Tokyo Trial (2016) s01e01 Episode Script

Episode 1

1 [theme music playing] [narrator] Between the 1930s and 1940s, Japan sends troops to the Chinese mainland, across Southeast Asia, and into the Pacific Islands to engage in warfare that ultimately leaves tens of millions of people dead.
On September 2nd, 1945, Japan signs the Instrument of Surrender to end the war.
The Allied powers appoint General Douglas MacArthur as supreme commander and quickly occupy all of Japan.
Former Japanese cabinet ministers and military leaders are arrested.
In November of the same year, leaders from Nazi Germany, Japan's ally in the war, go on trial in Nuremberg.
In January, 1946, using Nuremberg as a reference, Supreme Commander MacArthur enacts a charter for the Tokyo Trial that outlines three categories of war crimes.
These are crimes against peace, conventional war crimes, and crimes against humanity.
Twenty-eight former Japanese leaders are then charged as class A war criminals.
The Tokyo Trial begins.
[RÃling] "My dearest Lies It was a long journey from the Netherlands to Tokyo, but I am safe and settled into the magnificent Imperial Hotel.
It's a miracle the hotel is even standing.
From here to Yokohama, there's nothing much left but ashes and ruins.
The hardships faced by the people here are almost unimaginable.
Soon, we will begin the difficult task of searching out justice amid the devastation and chaos.
The tribunal is being led by Justice William Webb, an Australian appointed by General MacArthur, the supreme commander.
Most of the other judges have arrived and are staying at the hotel.
We are all men of different birth places, backgrounds and, I suppose, different ideas.
Justice McDougall is a trusted friend of the Canadian prime minister.
Even though Chiang Kai-shek is now fighting the communist army, his administration appointed Justice Mei to represent China.
Justice Northcroft was a Supreme Court judge in New Zealand.
Justice Higgins from the Superior Court in Massachusetts is the American appointment to our tribunal.
The French have appointed Justice Bernard, who fought and served as a justice in their African colonies.
General Zaryanov, who represents the Soviet Union, is a loyal subordinate to Stalin.
Lord Patrick, a Scottish Justice, was chosen to represent the United Kingdom.
He is due to arrive any moment, and I am eager to meet him.
My love to you and all of the children.
" William Patrick.
Lord Patrick? I'm Justice RÃling from the Netherlands.
Very nice to meet you.
Justice RÃling.
A pleasure.
So it was quite a long trip, isn't it? Quite.
What's the commotion? Oh, that's Sir William Webb from Australia.
He's our tribunal president.
No more bloodshed to cover, these reporters try to stir up trouble in other ways.
Why did General MacArthur choose you as the president of the tribunal? [reporter 1] Give us the goods.
Well, you'd better ask the General that one, boys if you can get him to talk to you.
I would have thought he'd pick up an American or even a British judge.
All my colleagues are fine jurists.
But Australia is a Pacific country.
We fought the Japanese right to our own shores.
That has to count for something.
How long do you expect the trial to last? Six months.
[reporter 2] That long? We are making history, gentlemen.
And that takes time.
Good day to you.
[reporter 2] "Making history.
" [violin playing] [violin continues playing in the distance] Um I am Justice Bernard, uh, from France.
[speaking French] [speaking French] Gentlemen and lady.
For those of you who have not met him, may I introduce Mr.
Justice Northcroft from New Zealand.
He will also be serving as my acting president.
This grand building will be our working space for the duration of the tribunal.
Follow me, please.
I'm Higgins from Massachusetts.
[interpreter speaking Russian] Has the General been to Massachusetts? [interpreter speaking Russian] [speaking Russian] [in English] The General does not like to visit the places with the names he cannot spell.
[both men laughing] [Webb] Uh, this building once housed the Japanese Military Academy and the War Ministry.
Some of the accused would've planned their attacks right here in this room.
Now, we will use it to decide their fate.
[speaking Russian] Uh, the General says you all share a great responsibility.
[Webb] As individual judges in our own countries, we decide the fate of others.
From divorce to fraud to murder.
But the issues we face on this stage are extremely complex and will require our collective skills and experience.
You've all been briefed in advance, and you have all read the charter that governs our duties.
However, please indulge me as I take us through a summary of the challenge ahead.
It falls upon us, uh, to deal with three categories of crime.
The most striking of which is crimes against peace, more frequently referred to as crimes of aggression.
We are being asked whether or not these leaders conspired to plan and wage aggressive war.
