Thursday, January 18, 2007

National Archives to release records on Japanese WWII War Crimes

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that the National Archives is releasing 100,000 pages of new material relating to war crimes committed by Japan during World War II. According to the Chronicle, there has been less interest in crimes committed by Japan than by Germany. "Indeed, when the U.S. Congress created a commission to find and declassify records related to World War II war crimes still held by the United States in 1998, the bill was explicitly titled the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act." It was later expanded and renamed "the Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Interagency Working Group."

The Chronicle reports:
Since 1999, the working group has released eight million pages of previously classified documents on Nazi crimes. But this week, the group will release 100,000 pages of newly declassified documents related to Japanese war crimes, along with a new guide to U.S.-held materials on that topic. (A book of introductory essays, Researching Japanese War Crimes, will accompany the release.)
"Japanese war crimes have not received the intense scrutiny from the public or from scholars that has been given to Nazi materials," says Allen Weinstein, archivist of the United States and chairman of the working group.

For the rest of the story, click here (requires a subscription).