The International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE) was
sufficiently justified and its verdicts had unique historic
significance in the subsequent development of international law,
said son of the Chinese judge at the tribunal on
Mei Xiao'ao, son of Mei Ru'ao, the only Chinese judge at the
Tokyo Tribunal, made the above comments on Wednesday during an
exclusive interview with Xinhua in response to the recent remarks
made by two Japanese right-wing politicians attempting to whitewash
the atrocities conducted by war criminals convicted by the Tribunal
The IMTFE, operating from early 1946 until the end of 1948, was
composed of 11 judges from 11 nations, including the United States,
China, the United Kingdom, the former Soviet Union and
According to the junior Mei, whose father passed away in 1973,
warfare should be categorized as being "just" and "unjust."
"The war initiated by the Japanese militarists six decades ago,
which aimed at aggression against Asian countries, was completely
unjust," said Mei, who currently works for a Beijing-based media
"It was natural for the Japanese militarists to be defeated and
the result of the war exceeds simple military victory," said the
53-year-old son of the well-known judge.
"My presence at the tribunal was gained at the cost of the blood
and flesh of millions of my fellow countrymen," Mei junior recalled
his father wrote in his diary on May 3, 1946.
Defining the nature of the tribunal's verdicts as an endeavor
through which international justice beats Fascist evil forces, Mei
Xiao'ao emphasized that one of the tribunal's major contributions
to the development of international law lies in clarifying the
principle of punishing individuals responsible for war and
preventing crimes against peace and humanity from being shielded by
the name of ambiguous "statehood."
Commenting on the Tokyo Tribunal and the Nuremberg Tribunal
following World War II, distinguished Chinese legislator Wang Tieya
once called both tribunals milestones in international law and said
their historic significance would "never be obliterated."
In addition, the Tokyo Tribunal followed strict legal procedure
and granted adequate space for the war criminals to defend
The international trial took two years and seven months, held
818 open hearings, involved 419 witnesses attending the court and
779 sending their written testimonies, with verdicts totaling 1,
231 pages and taking seven days to read.
"The trial is absolutely not one-sided as is being portrayed by
the Japanese right-wing politicians," said Mei.
Although it set many valuable precedents, the Tokyo Tribunal was
still "barely satisfactory" in that it left quite a few " regrets"
unattended in the eyes of his father, said Mei Xiao'ao, naming the
escape of the then Japanese emperor from legal punishment as the
"We obtained much evidence indicating that the Japanese emperor
was closely responsible for the war crimes committed by the
Japanese troops during WWII and the proof was sufficient to have
him convicted," said the late Judge Mei in a previous article.
Actually, the majority of the 11 judges ruling at the Tokyo
Tribunal considered the emperor guilty but were unable to put him
on trial because the US government excluded the emperor from being
sued in accordance with its global strategies.
Even so and so, the junior Mei said that the Tokyo Tribunal,
although unavoidably flawed, was still very much in support of
"reason, fairness and justice" and "constituted one of the critical
efforts made by the mankind to improve their lives."
"The spirit and essence upheld by the tribunal should continue
to inspire the human society for generations to come," said Mei
(Xinhua News Agency June 3, 2005)