We are also being asked to consider crimes against humanity.
They include murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inequities, including uh, crimes committed by a power on its own citizens.
Finally, we have to consider conventional war crimes.
That is ill treatment of prisoners of war and atrocities committed on the battlefield.
In other words, crimes that violate the traditional rules of war.
In China, millions of people were killed, most of them civilians.
I sympathize with your countrymen, Justice Mei, as I do with the soldiers and civilians of all our nations.
However, we must be careful as we tread a fine line between justice and revenge.
I wasn't thinking of revenge.
I was referring to the fact that the atrocities in China are grave crimes under international law.
With respect to Justice Mei, aside from courtroom blueprints, Nuremberg clearly provides us with strong legal precedents to uphold.
Oh, there are many differences between events in Europe and those here in the Pacific.
It seems to me the crimes are the same.
The whole world will be following this trial, and every argument and decision we make.
All the more reason to uphold the precedents of Nuremberg.
As I was saying, we face an immense challenge.
I am confident we will find a way through it.
How very tragic that China should've reengaged in civil war.
Yes, uh, heartbreaking waste of lives.
Some of my family are missing.
I'm so sorry.
I believe you play the violin, Justice RÃling.
-Somebody complained already? -[chuckles] Not at all.
I heard music in the hall.
Perhaps you'll play for the rest of us some evening.
Oh, only after you've all had plenty to drink.
[Webb] Our courtroom.
Designed to replicate the one being used to try the Nazis in Nuremberg.
This evening there will be a screening of the film about the Nuremberg Trial in the hotel cinema, for those of you who want to attend.
[man coughs] [sirens wailing on speakers] [man on speakers] Nationalistic pride turned a blind eye towards the horrors of these concentration camps.
As the corpses continue to be counted, this grim footage was entered into evidence in Nuremberg, where 24 political and military leaders of the Third Reich are tried for war crimes and for crimes against humanity.
[Patrick sighs] Some of my colleagues on the Utrecht Court were taken away.
All of them Jewish.
I saw a lot of horrors in World War I.
Nothing quite like tonight.
That is why I consider this tribunal to be so important.
Japan occupied Asia-Pacific, all the way from China -to here -Mmm-hmm.
to Dutch East Indies.
Overtaken early in the war for strategic purposes.
Are those natural resources? Yeah, oil and rubber.
-Oh, precisely.
-[McDougall] Mmm.
Because of Japan's occupation in China and Indochina, as well as its relationship with the fascists in Germany and Italy, the United States and others had placed an embargo on them before the war.
Japan has no natural oil resources.
Therefore, Indonesia became an important target.
Some of my wife's family were there at the time.
They were forced into Japanese prison camps.
Gentlemen, please join us.
[Webb] Twenty-eight men have been accused of war crimes.
Now, these men are made up of military leaders, politicians and others who may have influenced them.
The jurisdiction of the trial, the period we're interested in, starts with the Pact of Paris in 1928 and ends with Japan's surrender in 1945.
I open the floor for discussion.
I have, um, one question.
How was the list of the accused constructed? A team of prosecutors combed through the Japanese documents, intercepts and the accounts of expert witnesses.
Considering that Japan has had 17 prime ministers in the last 15 years and that, as soon as the war ended, the Japanese burned many of their documents, the list must have been hard work.
Do you have a particular point you wish to make, Justice RÃling? It all looks rather arbitrary.
And then, suddenly, two new names have been added at the bottom.
On what grounds? Uh, Justice Zaryanov can answer that.
[speaking Russian] [in English] Uh, Shigemitsu participated in Japan's conspiracy when he was an ambassador in Moscow.
I believe our Soviet friends have a keen interest in prosecuting Shigemitsu and Umezu.
Because, uh, they are considered anti-communists? [Higgins] Moscow asked that they be added.
General MacArthur and the prosecution have obviously agreed.
[speaking Russian] [in English] Uh, the General does not wish this matter debated in this informal way.
[Zaryanov speaking Russian] [in English] Uh, the names are here, and the evidence will be presented later.
Is not the purpose of this meeting to speak openly? Oh, yes.
That's important.
But the list is a fait accompli.
The Russians made a request to add two names.
We acceded to their request.
The matter is now closed.
So what, then, is your agenda, Sir William? To focus on our goals with respect to the definitions of the crimes and whether those crimes were committed.
You have previously defined the crimes for us.
As I see it, therefore, our goal is to decide whether the accused should be released back into the world, or imprisoned or executed in order to pay for their crimes and thus dissuade anyone else from ever engaging in similar actions.
