Re-evaluation of Iwane Matsui’s War Guilt—Verifications of One of the Testimonies on the Nanjing Massacre Given by the Defendants at the Tokyo War Crimes Trials

  • Zhaoqi ChengEmail author


In the Tokyo Trial, Iwane Matsui was sentenced to be hanged, the severest punishment, which, however, was not for the relevant actions included in “crimes against peace” as the prosecutor charged him, but for his negative “inaction” included in conventional war crimes. And thus followed the issue of negative responsibility and maximum punishment and the issue of the responsibility of Class A war criminals, of which the latter one is particularly significant. Through comparing and reviewing the testimonies for the defense and their own records at the time of the incident, it is argued the negative image of Iwane Matsu, which had affected the exempted responsibility judgment, was purposely fabricated for the defense and that the Tokyo Trial made the improper exempted responsibility judgment without sufficient evidence, but that it was indeed appropriate to list Iwane Matsui as the Class A war criminal, without any “injustice” at all.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Shanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiChina

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