본문 바로가기
  • Home

Effects of the Tokyo Trial on the Peace Awareness of Postwar Japanese People

  • Journal of Japanese Culture
  • 2018, (76), pp.47-65
  • DOI : 10.21481/jbunka..76.201802.47
  • Publisher : The Japanese Culture Association Of Korea (Jcak)
  • Research Area : Humanities > Japanese Language and Literature
  • Received : January 10, 2018
  • Accepted : February 5, 2018
  • Published : February 28, 2018

KANG KYUNGJA 1

1고려대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study aims to examine the effects of the Tokyo Trial on the peace awareness of postwar Japanese people. By investigating the arguments of the Tokyo Trial defendants and their lawyers in court, the attitudes of the media towards the Tokyo Trial, and postwar public opinion polls, this study demonstrates the impacts of the Tokyo Trial on Japanese society and public awareness. All the testimonies of the defendants and the claims of the defense attorneys denied the war responsibilities of the war criminals, the Japanese emperor, and the nation. Additionally, the defendants and the defense attorneys questioned the validity of the Trial, justifying Japan’s aggressive war as self-defense war. Moreover, the media at the time shifted the war responsibilities only to some warlords, exonerating the Japanese emperor, political leaders, and citizens. Thus, the Japanese people perceived themselves as victims of warlords, and the negative image of the Trial made them feel that they were victims of a lost war. The opinion polls reveal that signs of repentance about the Japanese invasion and a sense of guilt towards Asian countries was absent in the Japanese public attitude. Rather, the victimhood of a lost war resulting from the Trial was detrimental to postwar Japan’s peace awareness and accelerated the rightward shift. Critical studies and discussions of the Tokyo Trial are required in order for Japanese people to recognize the aggressive war crimes perpetrated by their country and establish peace awareness.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.