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Tomoyuki Yamashita

Tomoyuki Yamashita

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General was a general
General
A general officer is an officer of high military rank, usually in the army, and in some nations, the air force. The term is widely used by many nations of the world, and when a country uses a different term, there is an equivalent title given....

 of the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. He was most famous for conquering the British colonies of Malaya
Battle of Malaya
The Malayan Campaign was a campaign fought by Allied and Japanese forces in Malaya, from 8 December 1941 – 31 January 1942 during the Second World War. The campaign was dominated by land battles between British Commonwealth army units, and the Imperial Japanese Army...

 and Singapore
Battle of Singapore
The Battle of Singapore was fought in the South-East Asian theatre of the Second World War when the Empire of Japan invaded the Allied stronghold of Singapore. Singapore was the major British military base in Southeast Asia and nicknamed the "Gibraltar of the East"...

, earning the nickname "The Tiger of Malaya".

Biography


Yamashita was born the son of a local doctor in Osugi village, in what is now part of Ōtoyo village
Otoyo, Kochi
is a town located in Nagaoka District, Kōchi, Japan. It is the only municipality in Shikoku where over 50% of the population is aged over 65.-Geography:...

, Kōchi prefecture
Kochi Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located on the south coast of Shikoku. The capital is the city of Kōchi.- History :Prior to the Meiji Restoration, Kōchi was known as Tosa Province and was controlled by the Chosokabe clan in the Sengoku period and the Yamauchi family during the Edo period.- Geography...

, Shikoku
Shikoku
is the smallest and least populous of the four main islands of Japan, located south of Honshū and east of the island of Kyūshū. Its ancient names include Iyo-no-futana-shima , Iyo-shima , and Futana-shima...

. He attended military preparatory schools in his youth.

Early military career


After graduating from the 18th class of the Imperial Japanese Army Academy in 1905, Yamashita joined the Army in 1906 and fought against the German Empire
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

 in Shantung, China in 1914. He attended the 28th class of the Army War College
Army War College (Japan)
The ; Short form: of the Empire of Japan was founded in 1882 in Minato, Tokyo to modernize and Westernize the Imperial Japanese Army. Much of the empire's elite including prime ministers during the period of Japanese militarism were graduates of the college....

, graduating sixth in his class in 1916. He married Hisako Nagayama, the daughter of retired General Nagayama in 1916. Yamashita became an expert on Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, serving as assistant military attaché
Military attaché
A military attaché is a military expert who is attached to a diplomatic mission . This post is normally filled by a high-ranking military officer who retains the commission while serving in an embassy...

 at Bern, Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

 and Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

, Germany from 1919–1922.

On his return to Japan in 1922, Yamashita served in the Imperial Headquarters and the Staff College. While posted to the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff, Yamashita unsuccessfully promoted a military reduction plan. Despite his ability, Yamashita fell into disfavor as a result of his involvement with political factions within the Japanese military. As a leading member of the "Imperial Way" group
Imperial Way Faction
The was a political faction in the Imperial Japanese Army, active in the 1920s and 1930s and largely supported by junior officers aiming to establish a military government, that promoted totalitarian, militarist, and expansionist ideals...

, he became a rival to Hideki Tōjō
Hideki Tōjō
Hideki Tōjō was a general of the Imperial Japanese Army , the leader of the Taisei Yokusankai, and the 40th Prime Minister of Japan during most of World War II, from 17 October 1941 to 22 July 1944...

 and other members of the "Control Faction". In 1928, Yamashita was posted to Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

, Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

, as the military attaché.

In 1930, Colonel Yamashita was given command of the elite 3rd Imperial Infantry Regiment. After the February 26 Incident
February 26 Incident
The was an attempted coup d'état in Japan, from February 26 to 29, 1936 carried out by 1,483 troops of the Imperial Japanese Army. Several leading politicians were killed and the center of Tokyo was briefly occupied by the rebelling troops...

 of 1936, he fell into disfavor with Emperor
Emperor of Japan
The Emperor of Japan is, according to the 1947 Constitution of Japan, "the symbol of the state and of the unity of the people." He is a ceremonial figurehead under a form of constitutional monarchy and is head of the Japanese Imperial Family with functions as head of state. He is also the highest...

 Hirohito
Hirohito
, posthumously in Japan officially called Emperor Shōwa or , was the 124th Emperor of Japan according to the traditional order, reigning from December 25, 1926, until his death in 1989. Although better known outside of Japan by his personal name Hirohito, in Japan he is now referred to...

 due to his appeal for leniency toward the rebel officers involved in the attempted coup.

