post-World War II International Military Tribunal
for the Far East distinguished three types of war
crimes: crimes against peace, conventional war
crimes, and crimes against humanity, referred to
as Class A, B and C, respectively.
than 300,000 Japanese were charged with Class B
and C war crimes, mostly over prisoner abuse.
Twenty-five military and political leaders were
convicted of waging war - a Class A crime against
peace - and 12 of those, including wartime prime
minister Hideki Tojo and six others sentenced to
death by the tribunal, are enshrined at Yasukuni.
Two others, also enshrined at Yasukuni, were
charged with Class A crimes but died before their
Class A indictment accused the defendants of
promoting a scheme of conquest that "contemplated
and carried out ... murdering, maiming and
ill-treating prisoners of war [and] civilian
internees ... forcing them to labor under inhumane
conditions ... plundering public and private
property, wantonly destroying cities, towns and
villages beyond any justification of military
necessity; [perpetrating] mass murder, rape,
pillage, brigandage, torture and other barbaric
cruelties upon the helpless civilian population of
the overrun countries".
The counts of
Count 1: As "leaders, organizers, instigators,
or accomplices in the formulation or execution of
a common plan or conspiracy .. to wage wars of
aggression, and war or wars in violation of
Count 27: Waging unprovoked war against
Count 29: Waging aggressive war against the
Count 31: Waging aggressive war against the
Count 32: Waging aggressive war against the
Count 33: Waging aggressive war against France
Count 35 & 36: Waging aggressive war
against the USSR;
Count 54: "Ordered, authorized, and permitted"
inhumane treatment of prisoners of war and
Count 55: "Deliberately and recklessly
disregarded their duty" to take adequate steps to
The Class A
war criminals enshrined at Yasukuni are:
(Sentenced to death)
Tojo, General Hideki (1884-1948).
Chief, Manchurian secret police, 1935; councillor,
Manchurian Affairs Bureau, 1936; chief of staff,
Kwantung Army, 1937-38; vice minister of war,
1938; minister of war 1940-44; premier, 1941-44.
Considered the arch-criminal of the Pacific War.
Tojo assumed full responsibility for all the
actions of his government and the military during
the war. Convicted on Counts 1, 27, 29, 31, 32,
Doihara, General Kenji (1883-1948).
Commander, Kwantung Army, 1938-40; Supreme War
Council, 1940-43; army commander in Singapore,
1944-45. Deeply involved in the army's drug
trafficking in Manchuria. Later ran brutal POW and
internee camps in Malaya, Sumatra, Java and
Borneo. Convicted on counts 1, 27, 29, 31, 32, 35,
Hirota, Baron Koki (1878-1948).
Ambassador to the Soviet Union, 1928-31; foreign
minister, 1933-36; premier, 1936-37. Was foreign
minister during the Rape of Nanjing and other
atrocities perpetrated by the army. As premier, he
led his cabinet in planning the invasions of
Southeast Asia and the Pacific islands, in
addition to continuing the undeclared war against
China. Convicted on Counts 1, 27, 55.
Itagaki, General Seishiro (1885-1948).
Chief of Staff, Kwantung Army, 1936-37; minister
of war, 1938-39; chief, army general staff, 1939;
commander in Korea, 1941; Supreme War Council,
1943; commander in Singapore, 1945. Troops under
his command in China terrorized prisoners and
civilians. Was responsible for prison camps in
Java, Sumatra, Malaya, Borneo and elsewhere.
Convicted on Counts 1, 27, 29, 31, 32, 35, 36, 54.
Kimura, General Heitaro (1888-1948).
Chief of Staff, Kwantung Army, 1940-41; vice
minister of war, 1941-43; Supreme War Council,
1943; army commander in Burma, 1944-45. Helped
plan the China and Pacific wars, including
surprise attacks. Involved in the brutalization of
the Allied POWs and was the field commander in
Burma when civilian and POW slave labor built and
died on the Siam-Burma Railway. Convicted on
Counts 1, 27, 29, 31, 32, 54, 55.
Matsui, General Iwane (1878-1948).
Personal appointee of the emperor to the Geneva
Disarmament Conference, 1932-37; commander, China
Expeditionary Force, 1937-38. Troops under his
overall command were responsible for the Rape of
Nanjing in 1937 and other atrocities. He retired
in 1938 and then ceased to play an active role in
military affairs. Convicted on Count 55.
Muto, General Akira (1892-1948). Vice
chief of staff, China Expeditionary Force, 1937;
director, military Affairs Bureau, 1939-42; army
commander in Sumatra, 1942-43; army chief of staff
in the Philippines, 1944-45. Troops under his
command participated in both the Rape of Nanjing
and the Rape of Manila. Convicted on Counts 1, 27,
29, 31, 32, 54, 55.
(Sentenced to life
Hiranuma, Baron Kiichiro (1867-1952).
Privy Council, 1924-39; founder and president of
Kokuhonsha (a right-wing patriotic society),
1926-28; premier, 1938; minister of home affairs,
1940; minister without portfolio, 1940-41;
president, Privy Council, 1945. Convicted on
Counts 1, 27, 29, 31, 32, 36.
Koiso, General Kuniaki (1880-1950).
Vice minister of war, 1932; Chief of Staff,
Kwantung Army, 1932-34; army commander in Korea,
1935-38; minister of overseas affairs, 1939;
governor-general, Korea, 1942-44; premier 1944-45.
Was known among the Korean population as "the
Tiger of Korea" because of his brutality. As
premier, he was aware of POW death camps.
Convicted on Counts 1, 27, 29, 31, 32, 55.
Shiratori, Toshio (1887-1949).
Director, Information Bureau, Foreign Ministry,
1929-33; ambassador to Italy, 1938-40; adviser to
the foreign minister, 1940. A supporter of
military expansionism, he favored an alliance
among Germany, Italy the Soviet Union and Japan to
dominate the world. Convicted on Count 1.
Umezu, General Yoshijiro (1882-1949).
Section chief, general staff, 1931-34; commander,
China Expeditionary Force, 1934; vice minister of
war, 1939-44; army chief of staff, 1944-45.
Convicted on Counts 1, 27, 29, 31, 32.
(Sentenced to a lesser term)
Togo, General Hideki (1884-1948).
Ambassador to Germany, 1937; ambassador to the
Soviet Union, 1938; foreign minister, 1941-42,
1945. Convicted on Counts 1, 27, 29, 31, 32.
Sentenced to 20 years in prison.
before their trials were completed)
Matsuoka, Yosuke (1880 - 1946). Gained
international notoriety in 1933 when he announced
Japan's departure from the League of Nations as a
result of the League's criticism of Japan's
operations in "Manchu State". After leaving the
foreign service, he became president of the South
Manchurian Railroad, at which time he worked
closely with Hideki Tojo, who was then serving as
chief of the Kwantung Army's secret police. In
1940, Matsuoka became minister of foreign affairs
under prime minister Konoe Fumimaro. Matsuoka was
a major advocate of a Japanese alliance with Nazi
Germany and fascist Italy.
Nagano, Osami (1880 -1947). Appointed
minister of the navy under Koki Hirota in 1936,
and was appointed Commander in Chief of the Fleet
in 1937. In 1941, Nagano became Chief of the Naval
General Staff. In this capacity, he ordered the
attack against the United States Pacific Fleet in
Pearl Harbor. He was promoted to fleet admiral in
1943. While standing trial he assumed
responsibility for the Pearl Harbor attack, but he
died of a heart attack before the trial was