Judgement at Tokyo
‘A work of singular importance . . . balanced, original, human, accessible, and riveting’ – Philippe Sands, author of East-West Street
'A comprehensive, landmark and riveting book' – The Washington Post, 'The 10 Best Books of 2023'
A landmark, magisterial history of the postwar trial of Japan’s leaders as war criminals, and their impact on the modern history of Asia and the world, from the prizewinning author of the acclaimed The Blood Telegram.
In the weeks after Japan finally surrendered to the Allies to end World War II, the victorious powers turned to the question of how to move on from years of carnage and destruction. To them, it was clear that Japan’s militaristic leaders needed to be tried and punished for their crimes.
For the Allied powers, the trials were an opportunity both to render judgment on their vanquished foes and to create a legal framework to prosecute war crimes and prohibit the use of aggressive war. For the Japanese leaders on trial, it was their chance to argue that their war had been waged to liberate Asia from Western imperialism and that the court was no more than victors’ justice.
Gary J. Bass' Judgement at Tokyo is the product of a decade of research, a magnificent, riveting story of wartime action, dramatic courtroom battles, and the epic formative years that set the stage for the postwar era in the Asia–Pacific.
A work of singular importance – balanced, original, human, accessible, and riveting. It is of huge relevance to our times.
Philippe Sands, author of East-West Street
Ian Buruma, The New Yorker
Comprehensive, landmark and riveting. . . . Bass employs the complexities of the trial as a fulcrum to sketch a wide canvas. . . . Fascinating
The Washington Post