Early war years


Yamashita insisted that Japan should end the conflict with China
Second Sino-Japanese War
The Second Sino-Japanese War was a military conflict fought primarily between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan. From 1937 to 1941, China fought Japan with some economic help from Germany , the Soviet Union and the United States...

 and keep peaceful relations with the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

, but he was ignored and subsequently assigned to an unimportant post in the Kwantung Army. From 1938 to 1940, he was assigned to command the IJA 4th Division
4th Division (Imperial Japanese Army)
The was an infantry division in the Imperial Japanese Army. Its call-sign was .-History:The 4th Infantry Division was formed in Osaka City in January 1871 as the , one of six regional commands created in the fledgling Imperial Japanese Army...

 which saw some action in northern China against Chinese insurgents fighting the occupying Japanese armies.

In December 1940, Yamashita was sent on a clandestine
Clandestine operation
A clandestine operation is an intelligence or military operation carried out in such a way that the operation goes unnoticed.The United States Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms defines "clandestine operation" as "An operation sponsored or conducted by governmental...

 military mission to Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 and Italy
Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946)
The Kingdom of Italy was a state forged in 1861 by the unification of Italy under the influence of the Kingdom of Sardinia, which was its legal predecessor state...

, where he met with Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 and Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism....

.

Malaya and Singapore



On 6 November 1941, Yamashita was put in command of the Twenty-Fifth Army
Japanese Twenty-Fifth Army
The was an army of the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II, noted for its role in the Battle of Malaya and Battle of Singapore.-History:The Japanese 25th Army was formed on 5 July 1941 under the Imperial General Headquarters...

. On 8 December, he launched an invasion of Malaya
Battle of Malaya
The Malayan Campaign was a campaign fought by Allied and Japanese forces in Malaya, from 8 December 1941 – 31 January 1942 during the Second World War. The campaign was dominated by land battles between British Commonwealth army units, and the Imperial Japanese Army...

, from bases in French Indochina
French Indochina
French Indochina was part of the French colonial empire in southeast Asia. A federation of the three Vietnamese regions, Tonkin , Annam , and Cochinchina , as well as Cambodia, was formed in 1887....

. In the campaign, which concluded with the fall of Singapore
Battle of Singapore
The Battle of Singapore was fought in the South-East Asian theatre of the Second World War when the Empire of Japan invaded the Allied stronghold of Singapore. Singapore was the major British military base in Southeast Asia and nicknamed the "Gibraltar of the East"...

 on 15 February 1942, Yamashita's 30,000 front-line soldiers captured 130,000 British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

n, and Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

n troops, the largest surrender
Surrender (military)
Surrender is when soldiers, nations or other combatants stop fighting and eventually become prisoners of war, either as individuals or when ordered to by their officers. A white flag is a common symbol of surrender, as is the gesture of raising one's hands empty and open above one's head.When the...

 of British-led personnel in history. He became known as the "Tiger of Malaya".

The campaign and the subsequent Japanese occupation of Singapore
Japanese Occupation of Singapore
The Japanese occupation of Singapore in World War II occurred between about 1942 and 1945 after the fall of Singapore on 15 February 1942. Military forces of the Empire of Japan occupied Singapore after defeating the combined Australian, British, Indian and Malayan garrison in the Battle of Singapore...

 included war crime
War crime
War crimes are serious violations of the laws applicable in armed conflict giving rise to individual criminal responsibility...

s committed against captive Allied
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

 personnel and civilians, such as the Alexandra Hospital and Sook Ching
Sook Ching massacre
The Sook Ching massacre was a systematic extermination of perceived hostile elements among the Chinese in Singapore by the Japanese military during the Japanese Occupation of Singapore, after the British colony surrendered on 15 February 1942 during the Second World War. Sook Ching was later...

 massacres. Yamashita's culpability for these events remains a matter of controversy, as some argued that he had failed to prevent them. However, Yamashita had the officer who instigated the hospital massacre and some soldiers caught looting
Looting
Looting —also referred to as sacking, plundering, despoiling, despoliation, and pillaging—is the indiscriminate taking of goods by force as part of a military or political victory, or during a catastrophe, such as during war, natural disaster, or rioting...

 executed for these acts, and he personally apologized to the surviving Alexandra Hospital patients.

Manchuria


On 17 July 1942, Yamashita was reassigned from Singapore to far-away Manchukuo
Manchukuo
Manchukuo or Manshū-koku was a puppet state in Manchuria and eastern Inner Mongolia, governed under a form of constitutional monarchy. The region was the historical homeland of the Manchus, who founded the Qing Empire in China...

 again, having been given a post in commanding the First Area Army
Japanese First Area Army
The was a field army of the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II, based in northern Manchukuo and active in combat against the Soviet Union in the closing stages of the war...

