More than 60 years has passed since the International Military Tribunal for the Far East was established in Tokyo to try World War II Japanese war crimes.
However, the atmosphere in the meeting room in the National Library of China (NLC) was as serious as it was all those years ago when about 50 historians, publishers, and librarians gathered on Wednesday to launch the publishing project The Proceedings of International Military Tribunal for the Far East.
The book will be the first in a series and the first Chinese book to unveil the original files of the biggest international trial in human history.
The tribunal, commonly known as the Tokyo Trial, ran from April 1946 to November 1948. 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.
The series, co-published by NLC and Shanghai Jiao Tong University, will include 80 volumes comprising of nearly 50,000 pages of photocopies in English documenting the two-and-a-half years of proceedings. The compiling of the documents is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2013.
“It will be a milestone for us to study the Tokyo Trial,” says Zhou Heping, curator of the NLC. “The trial determined the political atmosphere in Japan and the whole of Eastern Asia after World War II, it should not be neglected. China is one of the victors of World War II, we cannot be absent in the relevant academic study.”
While Japan has more than 300 published treatises on the trial, China has almost no academic books solely focused on this period of history.
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