SDHF Newsletter No.385 Japan Awakened Asia Part 7, Chapter 6: Historical significance of the “Dissentient Judgment of Justice Pal”
Japan Awakened Asia―A Miracle of the 20th Century
The Road to the Independence of India
―A Story to Be Passed Down to the Next Generation
Pribir Bikash Sarker
Part 7, Chapter 6: Historical significance of the “Dissentient Judgment of Justice Pal”
Justice Pal was a chosen judge from India, then under the British colonial rule, for the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (the Tokyo Trials), which was held in Tokyo from 1945 to 1948. For nearly two and a half years, he used voluminous sources to investigate thoroughly the case and wrote up his judgment. This was is the so-called “Dissentient Judgment of Justice Pal.” 65_S4.pdf (sdh-fact.com)
In his judgment, he held that each and every one of the accused must be found not guilty of each and every one of the charges in the indictment and at the same time, he resolutely argued that when considering war crimes accusations, the United States should equally be accused of the crime of having dropped the atomic bombs on Japan.
Justice Pal did not make this conclusion out of sympathy for Japan or to defend Asia, he based it on analysis of the international law. As to the charges of crimes against peace by waging an aggressive war on the part of Japan, he counterargued, examining historical realities of war according to four distinct periods, namely:
1. That up to the First World War of 1914,
2. That between the First World War and the date of Pact of Paris (August 27, 1928),
3. That from the date of the Pact of Paris to the commencement of the World War under consideration,
4. That since the Second World War.
And Justice Pal pointed out, “so far as 1. is concerned, it seems to be generally agreed that no war became crime
in the international life.” He confirmed that during 2. and 3. periods, after the conclusion of the Pact of Paris, the Pact did not have wide legal effects in the international society, referring various views expressed by prominent jurists. Historical facts after the conclusion of the Pact show: there was the invasion of Ethiopia by Italy in 1935, and of Finland by Russia in 1939, which were not illegitimated internationally and there was also the invasion of China by Japan in 1937, which was not illegitimated at that time, either. International law at that time did not develop well enough to make any war criminal. In this respect, it was improper to judge Japan on the charge of waging a war.
Based on analysis of historical facts, Justice Pal proceeded to prove that Japan had not at all intended to wage an aggressive war to conquer the world. Rather, Justice Pal’s dissentient judgment suggests that it was the United States that engaged in the act of war against Japan by providing arms to Chiang Kai-shek and the Soviet Union’s support for Chiang Kai-shek contrarily prolonged the Sino-Japanese War and hindered the Asians from resolving the Asian issue.
When he visited Hiroshima, he was caught by words inscribed on the monument “Rest in Peace. We shall never repeat the mistake.”. After confirming the meaning of the words, he looked very stern.
“What acts does this mistake that the monuments say ‘we shall never repeat’ refer to? Of course, the Japanese people apologize to the Japanese people. I wonder what kind of mistake it was. What is enshrined here is souls of the atomic bombs victims and clearly Japanese did not drop the atomic bomb. It is understandable that perpetrators of the atomic bombing held themselves responsible for the act and say they shall never again repeat the mistake If this mistake refers to the Pacific War, then Japan was not at all responsible for it. The clear fact is the seed of that war was sown by the Western Powers in order to invade the East. Moreover, the United States should have been truly held responsible for starting the war. The U. S. provoked Japan to the inevitable war by forming the ABCD encirclement, blockading Japan economically and finally sending the ultimatum of Hull note to Japan.
MOTEKI Hiromichi, Chairman
Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact