Xiang Longwan is a descendant of the Chinese prosecutor, Hsiang Che-chun, who was part of the Tokyo Trials. He is the Honorary Director of Tokyo Trial Studies at the Shanghai Jiaotong University and he explains how the hearings helped preserve civilization. The trials were rigorous, but also fair and civilized.
"The Tokyo Trials were trials to defend civilization, and they were also civilized trials. 'Class A' charges or allegations of crimes against peace were brought against top Japanese leaders during the war. Seven defendants were sentenced to death by hanging for war crimes. Crimes against peace and crimes against humanity are still part of basic international law. That's how it defended human civilization, by punishing those offenders. And the trials weren't simply the victorious nations demanding that defeated countries cede territory or pay indemnities. It went through strict legal procedures that included the presumption of innocence. Evidence and witnesses were presented by both prosecutors and the defense, and reasonable sentences were handed down. Judges were allowed to have different opinions. Therefore, the Tokyo Trials were civilized trials that stuck to legal principles, and the verdicts were solid. They've been able to stand the test of time, and won't be overturned," Xiang said.