On 28 July 1946, United States Assistant Secretary of War Howard Petersen charged Japanese authorities with war crimes in the Philippines. He stated that 131,028 US and Philippine citizens, mostly civilians, were killed between 7 December 1941 and the end of World War II. Of those, 91,184 Filipino civilians and 595 US civilians died as a result of murder, brutality, torture, or other forms of violence and ill-treatment that qualified as war crimes for which charges could be filed. 

Japan occupied the Philippines for more than three years until it capitulated. The number of Filipinos the Japanese used as slave labour and the number of young Philippine women who were placed in brothels serving the Japanese army would later be ascertained accurately. At each Japanese military installation, so-called "comfort zones" were set up, where young Filipino women served as sex slaves.

The Philippine capital Manila was reduced to rubble. A total of 527,000 Filipinos were killed, according to later estimates. 72 cases of war crimes with mass casualties have been proven. 336,500 died because of war-related famine. The Philippine population declined steadily over the next five years due to the spread of disease and the lack of basic infrastructure for civilised life.

All of these charges were brought against the Japanese imperialists at the International Military Tribunal for the Far East in Tokyo, which was held from 29 April 1946 to 12 November 1948. Seven of the defendants, including two former prime ministers, Koki Hirota and Hideki Tojo, were to be sentenced to death by hanging. The sentences were carried out on 23 December 1948 in the courtyard of Sugamo Prison in Tokyo.


Lev Smirnov, Evgeny Zaitsev, “Tokyo Court”, Moscow: Military Publishing House of the Ministry of Defence of the Soviet Union, 1978