, and was effectively sidelined for a major part of the Pacific War
Pacific War
The Pacific War, also sometimes called the Asia-Pacific War refers broadly to the parts of World War II that took place in the Pacific Ocean, its islands, and in East Asia, then called the Far East...

. It is thought that Tōjō, by then the Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Japan
The is the head of government of Japan. He is appointed by the Emperor of Japan after being designated by the Diet from among its members, and must enjoy the confidence of the House of Representatives to remain in office...

, was responsible for his banishment, taking advantage of Yamashita's gaffe during a speech made to Singaporean civilian leaders in early 1942, when he referred to the local populace as "citizens of the Empire of Japan
Empire of Japan
The Empire of Japan is the name of the state of Japan that existed from the Meiji Restoration on 3 January 1868 to the enactment of the post-World War II Constitution of...

" (this was considered embarrassing for the Japanese government, who officially did not consider the residents of occupied territories to have the rights or privileges of Japanese citizenship
Citizenship
Citizenship is the state of being a citizen of a particular social, political, national, or human resource community. Citizenship status, under social contract theory, carries with it both rights and responsibilities...

).

The Philippines


In 1944, when the war situation was critical for Japan, Yamashita was rescued from his enforced exile in China by the new Japanese government after the downfall of Hideki Tōjō and his cabinet, and he assumed the command of the Fourteenth Area Army to defend the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 on 10 October. The U.S. forces
Military of the United States
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...

 landed on Leyte on 20 October, only ten days after Yamashita's arrival at Manila. On 6 January 1945, the Sixth U.S. Army, totalling 200,000 men, landed at Lingayen Gulf
Lingayen Gulf
The Lingayen Gulf is an extension of the South China Sea on Luzon in the Philippines stretching . It is framed by the provinces of Pangasinan and La Union and sits between the Zambales Mountains and the Cordillera Central...

 in Luzon
Luzon
Luzon is the largest island in the Philippines. It is located in the northernmost region of the archipelago, and is also the name for one of the three primary island groups in the country centered on the Island of Luzon...

.

Yamashita commanded approximately 262,000 troops in three defensive groups; the largest, the Shobo Group, under his personal command numbered 152,000 troops, which defended northern Luzon. The smallest group, totaling 30,000 troops, known as the Kembu Group, under the command of Tsukada, which defended Bataan
Bataan
Bataan is a province of the Philippines occupying the whole of the Bataan Peninsula on Luzon. The province is part of the Central Luzon region. The capital of Bataan is Balanga City and it is bordered by the provinces of Zambales and Pampanga to the north...

 and the western shores. The last group, the Shimbu Group, totaling 80,000 men under the command of Yokoyama, defended Manila
Manila
Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is one of the sixteen cities forming Metro Manila.Manila is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay and is bordered by Navotas and Caloocan to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east, Makati on the southeast,...

 and southern Luzon. Yamashita tried to rebuild his army but was forced to retreat from Manila to the Sierra Madre
Sierra Madre (Philippines)
The Sierra Madre is a mountain range in The Philippines. It is located along the north-eastern coast of Luzon Island, running north/south. Quezon National Forest Park is situated in the range.-Geography:...

 mountains of northern Luzon, as well as the Cordillera Central mountains. Yamashita ordered all troops, except those tasked with security, out of the city.

Almost immediately, Imperial Japanese Navy
Imperial Japanese Navy
The Imperial Japanese Navy was the navy of the Empire of Japan from 1869 until 1947, when it was dissolved following Japan's constitutional renunciation of the use of force as a means of settling international disputes...

 Rear Admiral
Rear Admiral
Rear admiral is a naval commissioned officer rank above that of a commodore and captain, and below that of a vice admiral. It is generally regarded as the lowest of the "admiral" ranks, which are also sometimes referred to as "flag officers" or "flag ranks"...

 Sanji Iwabuchi re-occupied Manila with 16,000 sailors, with the intent of destroying all port facilities and naval storehouses. Once there, Iwabuchi took command of the 3,750 Army security troops, and against Yamashita's specific order, turned the city into a battlefield. The battle and the Japanese atrocities resulted in the deaths of more than 100,000 Filipino civilians
Filipino people
The Filipino people or Filipinos are an Austronesian ethnic group native to the islands of the Philippines. There are about 92 million Filipinos in the Philippines, and about 11 million living outside the Philippines ....