Well stated, Lord Patrick.
[violin playing] -[all applauding] -[McDougall] Hmm! -[Patrick] Well done, RÃling.
-Thank you.
[Patrick] Music is what we need.
And, this Thank you very much.
A Dutchman who doesn't drink? As long as I can do with the violin, I can do without the brandy.
[chuckles] I understand.
At home, I survive the stress by gardening.
Not much chance of that here, I'm afraid.
Thank you.
So, tell us, what do you think about the tribunal so far? Well um I find it, uh, fascinating.
That's a safe answer.
Go on.
I'm keen to discover how those in charge of Japan came to their decisions.
You'll only discover that the politicians and the military [clears throat] -do not always follow the same script.
-[Northcroft] Yes.
And too often in these circumstances, the military prevail.
Of course, it hardly matters whether they knew or not.
If the Japanese politicians lost control of their military, that makes them more, not less, culpable.
-[Northcroft] I agree.
-Even if they were lied to? [Patrick] Perhaps we are getting ahead of ourselves this evening.
Let's return to the music, shall we? Well, um then I think that I'm going to play another Kreisler.
-[Higgins] How wonderful.
-Yes? -[Patrick] Good! -[McDougall] Yeah.
[violin playing] I would like to discuss the emperor's culpability in the war.
I imagine this will create debate.
Sir William, he's not been indicted.
I know.
This was not on your agenda the other day.
True, but today it is.
It is not for us as judges to tamper with the agenda.
We need to get at the truth, regardless of the consequences.
[Bernard] I agree.
And that's why I think we should discuss of the emperor's culpability.
[Webb] I wrote a report about the Japanese military during the war, so I'm very familiar with their politics and protocol.
The emperor did have ultimate responsibility.
Which is why I want us to consider his part in all of this.
Apropos to this, um I wish to bring up certain protocol of our own.
It is obvious there'll be times when we will differ with each other.
On these, hopefully, rare occasions, we should consider how to present our position, even if we can't come to a unanimous decision.
[speaking Russian] [in English] Um uh, the General believes that the issue of the emperor could go on forever.
It is best to answer the issue as raised by Justice Mei.
[Patrick] Exactly.
[speaking Russian] [in English] Uh, he made a joke about [stammering] being in school because you put up your hand.
[all chuckling] Um In my country, it is customary to honor the confidentiality of the judge's chamber.
Uh, in my country, too.
And even a majority verdict, um, is presented as unanimous.
So dissent or contrary arguments are never disclosed until after the trial is over.
And I would like to propose that we adopt this process.
I will second the motion.
[Webb] All right.
For today, all those in favor of Justice RÃling's motion Carried.
[MacArthur] The Allied forces have decided to add a judge from India and one from the Philippines.
Washington was opposed to representation from India from the beginning.
The State Department has changed its mind.
They seem to think it prudent that we add a few more Asian judges to the mix.
I can manage the increased number.
Ah, good.
I have a few recommendations for you.
And I'd also like to speak at the opening of the tribunal.
I think it might help to move things along.
But the trial and its affairs are the purview of the judges.
As president of the tribunal, I cannot let you speak.
Nor can I allow you to influence our deliberations.
You have a definite lack of détente, Webb.
I like that.
[inhales sharply] All right.
I'll withdraw my request.
Why has the Emperor Hirohito been excluded from the list of accused? Are you asking as a representative of Australia? No, not in any official capacity.
[takes deep breath] I have found no tangible evidence that the emperor played a decisive role in the Japanese political decisions of the past decade.
Now, I wrote those very words to Eisenhower back in January.
The Emperor Hirohito is a figure of great importance.
It's through him that we'll legitimize and justify our reform program moving forward.
-Are you telling me-- -[knocking on door] [MacArthur] Yes? [man] Your next meeting is waiting for you, sir.
[MacArthur] Thank you.
And thank you.
-[knocking on door] -[Webb] Come in.
Uh, good evening, Sir William.
Oh, Justice Mei.
More protocol, I'm afraid.
You have the British judge sitting in my place.
I'm afraid I don't follow you.
On the Japanese Instrument of Surrender, America signed first, then China.
The seating arrangement for the judges should reflect this.
Right now, you have Lord Patrick sitting where I should sit.
My country suffered the most from this war, and my place in the seating arrangement says a great deal to millions of Asians.
Thank you.
[crowd cheering and applauding] [host] And that's her, Kate.
