2009 Najita Distinguished Lecture

Dr. Yuki Tanaka, Hiroshima Peace Institute
“Crime and Responsibility: War, Indiscriminate Bombing, and Mass Killing”

February 2-3, 2009
Poster | Program
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Summary

In his lecture Dr. Tanaka examines the question of the criminality of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the responsibility of American political and military leaders who were closely involved in the decision-making and execution of the order to drop the bombs. Criminality is examined in accordance with international law effective at the time that the bombs were dropped and in the light of the Charter of the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal.

Dr. Tanaka also examines the history and present situation of indiscriminate aerial bombing of civilian populations. He examines how the use of this tactic started, what kind of military logic was used to justify it, and why it is still being widely sanctioned despite the fact that large numbers of civilians are repeatedly victimized in various war-torn regions of the world. He further explores how we should utilize the result of the International Peoples’ Tribunal of Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to increase understanding of the fact that killing civilians is a crime against humanity, regardless of the asserted military justification.

About the Speaker

Yuki Tanaka is Research Professor at Hiroshima Peace Institute of Hiro­shima City University. Since the mid-1980s he has been concentrating his research on war crimes and is the author of several books, includ­ing Japan’s Comfort Women: Sexual Slavery and Prostitution during World War II and the US Occupation (2001) and Hidden Horrors: Japanese War Crimes in World War II (1997).
Listen to Dr. Tanaka's interview on NPR's "Worldview" program for February 2, 2009.