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The Australian Pursuit of Japanese War Criminals, 1943-1957From Foe to Friend$
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Dean Aszkielowicz

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9789888390724

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888390724.001.0001

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The Second Phase

The Second Phase

Manus Island

Chapter:
(p.80) 6 The Second Phase
Source:
The Australian Pursuit of Japanese War Criminals, 1943-1957
Author(s):

Dean Aszkielowicz

Publisher:
Hong Kong University Press
DOI:10.5790/hongkong/9789888390724.003.0007

When the Australian trials encountered logistical difficulties in 1947 and 1948, it came at a time when Australia’s allies were moving away from prosecutions and other measures to punish Japan. The government could have ended its prosecutions in late 1948 to match U.S. policy for the Occupation of Japan, but instead it began a process of navigating the logistical difficulties the program had encountered. The Australian trials completely stalled in 1949, and the ruling Labor government lost power at the December 1949 federal election. The new Liberal government, led by Sir Robert Menzies, built on Labor’s work while in government and rejuvenated the Australian prosecutions. They began on Manus Island, in June 1950. Starting a second phase of prosecutions at this late stage was only possible after some tense negotiations with the U.S. leadership in Occupied Japan, and the decision was a major shock to the Japanese people, which resulted in a grass roots political movement to petition the Australian government to reverse its decision.

Keywords:   Manus Island, Reaction in Japan, Korean War, San Francisco Peace Treaty

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