Let's hear it, boys.
Give her a ten and a nice, big round of applause for your lovely contestant from Australia.
[crowd applauding] And now, speaking of occupation, I've got a big preoccupation with our next contestant.
It's none other than Barbara.
-Come on over, Barbara.
-[crowd cheering and applauding] Crazy, isn't it? What's that? I was in Pearl Harbor when they attacked.
Took some shrapnel in the leg.
Lost some good buddies.
We spent four years pounding the shit out of each other, and now we're gonna help them rebuild.
Oh, well.
Give 'em a fair trial.
And hang 'em.
To a fair trial.
[crowd cheering and applauding] [host] And now, it's my distinct pleasure to introduce to you none other than Ichiko from Yokohama! -[crowd applauding] -[man in crowd] Yokohama! [man in Japanese] The International Military Tribunal for the Far East convened to try 28 war crime suspects led by former General Tojo, plunging not only the people of Japan, but also a billion people in the Far East into misery.
Well [sighs] -The marathon begins.
-Oh I'm hoping it's a sprint.
-Seating arrangements fine? -Oh, very good.
Thank you.
Gentlemen I will speak, ask and respond to questions on our collective behalf.
[knocking on door] [court marshal] All rise.
The International Military Tribunal for the Far East is now in session.
There has been no more important criminal trial in all history.
The accused before us include former prime ministers, finance ministers, chiefs of staff and others who have filled the highest places in the government of Japan.
The former high rank of the accused entitles them to no greater consideration than would be extended to the humblest Japanese private or Korean guard.
To our great task we bring open minds, both on the facts and the law.
The onus will be on the prosecution to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
I will now call on the accused to plead guilty or not guilty.
[interpreter] Excuse me, Mr.
Defense lawyer Kiyose.
[speaking Japanese] [interpreter] Before the commencement of this arraignment process, one point I would like to make is that Sir Webb is not qualified to administer justice in this trial.
On what grounds? [interpreter] I wish to assure you that this challenge is made with the greatest respect for this court.
But, from a standpoint of fairness, you should not be permitted to conduct this trial because you have already investigated alleged Japanese atrocities in New Guinea.
[Webb] I'll take no part in the response.
Justice Northcroft? Article 2 of the charter prescribes that the tribunal shall consist of members appointed by General MacArthur, the supreme commander.
That being so, it does not rest with the tribunal to unseat anyone appointed by the supreme commander.
I will now call on the accused to plead.
Araki Sadao.
How do you plead? [speaking Japanese] [interpreter] I do not accept any of these charges.
Not guilty.
[Webb] Shigemitsu Mamoru.
How do you plead? [speaking indistinctly] [interpreter] I plead not guilty.
Defendant Tojo, former prime minister.
[speaking Japanese] [interpreter] To all these charges, I plead not guilty.
[speaking indistinctly] [inaudible] [interpreter] Not guilty.
[indistinct chatter] The Japanese defense counsel Kiyose was clever.
Did you feel offended by it? He questioned my integrity.
You did previously investigate Japanese war crimes.
He was playing a smart legal card not making a personal insult.
I investigated war crimes in New Guinea based on evidence and made my decisions without bias.
-As I will again do so here in Tokyo.
Water under the bridge, Sir William.
The challenge was nicely rejected by Northcroft, all in accordance with the charter.
I shouldn't need the charter to protect me.
If you'll excuse me, gentlemen, I have some work to do.
Excuse me.
It takes fortitude to maintain a courtroom at this level.
Few men can do it.
[speaking Russian] [in English] He says the headmaster has left and now we can relax.
Let's drink.
[all laughing] Not for me, thank you.
I'm rather tired.
[speaking Russian] [in English] "To Russians, it is culturally important to accept.
" [Webb sighs] I give the floor to the defense counsel, Mr.
[man speaking Japanese] [interpreter] I would like to explain a motion I am putting forward with respect to the jurisdiction of this tribunal.
The Pact of Paris, 1928, condemns war as an instrument of national policy but does not consider it a crime.
This tribunal does not have the authority to try crimes against peace.
And therefore, the counts related to them should be excluded immediately.
-[indistinct chatter] -[Webb] Order! Order! Mr.
Blakeney, you wish to speak? The proposition that killing in war is not murder.
That killing in war is not murder follows from the fact that war is legal.
This legalized killing justifiable homicide technically, perhaps however repulsive, however abhorrent, has never been thought of as imposing criminal responsibility.
