conversation with the Japanese Embassy men: this killing of people in ponds within the Zone has spoiled and thereby seriously curtailed the reserve water supply for the people in the Zone. This is very serious in this long dry spell and with the city water coming so slowly.”

(p.78, “Documents on the Rape of Nanking” edited by Timothy Brook)

Again, only killing they saw themselves was a legitimate execution of a plain-clothe guerrilla for which they admitted that they could not protest about it to the IJA.
They actually worried about water supply rather than killings themselves.

And they knew two things:

1. The IJA was doing mopping-up operation and the Chinese “people” in civilian clothes the IJA was after were all ex-soldiers.
2. It was the Japanese Army who was restoring the infrastructures of the city of Nanking.

As we have seen, in the Tokyo trial:

*All Prosecutor exhibits that were never made under oath were treated as good “evidence”
*All hearsay evidence were accepted
*Most of the exhibits the Defense Counsels tried to present to the court were summarily dismissed
*No perjury was taken from the Prosecutor side

Perjury, also known as forswearing, is the intentional act of swearing a false oath or of falsifying an affirmation to tell the truth, whether spoken or in writing, concerning matters material to an official proceeding. Contrary to popular misconception, no crime has occurred when a false statement is (intentionally or unintentionally) made while under oath or subject to penalty—instead, criminal culpability only attaches at the instant the declarant falsely asserts the truth of statements (made or to be made) which are material to the outcome of the proceeding. […]
Perjury is considered a serious offence as it can be used to usurp the power of the courts, resulting in miscarriages of justice


Tokyo Trial Found Gen. Matsui Innocent on Ordering and Authorising of “Nanking Massacre”

General Matsui Iwane was hung on the count 55 – Disregard of duty to secure observance of and prevent breaches of Laws of War, while he was acquitted on the count 54 – Ordering, authorising or permitting atrocities.

It means that the Tokyo Trial never found evidence that shows a plan or an order for killing of innocent Chinese civilians of Nanking.

But, as we already saw, that the so-called “Nanking Massacre” really happened or not was not even questioned by either the prosecutors or the judges of the Tokyo trial.

The Tokyo trial’s objective was to show the Japanese national and people of the world that “Japan was evil but the Justice of the noble Allied powers prevailed.”
It was never to pursue the truth of history.

The Article 11 of the Peace Treaty with Japan, a.k.a. San Francisco Peace Treaty, signed by 48 countries in September 1951, demanded Japan to keep their so-called “war criminals” of Japan in prison until the Allied powers allow Japan to release them.

Article 11

Japan accepts the judgments of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East and of other Allied War Crimes Courts both within and outside Japan, and will carry out the sentences imposed thereby upon Japanese nationals imprisoned in Japan. The power to grant clemency, to reduce sentences and to parole with respect to such prisoners may not be exercised except on the decision of the Government or Governments which imposed the sentence in each instance, and on recommendation of Japan. In the case of persons sentenced by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, such power may not be exercised except on the decision of a majority of the Governments represented on the Tribunal, and on the recommendation of Japan.

There Never Were “A-Class War Criminals”

In accordance with this demand, in 1952, with 40 millions of Japanese nationals’ signed petition (that was a half of the whole population of Japan at that time!) , the Diet of Japan decided that those “war criminals” executed at the end of the Tokyo trial as “killed in the war”, and the others that were still kept in prison were released after Japan obtained consent of the 11 countries that sent judges to the Tokyo Trial and other tribunals.

Sadly, this very salient fact was not kept being handed down.
As the result, now, many of the Japanese still think Japan was the “aggressor” and are ashamed of that their fathers and grandfathers were “savage murderers and rapists” in the war.
We Japanese all have felt like ex-convict for 70 years now.
When on Earth are we going to be “exonerated”?