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A Japanese researcher has unearthed U.S. government papers shedding light on the decadeslong mystery of what happened to the cremated remains of wartime Prime Minister Hideki Tojo and six other executed Class A war criminals.

While speculation and hearsay had circulated that their remains were scattered in the Pacific Ocean or Tokyo Bay, until now there had never been any official documents to back the claims.

In the latest edition of Japan Times Gone By, you can check out how the Nippon Times (as the JT was known then) reported the first witness testimony in the 1946 Tokyo trials that led to the convictions of Tojo et al.

Tojo and aides sentenced for war (1948) | BRITISH PATHE
Tojo and aides sentenced for war (1948) | BRITISH PATHE

So how did the hope of the 1920s degenerate into the horrors of the 1930s and 40s? In the Books section, Martin Laflamme reviews “Prelude to Pearl Harbor: Ideology and Culture in US-Japan Relations 1914-1941,” in which John Gripentrog looks into the events and attitudes that paved the way to war.

In the aftermath, the Tokyo trials addressed the propaganda campaign that led the Japanese to think they were superior to other races — and hence had the right to conquer them. As another article featured in the aforementioned JTGY column attests, attitudes hadn’t changed much 25 years later — although one nation was considered “slightly superior.”

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