This finding aid will help researchers interested in Japanese war crimes, war criminals, and war crimes trials to navigate the vast holdings of the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration at College Park (NARA). It will also be useful to anyone interested in military, intelligence, political, diplomatic, economic, financial, social, and
cultural activities in the Far East during 1931-1951, as well as to those searching for information regarding Allied prisoners of war; the organization, functions, and activities of American and Allied agencies; and the Japanese occupation of countries and the American
occupation of Japan. While not aimed at researchers interested in the strategic and tactical military and naval history of the war in the Far East, this finding aid may nevertheless be useful to those with such interests, if only to identify record groups and series of records
that may bear on those topics.
This finding aid covers records from over twenty record groups and includes materials declassified under the Japanese Imperial Government Disclosure Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-567) as well as records that were never classified and those declassified before the passage of the Disclosure Act. Because the process of identifying, declassifying, accessioning, and
processing of records under the Act is taking place as this finding is being compiled, late arriving records may not be identified in this finding aid. Researchers should consult the IWG Web site (http://www.archives.gov/iwg/) for a complete and up-to-date list of records declassified under the Japanese Imperial Government Disclosure Act.
Federal agencies involved in the identification and declassification of relevant classified records ascertained that there were relatively few pertinent records that were still classified. Most relevant records were either never classified or were declassified decades before the
Act and were already in NARA’s custody.
While this finding aid’s coverage is broad, it is not comprehensive. Researchers may find other relevant series of records within the record groups mentioned or not mentioned. Researchers are encouraged to use other finding aids and consult with NARA staff to locate records of interest. In addition, the National Archives at College Park holds nontextual records (such as still photographs and motion pictures) that researchers may want to examine. Other NARA facilities hold many records and donated material related to World War II, including records related to the subjects covered in this finding aid. This is particularly true of the Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Harry S. Truman, and the Dwight D. Think of archives as vast mountain ranges of records with the archivists guiding the expeditions. Explorations on familiar, well-trodden paths produce new perspectives when examined with fresh eyes and imagination.