, in what would be later known as the Manila massacre
Manila massacre
The Manila massacre refers to the February 1945 atrocities conducted against Filipino civilians in Manila, Philippines by Japanese troops during World War II.-Description:...

, during the fierce street fighting for the capital which raged from February 4 to March 3.

Yamashita used delaying tactics to maintain his army in Kiangan (part of the Ifugao Province), until 2 September 1945, after the surrender of Japan
Surrender of Japan
The surrender of Japan in 1945 brought hostilities of World War II to a close. By the end of July 1945, the Imperial Japanese Navy was incapable of conducting operations and an Allied invasion of Japan was imminent...

, where his forces were reduced to under 50,000 by the tough campaigning by elements of the combined American and Filipino soldiers including the recognized guerrillas. Yamashita surrendered in the presence of Generals Jonathan Wainwright
Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright IV
Jonathan Mayhew "Skinny" Wainwright IV was a career American army officer and the commander of Allied forces in the Philippines at the time of their surrender to the Empire of Japan during World War II...

 and Arthur Percival, both of whom had been prisoners of war
Prisoner of war
A prisoner of war or enemy prisoner of war is a person, whether civilian or combatant, who is held in custody by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict...

 in Manchuria
Manchuria
Manchuria is a historical name given to a large geographic region in northeast Asia. Depending on the definition of its extent, Manchuria usually falls entirely within the People's Republic of China, or is sometimes divided between China and Russia. The region is commonly referred to as Northeast...

. Ironically, Percival had surrendered to Yamashita after the Battle of Singapore. This time, however, Percival refused to shake Yamashita's hand, being angered by the exterminationist tactics that Yamashita had allegedly employed against Allied POWs, so Yamashita burst into tears. Although Yamashita might have been expected to commit suicide
Seppuku
is a form of Japanese ritual suicide by disembowelment. Seppuku was originally reserved only for samurai. Part of the samurai bushido honor code, seppuku was either used voluntarily by samurai to die with honor rather than fall into the hands of their enemies , or as a form of capital punishment...

 prior to this surrender, he reportedly explained his decision not to kill himself by saying that if he did "someone else will have to take the blame."

Trial


From 29 October to 7 December 1945, an American military tribunal
Military tribunal
A military tribunal is a kind of military court designed to try members of enemy forces during wartime, operating outside the scope of conventional criminal and civil proceedings. The judges are military officers and fulfill the role of jurors...

 in Manila tried General Yamashita for war crime
War crime
War crimes are serious violations of the laws applicable in armed conflict giving rise to individual criminal responsibility...

s relating to the Manila Massacre
Manila massacre
The Manila massacre refers to the February 1945 atrocities conducted against Filipino civilians in Manila, Philippines by Japanese troops during World War II.-Description:...

 and many atrocities in the Philippines and Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

 against civilians and prisoners of war, such as the Sook Ching massacre
Sook Ching massacre
The Sook Ching massacre was a systematic extermination of perceived hostile elements among the Chinese in Singapore by the Japanese military during the Japanese Occupation of Singapore, after the British colony surrendered on 15 February 1942 during the Second World War. Sook Ching was later...

, and sentenced him to death. This controversial case has become a precedent regarding the command responsibility
Command responsibility
Command responsibility, sometimes referred to as the Yamashita standard or the Medina standard, and also known as superior responsibility, is the doctrine of hierarchical accountability in cases of war crimes....

 for war crimes and is known as the Yamashita Standard.

The trial was not without criticism. The commission of five officers lacked combat experience and formal legal training, and the defense counsel complained they were given insufficient time in which to prepare their case. With many Filipinos
Filipino people
The Filipino people or Filipinos are an Austronesian ethnic group native to the islands of the Philippines. There are about 92 million Filipinos in the Philippines, and about 11 million living outside the Philippines ....

 perhaps understandably anxious to make Yamashita pay for their sufferings during the Japanese occupation, the intensely emotional atmosphere of the trial rendered it extremely difficult for the court to judge the case objectively. The court admitted hearsay evidence
Hearsay in United States law
Hearsay is the legal term for testimony in a court proceeding where the witness does not have direct knowledge of the fact asserted, but knows it only from being told by someone. In general the witness will make a statement such as, "Sally told me Tom was in town," as opposed to "I saw Tom in...

