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Authoritativeness of Tokyo Tribunal Verdicts Remains Unchallenged
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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 Wednesday.  

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 in 1948.


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 Australia.


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 company.


"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 themselves.


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 biggest pity.


"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 junior.


(Xinhua News Agency June 3, 2005)

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