Article title: Japan PM dismisses WWII war crimes trials as 'victors' justice'
Japan's nationalist prime minister has dismissed the Tokyo war crimes trials in the aftermath of World War II as nothing more than victors' justice.
Previously, Mr Abe had said that the 28 Japanese military and political leaders charged with Class-A war crimes are 'not war criminals under the laws of Japan' Photo: AFP
By Julian Ryall, Tokyo
2:24PM GMT 14 Mar 2013
Shinzo Abe, who was elected in a landslide general election victory in December, expressed beliefs that are likely to trigger anger in nations that were occupied by the forces of imperial Japan in the early decades of the last century and raise eyebrows in allied nations, primarily the United States.
"The view of that great war was not formed by the Japanese themselves, but rather by the victorious Allies, and it is by their judgement only that [Japanese] were condemned," Mr Abe told a meeting of the House of Representatives Budget Committee on Tuesday.
In his previous short-lived spell as prime minister, for 12 months from September 2006, Mr Abe said that the 28 Japanese military and political leaders charged with Class-A war crimes are "not war criminals under the laws of Japan."
More than 5,700 Japanese were charged with Class B and C war crimes before the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, which was convened on April 29, 1946. Initially, 984 individuals were sentenced to death and 475 received life sentences.
After the prolonged legal discussions, seven were executed in December 1948, including General Hideki Tojo, the commander of the Kwantung Army and later the prime minister, while the majority of the others sentenced to hang or life prison terms were paroled by the mid-1950s.