War Crimes: The Uneasy Bargains of Peacetime

Six decades after the end of World War II in the Pacific, the anniversary celebrations are still tempered by memories of Japanese war crimes. Australia tried 924 enemy nationals: 148 were sentenced to death and a further 496 imprisoned. But the gradual release of war-trials information, previously hidden in the nation's archives, is augmenting those terrible memories. The documents show that, for reasons of political expedience, more than 100 suspected war criminals were released in 1950.

Queensland lawyer John Bell thought the Japanese troops responsible for the strangling of his grandfather in New Guinea had been tried and...

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