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The Tokyo Trials war documentary airs at National Archives

By DONG LESHUO in Washington | China Daily USA | Updated: 2018-11-20 01:05
Poster for The Tokyo Trials provided to china daily

A Chinese-produced documentary has been shown for the first time at the US National Archives.

One episode of The Tokyo Trials, a three-part documentary about the Tokyo war crime trials after World War II, was screened at the archives in Washington on Thursday.

The Allied forces tried Japanese war criminals at the International Military Tribunal for the Far East in Tokyo after World War II.

The proceedings, lasting more than two and a half years, played an important part in shaping the postwar Asia-Pacific order.

The screening of the The Tokyo Trials series was in observance of the 70th anniversary of the trial's adjournment in 1948.

"This documentary series has reconstructed a vivid picture of the historic event," Mei Helen Xiaokan, daughter of Chinese Justice Mei Ru'ao, who participated in the Tokyo Trials, said at the screening ceremony.

Xiang Longwan, son of Hsiang Che-chun, a Chinese prosecutor for the tribunal, said he "deeply feels that China and the US were in an alliance for the anti-fascist war", an observation from his many visits to the National Archives to look up records.

"I deeply hope that this spirit of cooperation can be passed down from generation to generation," said Xiang.

"History should not be forgotten. We all cherish the hard-earned peace worldwide and wish that the regional and local conflicts still going on in many places today can be resolved by amicable means," Mei said.

"We wanted to reflect this part of the history in an objective and calm way. We tried not to put judgment in the film. We would want the audience to draw their own conclusions after watching," said Zhu Xiaoqian, director of the documentary.

The documentary was produced by the Copyright Assets Management Center of Shanghai Media Group (SMG) and the Shanghai Audio-Visual Archives. It took the crew four years to film in the United States, Japan, Germany, Australia, Singapore, Thailand and Philippines.

The documentary has won several awards, including Best Documentary Series at the 21st Asian Television Awards in December 2016.

The National Archives provided many relevant files, some of them made public for the first time in the filming, according to Song Jiongming, SMG vice-president.

"I knew this was something that our audiences here would be most interested in," said Tom Nastick, director of public programs at the National Archives and Records Administration.

"The records of this country, they matter. In order to learn more about history, you need to go back and look at the original records, so you get the truth. If you want to know the truth what happened in World War II in China, you need to go back to the original records. And this is what this film has done by using the records of the national archives," said Nastick.

"If it's a project where they have gone into our holdings and used them and created something special, we would want to be the place to present that to the American public," Nastick said.

Contact the writer at leshuodong@chinadailyusa.com

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