Volume #12 - 165.|
JAPON PEACE SETTLEMENT IN JAPAN
INTERNATIONAL MILITARY TRIBUNAL
Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs|
to Prime Minister
January 12th, 1946|
FAR EASTERN WAR CRIMES-TRIAL OF LESSER CRTMTNALS|
1. Further to my memorandum of January 7, 1946t, with respect to the trial of the major Far Eastern war criminals, I should like to put forward some recommendations with regard to the punishment of particular Japanese accused of atrocities against Canadians. These recommendations are concurred in by the War Crimes Advisory Committee and the Deputy Ministers of National Defence and Justice.
2. If the Canadian interest in the punishment of such persons is to be protected, it seems to me that these arrangements should be concluded as soon as possible. I am wondering, therefore, if you feel that the following recommendations could be taken up with Cabinet for its approval at its next meeting.
3. The United States proposals make provision for the trial of particular accused by. the national military courts of states "in occupation of areas formerly dominated by Japan".
Since there is no Canadian occupation force in the Far East, it would not be possible under the United States proposals, or under the War Crimes Regulations (Canada), for particular accused to be tried in that area by Canadian military courts convened under the Canadian regulations. Again, it would appear to be impracticable to move Far Eastern war criminals to Canada (or to other areas in which Canadian military forces are functioning) for trial. Military courts for the trial of particular persons accused of atrocities against Canadians would, therefore, have to be convened either by the United States military authorities or by the United Kingdom military authorities in their respective areas of occupation in the Far East.
4. Evidence of Far Eastern war crimes against Canadian nationals and. members of the Canadian armed forces is being collected by a War Crimes Unit functioning at National Defence Headquarters, Ottawa. The Unit reports that there is an accumulation of evidence of atrocities committed against Canadians, both in the areas occupied by United Kingdom forces (e.g. Hong Kong) and in areas now occupied by United States forces (e.g. prison camps in Japan proper). In a number of these cases, the accused has been or can be identified. If the Canadian interest is to be protected, arrangements will have to be made for their trial and punishment.
5. In view of the above, it is recommended as follows:
(1) That approval be given to negotiating with the Governments of the United States and the United Kingdom arrangements whereby:
(a) provision will be made for the trial of persons accused of serious war crimes against Canadian nationals or members of the Canadian armed forces by military courts convened by the United States military authorities where the accused is within the jurisdiction of the United States occupation force in the Far East, and by the United Kingdom military authorities where the accused is within the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom occupation force in the Far East;
(b) military representatives, of a rank not less than that of Lieutenant-Colonel, from National Defence Headquarters, will be sent to Tokyo and Hong Kong to act in liaison with the United States and United Kingdom war crimes offices, respectively; such representatives to be vested with and to exercise the following powers and duties:
(i) to assist in the collection and collation of further evidence of atrocities against Canadians;
(ii) to assist in providing the United States or United Kingdom authorities with such available evidence from Canadian sources as may be considered of value to them;
(iii) to request the United States or United Kingdom military authorities to convene military courts under their respective regulations, for the trial of particular persons within their jurisdiction against whom, in the opinion of the appropriate Canadian military representative, a prima facie case of a war crime (within the limits of paragraph 4 hereunder) against a Canadian has been established;
(iv) to assist in the prosecution of Canadian cases if so authorized by the appropriate United States or United Kingdom authorities;
(v) to act in general liaison with United States and United Kingdom war crimes offices in the Far East.
(2) That the Canadian military representatives referred to immediately above be empowered to request from the United States or United Kingdom authorities trial of the following persons only:
(a) persons charged with or suspected of having committed a violation of the laws and usages of war; and
(b) whose alleged criminality has resulted in the death or permanent disability of a Canadian national or a member of the Canadian armed forces or whose offence is in other respects considered to be of a most serious nature.1
N. A. R[OEERTSON]
1I La note suivante était écrite sur ce mémorandum: