This day in history, January 19, 1946, General Douglas MacArthur established the International Military Tribunal for the Far East in Tokyo to try Japanese war criminals.
The International Military Tribunal for the Far East, also known as the Tokyo Trials, the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal, or simply the Tribunal, was convened on April 29, 1946, to try the leaders of the Empire of Japan for three types of war crimes.
“Class A” crimes were reserved for those who participated in a joint conspiracy to start and wage war, and were brought against those in the highest decision-making bodies.
“Class B” crimes were reserved for those who committed “conventional” atrocities or crimes against humanity.
“Class C” crimes were reserved for those in “the planning, ordering, authorization, or failure to prevent such transgressions at higher levels in the command structure.”
Twenty-eight Japanese military and political leaders were charged with Class A crimes, and more than 5,700 Japanese nationals were charged with Class B and C crimes, mostly entailing prisoner abuse. China held 13 tribunals of its own, resulting in 504 convictions and 149 executions.