"Previous scholarship on trials of war criminals focused on the legal proceedings with only tacit acknowledgment of the political and social context. Dean Aszkielowicz argues in [this book] that the trials of Class B and Class C Japanese war criminals in Australia were not only an attempt to punish Japan for its militaristic ventures but also a move to exert influence over the future course of Japanese society, politics, and foreign policy as well as to cement Australia's position in the Pacific region as a major power. During the Allied occupation of Japan, Australia energetically tried Japanese Class B and Class C war criminals. However, as the Cold War intensified, Japan was increasingly seen by the United States and its allies as a potential ally against communism and was no longer considered a threat to Pacific security. In the 1950s, concerns about the guilt of individual Japanese soldiers made way for pragmatism and political gain when the sentences of war criminals became a political bargaining chip"--Back cover.
Includes bibliographical references (pages 153-165) and index.
Japan and Australia, 1944-1946 : the early domestic and regional context -- Building a case against the war criminals : law and investigation -- Procedure -- The first phase of the prosecutions, 1945-1948 -- The changing political context -- the second phase : Manus Island -- Post-trial : repatriation of war criminals -- A new direction : the release of war criminals