Streams

A Japanese War Crimes Suspect and an Unsolved Mystery from World War II

Thursday, February 13, 2014

In the wake of World War II, the Allied forces charged 28 Japanese men with crimes against humanity. Eric Jaffe tells the story of one of the accused, a civilian named Okawa Shumei. On the first day of the Tokyo trial, he made headlines around the world by slapping star defendant and wartime prime minister Tojo Hideki on the head. Had Okawa lost his sanity? Or was he faking madness to avoid a grim punishment? Jaffee tells the story in his book A Curious Madness

Guests:

Eric Jaffe
News, weather, Radiolab, Brian Lehrer and more.
Get the best of WNYC in your inbox, every morning.

Comments [3]

Miss America from USA

Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Attack by Japan on US Soil: December 7, 1941
2,402 Americans were killed and 1,282 wounded.
US Casualties WWII Philippines: 111,606 Killed; 253,142 Wounded;
21,580 Prisoners of War
Four US battleships sunk.
Eight U.S. Navy battleships were damaged.
The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship and one minelayer. 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed.

Feb. 13 2014 01:00 PM
sophia

Heard the talk on C-SPAN. The case is about as "mysterious" as that of Vinnie-the-Chin.

The author's grandfather was duped, case closed.

Feb. 13 2014 12:48 PM
michael from BKNY

Looking fwd to this. PLease discuss recent comments by Shinzo Abe regarding Japanese cruelty and war crimes against humanity in China and his recent DENIAL of these facts that is tantamount to Nazi Holocaust-denial if not worse. Japan is undergoing a very bad and dangerous swing to the right (denial of war crimes, female slavery etc) and yet NOBODY is calling them out on this. If it were anyone saying this about Nazi warcrimes the world would be ip in arms. Is it any wonder China is paranoid and decides to go it alone?

Feb. 13 2014 12:40 PM

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.