If the killing of Admiral Kido by the bombing of Pearl Harbor is murder we know the name of the very man whose hands loosed the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.
We know all the chief of staff who planned that act.
We know the chief of the responsible state.
President Webb, what do you think of the defense motion that the tribunal has no authority to try anyone for crimes of aggression? If they are right, wouldn't the trial have to be dismissed? Hey, you gonna file charges against President Truman for the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Kiyose and Blakeney intend to challenge every count.
In which case, we should all go home.
[Patrick] The Nazis used the same defense.
Arguing that war is legal and that the plotting and execution of war by Nazi officials was also legal.
It didn't work there, and it won't work here.
In my opinion, we need to consider any historical precedents, not just an argument based on Nuremberg.
[Zaryanov speaking Russian] [in English] Uh the General I I do not wish to repeat exactly what he said, but he asks us all to remember that many lives were lost in this war.
And the challenges by the defense team must be overruled with or without precedence.
We do know that the Treaty of Versailles ascribed guilt to Germany and forced it to pay for losses incurred in World War I.
And the international community outlawed the waging of aggressive war as a direct result of the anti-war Pact of Paris of 1928.
Which Japan signs, setting its own legal precedent.
Our response to Kiyose should be that the interpretation of law is constantly evolving towards greater justice.
And as for Blakeney, well we've been appointed to judge Japanese war criminals, not the actions of the Americans.
That may be for a future tribunal.
For now, the motions by the defense team must be overruled.
I think we need to discuss the defense arguments at greater length.
To what end? So that others do not later question our deliberations and their outcome.
Entertaining and ultimately rejecting the motion is a complete and utter waste of time.
[Webb] We have no choice but to deny the motion.
We have to press forward.
As the president, I will write up a statement of reasons for the denial to be reviewed and discussed by us all later.
[door opens] [door closes] [indistinct chatter] [Webb] RÃling.
Let me introduce Mr.
Justice Pal from India.
Nice to meet you.
Bert RÃling.
-Oh, you're the judge from Netherlands.
-Yes, indeed.
You've got quite some catching up to do, hmm? "Even the majority verdict is presented as unanimous.
Dissent is never disclosed.
" -I beg your pardon? -Your words in the chamber.
I heard most of your discussion while having tea with President Webb.
[chuckles] -[classical music playing] -[indistinct chatter] [McDougall] Justice RÃling.
I'd like you to meet Justice Jaranilla from the Philippines.
Just arrived.
-Welcome to Japan.
-Thank you.
Thank you very much.
Not long ago, I could not have imagined -being on Japanese soil.
-[McDougall] Mmm.
Nor handing out justice, I suspect.
Certainly not in these peaceful circumstances.
[Willink] Gentlemen.
-Good evening.
[both speaking Dutch] -[in English] Excuse us for a moment.
-Of course.
[in Dutch] Are you enjoying Tokyo? How is the tribunal going? Well you are always welcome at the Liaison Mission.
[speaking Dutch] Who's playing, General? Uh, Eta Schneider.
Quite famous in Germany before the war.
She came all this way for a party? [laughs] Hardly.
She's been stranded here since 1941.
[piano playing] [indistinct chatter] [RÃling] Frau Schneider? Frau Harich-Schneider.
[speaking German] Frau Harich-Schneider.
[in English] My name is Bert RÃling.
Should I know you? -[stammers] I play the violin.
-How nice for you.
I thought maybe we could play together someday.
I don't play with amateurs.
[speaking indistinctly] General Willink? Is that man an employee of your Dutch Liaison? Justice RÃling? He's our man on the tribunal.
Get a card.
Well I would have to assess your ability.
That would be a great honor.
Call me.
If my schedule is free, we'll set a date.
Danke schÃn.
What's going on? I'm going home.
Why? In all good conscience, I cannot continue to be part of these proceedings.
But your own president asked you to take on this duty.
He also told me it would take no longer than six to seven months.
Well, that isn't gonna happen.
Not from where I stand.
The prosecution and defense teams are stonewalling the entire process.
And our fellow judges have already adopted a position.
We should all work together to improve the process.
We'll welcome any proposals you might have.
I have made proposals and they were not accepted.
Then let's reexamine them.
If you leave now, it sends a very bad message.
I am sorry.
I have already given this a great deal of thought.
My first sworn duty is to serve as the chief justice of the Massachusetts Superior Court.
I cannot forsake that for this.
I wish you all good luck.
[solemn music playing]