Description

    [Hideki Tojo, Japanese Prime Minister] International Military Tribunal For the Far East Affidavit of Tojo, Hideki, Individual Defense. Likely mimeograph copy, single sided. 8" x 13". Bound with string via two holes punched at the top. [One blank cover], 245, [one, signatory (unsigned)] pages. Dated December 19, 1947. With original clear acetate protective cover. Presumably produced for members of the tribunal staff. As a result of the low-quality paper used during the period the pages have browned and are brittle at the edges and the acetate cover is torn and yellowed, otherwise it is complete and in very good condition.

    Hideki Tojo (1884-1948) was a general in the Imperial Japanese Army and Prime Minister of Japan from shortly before the attack on Pearl Harbor until his forced resignation as a result the fall of Saipan in July, 1944. He spent the rest of the war in seclusion and when capture was imminent shot himself four times in the chest. He survived and was tried before the International Tribunal for the Far East in Tokyo for actions which occurred on his watch. This fascinating affidavit is equal parts apologia and mea culpa. He writes in amazing detail the political and military machinations in Japan leading up the attack on Pearl Harbor. Tojo maintained that the attack on Pearl Harbor could not have come as a surprise to the United States as they had broken Japan's secret codes and knew of the Japanese position as of November 20, 1941. He remained convinced to the end that "the policy of Japan, and certainly her duly constituted officials of state, involved neither aggression nor exploitation . . . a war of self-existence was our only alternative . . . bringing about the present plight as we see it before our eyes." In the end he assumes for Japan's defeat: "As to the other question, the responsibility for defeat, I feel that it devolves upon myself as Premier. The responsibility in that sense I am not only willing but sincerely desire to accept fully." Hideki Tojo was found guilty of waging aggressive and ordering, authorizing and permitting inhumane treatment to prisoners of war and others. He was found guilty and sentenced to death on November 12, 1948, and hanged on December 23, 1949. A fascinating document and first-hand account of the events leading up to America's entry into the Second World War.


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    Auction Dates
    March, 2009
    6th-7th Friday-Saturday
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