The International Military Tribunal for the Far East was convened at Ichigaya Court, formerly the Imperial Japanese Army H building, in Ichigaya, Tokyo.
The International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE), also known as the Tokyo Trial or the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal, was a military trial convened on April 29, 1946, to try the leaders of the Empire of Japan for joint conspiracy to start and wage war (categorized as "Class A" crimes), conventional war crimes ("Class B") and crimes against humanity ("Class C").
Twenty-eight Japanese military and political leaders were charged with fifty-five separate counts encompassing the waging of aggressive war, murder and conventional war crimes committed against prisoners-of-war, civilian internees and the inhabitants of occupied territories. The defendants included former prime ministers, former foreign ministers and former military commanders. In the course of the proceedings, the court ruled that 45 of the counts, including all the murder charges, were either redundant or not authorized under the IMTFE Charter.
Two defendants died during the proceedings and one was ruled unfit to stand trial. All remaining defendants were found guilty of at least one count. Sentences ranged from seven years' imprisonment to execution.
The Tribunal was established to implement the Cairo Declaration, the Potsdam Declaration, the Instrument of Surrender, and the Moscow Conference. The Potsdam Declaration (July 1945) had stated, "stern justice shall be meted out to all war criminals, including those who have visited cruelties upon our prisoners," though it did not specifically foreshadow trials. The terms of reference for the Tribunal were set out in the IMTFE Charter, issued on January 19, 1946. There was major disagreement, both among the Allies and within their administrations, about whom to try and how to try them. Despite the lack of consensus, General Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers, decided to initiate arrests. On September 11, a week after the surrender, he ordered the arrest of 39 suspects—most of them members of General Hideki Tōjō's war cabinet. Tōjō tried to commit suicide, but was resuscitated with the help of U.S. doctors.