, unnamed witnesses, and other forms of evidence which the defense could not reasonably challenge. Because the well-known Yamashita was the first Japanese to be tried by the Allies for war crimes, MacArthur
Douglas MacArthur
General of the Army Douglas MacArthur was an American general and field marshal of the Philippine Army. He was a Chief of Staff of the United States Army during the 1930s and played a prominent role in the Pacific theater during World War II. He received the Medal of Honor for his service in the...

 wanted a swift trial and a guilty verdict to establish a precedent for the approaching trials in Tokyo and elsewhere in the Far East
Far East
The Far East is an English term mostly describing East Asia and Southeast Asia, with South Asia sometimes also included for economic and cultural reasons.The term came into use in European geopolitical discourse in the 19th century,...

.

In dissenting from the Supreme Court of the United States
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

's majority, Justice W.B. Rutledge
Wiley Blount Rutledge
Wiley Blount Rutledge, Jr. was an American educator, lawyer, and justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.-Early life:...

 wrote:
The principal accusation against Yamashita was that he had failed in his duty as commander of Japanese forces in the Philippines to prevent them from committing brutal atrocities. The defense acknowledged that atrocities had been committed but contended that the breakdown of communications and the Japanese chain of command in the chaotic battle of the second Philippines campaign was such that Yamashita could not have controlled his troops even if he had known of their actions, which was not certain in any case. Furthermore, many of the atrocities had been committed by Japanese naval forces outside his command.

During his trial, the defense attorneys who challenged Douglas MacArthur deeply impressed General Yamashita with their dedication to the case, and reaffirmed his respect for his former enemies. American lawyer Harry E. Clarke, Sr., then a U.S. Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 colonel
Colonel
Colonel , abbreviated Col or COL, is a military rank of a senior commissioned officer. It or a corresponding rank exists in most armies and in many air forces; the naval equivalent rank is generally "Captain". It is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures...

, served as chief counsel for the defense. In his opening statement, Clarke asserted:
The court found Yamashita guilty as charged and sentenced him to death. Clarke appealed the sentence to MacArthur, who upheld it. He then appealed to the Philippines Supreme Court
Supreme Court of the Philippines
The Supreme Court of the Philippines is the Philippines' highest judicial court, as well as the court of last resort. The court consists of 14 Associate Justices and 1 Chief Justice...

 and the United States Supreme Court
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

, both of which declined to review the verdict.

The legitimacy
Legitimacy (law)
At common law, legitimacy is the status of a child who is born to parents who are legally married to one another; and of a child who is born shortly after the parents' divorce. In canon and in civil law, the offspring of putative marriages have been considered legitimate children...

 of the hasty trial was questioned by many at the time, including Justice Frank Murphy
Frank Murphy
William Francis Murphy was a politician and jurist from Michigan. He served as First Assistant U.S. District Attorney, Eastern Michigan District , Recorder's Court Judge, Detroit . Mayor of Detroit , the last Governor-General of the Philippines , U.S...

, who protested various procedural issues, the inclusion of hearsay evidence, and the general lack of professional conduct by the prosecuting officers. In re Yamashita 327 U.S. 1, 27
Case citation
Case citation is the system used in many countries to identify the decisions in past court cases, either in special series of books called reporters or law reports, or in a 'neutral' form which will identify a decision wherever it was reported...

 (1946). The considerable body of evidence that Yamashita did not have ultimate command responsibility over all military units in the Philippines was not admitted in court.

Execution


Following the Supreme Court decision, an appeal for clemency was made to U.S. President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman was the 33rd President of the United States . As President Franklin D. Roosevelt's third vice president and the 34th Vice President of the United States , he succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when President Roosevelt died less than three months after beginning his...

; Truman, however, declined to intervene and left the matter entirely in the hands of the military authorities. In due course, General MacArthur confirmed the sentence of the Commission.

On 23 February 1946, at Los Baños, Laguna
Los Baños, Laguna
The Nature and Science City of Los Baños is a 1st class urban city in the province of Laguna, Philippines. According to the latest census, it has a population of 98,631 inhabitants in 17,030 households...

 Prison Camp, 30 miles (48.3 km) south of Manila, Yamashita was hanged. After climbing the thirteen steps leading to the gallows, he was asked if he had a final statement. To this Yamashita replied through a translator:
Yamashita's chief of staff in the Philippines, Akira Mutō
Akira Muto
- Notes :...

, was executed on 23 December 1948 after having been found guilty of war crimes by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East
International Military Tribunal for the Far East
The International Military Tribunal for the Far East , also known as the Tokyo Trials, the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal, or simply the Tribunal, was convened on April 29, 1946, to try the leaders of the Empire of Japan for three types of crimes: "Class A" crimes were reserved for those who...

.

External links