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The Tokyo War Crimes Trials 1946-1948

The Tokyo War Crimes Trials 1946-1948

New Zealand - the Macmillan Brown Library, University of Canterbury


The collection of documents on the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE) held by the Macmillan Brown Library, University of Canterbury, is one of the most complete and unique sets of original documents from the Tribunal. The documents were presented to the University of Canterbury in January 1949 by Justice Erima Harvey Northcroft, the New Zealand member of the IMTFE. Since that time, as other original copies of the material have dwindled, disintegrated or been lost, the value of the collection has increased.

The IMTFE is also known as the Tokyo War Crimes Trial (29th April 1946 to 12th November 1948) and was one of the most important trials of the 20th century. The collection contains almost 380 volumes and nearly 110,000 pages. The effects of the tribunal in the areas of international law, social justice, military and social history are significant and are being felt to this day.

The documents contain evidence on virtually any topic regarding Asia in the first half of the 20th century, particularly the growth of Japanese imperialism. They cover critical social, political and military developments both within Japan and across the Asia-Pacific region. The collection has a focus on individuals in command of Japanese forces during World War II. The experiences of many Asia-Pacific nations under Japanese control during World War II are detailed along with the individual experiences of soldiers and civilians. The collection was inscribed on the Asia-Pacific Memory of the World Register in 2010.




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