Law Library

Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal – The Relentless Defenders

  • John G. Brannon and George Yamaoka
  • John G. Brannon
    an American attorney from Kansas City, Missouri, hired by MacArthur to defend Class A Japanese War Criminal, Osami Nagano, Chief of the Imperial Japanese Navy General Staff, in trial before the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal. (photographer unknown)
  • George Yamaoka
    Georgetown Law graduate class of 1928, was one of the select group of American Attorneys appointed by General MacArthur in 1945 to help in the defense of those Japanese accused of war crimes. (photograph courtesy of Georgetown University Law Center Archives)
  • John G. Brannon
    and some of the American Defense Team members for the Class A Japanese war criminals at the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, Tokyo circa 1947, photographer unknown.
  • "I know the inside of the Japanese Navy better than any American, civilian or officer. I am an American first and a lawyer second. Admiral Yamamoto had a secret plan for [an] attack [on] Washington, D.C. " (John G. Brannon, February 26, 1947)
  • (Times-Herald archives is now a part of The Washington Post)
  • Tokyo Storefronts. (Photograph taken by John G. Brannon, date unknown)
  • "…that I gave my all for the preservation of international justice. Honestly, I think we have performed a service to the whole world in proving how ridiculous it is to attempt to convict a group of men on purely political charges". (John G. Brannon, November 14, 1947)
  • The Complete Defense Team before resignations circa 1948, photographer unknown.
  • Photograph of post WWII Japan by John G. Brannon. (date unknown)
  • "The fallacy of your thinking in regard to these alleged war criminals here is a perfect example [of] narrow minded American and elsewhere thinking. And by this I do not criticize you personally. 'There is Pearl Harbor to avenge.' you write. Do you accept revenge as the purpose for this million dollar monstrosity? Well if you do, I suppose you are like all the Judges here too…But that isn't why I am here–just to defend the Japanese. I would like to think this terribly exhausting ordeal is for the more noble and worthy purpose…. I want to contribute to the establishment of future international law predicated on American concepts of justice" (John G. Brannon, December 19, 1947)
  • "A character – Pesh's Bad Boy" (photograph by John G. Brannon, date unknown)
  • (Newspaper source unknown. Clipping from the John G. Brannon Papers.)

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