Akira Mutō

Last updated
Akira Mutō
MutouAkira.jpg
Born15 December 1892
Hakusui, (present day of Minamiaso, Kumamoto) Japan
Died23 December 1948(1948-12-23) (aged 56) Hanged
Sugamo Prison, Tokyo, Japan
AllegianceMerchant flag of Japan (1870).svg  Empire of Japan
Service/branchWar flag of the Imperial Japanese Army.svg  Imperial Japanese Army
Years of service1913–1945
Rank Lieutenant General
Commands held Imperial Guards Division
Battles/wars Second Sino-Japanese War
World War II

Akira Mutō (武藤 章,Mutō Akira, 15 December 1892 – 23 December 1948) was a general in the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II. He was convicted of war crimes and sentenced to death by hanging.

Imperial Japanese Army Official ground-based armed force of the Empire of Japan, from 1868 to 1945

The Imperial Japanese Army was the official ground-based armed force of the Empire of Japan from 1868 to 1945. It was controlled by the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff Office and the Ministry of the Army, both of which were nominally subordinate to the Emperor of Japan as supreme commander of the army and the navy. Later an Inspectorate General of Aviation became the third agency with oversight of the army. During wartime or national emergencies, the nominal command functions of the emperor would be centralized in an Imperial General Headquarters (IGHQ), an ad-hoc body consisting of the chief and vice chief of the Army General Staff, the Minister of the Army, the chief and vice chief of the Naval General Staff, the Inspector General of Aviation, and the Inspector General of Military Training.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

War crimes of the Empire of Japan occurred in many Asia-Pacific countries during the period of Japanese imperialism, primarily during the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II. These incidents have been described as an "Asian Holocaust". Some war crimes were committed by military personnel from the Empire of Japan in the late 19th century, although most took place during the first part of the Shōwa Era, the name given to the reign of Emperor Hirohito, until the surrender of the Empire of Japan in 1945.

Contents

Biography

Mutō was a native of Hakusui, Kumamoto, and a graduate of the 25th class of the Imperial Japanese Army Academy in 1913. He graduated from the 32nd class of the Army Staff College in 1920. Mutō was assigned as a military attaché to Germany from 1923–1926. On his return to Japan, he served in various administrative and staff positions within the Imperial Army General Staff Office.

Hakusui was a village located in Aso District, Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan.

Imperial Japanese Army Academy military academy

The Imperial Japanese Army Academy was the principal officer's training school for the Imperial Japanese Army. The programme consisted of a junior course for graduates of local army cadet schools and for those who had completed four years of middle school, and a senior course for officer candidates.

Army War College (Japan) staff college of the Imperial Japanese Army

The Army War College; Short form: Rikudai (陸大) of the Empire of Japan was founded in 1882 in Minato, Tokyo to modernize and Westernize the Imperial Japanese Army. Much of the empire's elite including prime ministers during the period of Japanese militarism were graduates of the college.

Mutō was on the strategic planning staff of the General Staff Office in 1935, and was chief of the military intelligence section of the Kwantung Army at the time of the Marco Polo Bridge Incident. He is believed to have been one of the planners behind the incident which sparked the Second Sino-Japanese War. [1] [2]

Military intelligence is a military discipline that uses information collection and analysis approaches to provide guidance and direction to assist commanders in their decisions. This aim is achieved by providing an assessment of data from a range of sources, directed towards the commanders' mission requirements or responding to questions as part of operational or campaign planning. To provide an analysis, the commander's information requirements are first identified, which are then incorporated into intelligence collection, analysis, and dissemination.

Kwantung Army military unit

The Kwantung Army was an army group of the Imperial Japanese Army in the first half of the 20th century. It became the largest and most prestigious command in the IJA. Many of its personnel, such as Chiefs of staff Seishirō Itagaki and Hideki Tōjō were promoted to high positions in both the military and civil government in the Empire of Japan and it was largely responsible for the creation of the Japanese-dominated Empire of Manchuria. In August 1945, the army group, around 713,000 men at the time, was defeated by and surrendered to Soviet troops as a result of the Manchurian Strategic Offensive Operation.

Marco Polo Bridge Incident initial battle of the Second Sino-Japanese War

The Marco Polo Bridge Incident, also known by Lugou Bridge Incident or Double-Seven Incident, was a battle between the Republic of China's National Revolutionary Army and the Imperial Japanese Army. It is widely considered to have been the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945).

Promoted to Vice Chief of Staff of the Japanese Central China Area Army, Mutō was in China for many of the initial campaigns of the conflict, and was later charged with having led troops during the worst excesses of the Nanking Massacre. Mutō was recalled to Japan in 1939, promoted to major general in 1939, and served on the Military Affairs Bureau of the Ministry of War.[ citation needed ]

Japanese Central China Area Army

The Japanese Central China Area Army was a field army of the Imperial Japanese Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War.

Major general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. The disappearance of the "sergeant" in the title explains the apparently confusing phenomenon whereby a lieutenant general outranks a major general while a major outranks a lieutenant.

Promoted to lieutenant general just prior to the start of the Pacific War, Mutō served as director of the Military Affairs Bureau at the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor. He was assigned command of the Second Imperial Guards Division at Singapore in April 1942. He was later assigned to command Japanese forces on Sumatra in Japanese -occupied Netherlands East Indies from June 1944, and was transferred to the Philippines in October 1944, where he was appointed chief of staff of the Japanese Fourteenth Area Army under General Tomoyuki Yamashita. [3]

Lieutenant general, lieutenant-general and similar is a three-star military rank used in many countries. The rank traces its origins to the Middle Ages, where the title of lieutenant general was held by the second in command on the battlefield, who was normally subordinate to a captain general.

Pacific War theatre of war in the Second World War

The Pacific War, sometimes called the Asia–Pacific War, was the theater of World War II that was fought in the Pacific and Asia. It was fought over a vast area that included the Pacific Ocean and islands, the South West Pacific, South-East Asia, and in China.

Attack on Pearl Harbor Surprise attack by the Imperial Japanese Navy on the U.S. Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor in Hawaii

The Attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Territory, on the morning of December 7, 1941. The attack, also known as the Battle of Pearl Harbor, led to the United States' formal entry into World War II. The Japanese military leadership referred to the attack as the Hawaii Operation and Operation AI, and as Operation Z during its planning.

He was accused of having conducted a campaign of slaughter, torture and other atrocities against the Filipino civilian population, prisoners of war and civilian internees, [4] and by ordering guerrilla containment.

A civilian is "a person who is not a member of the military or of a police or firefighting force". The term "civilian" is slightly different from a non-combatant under the law of war, as some non-combatants are not civilians. Under international law, civilians in the territories of a party to an armed conflict are entitled to certain privileges under the customary laws of war and international treaties such as the Fourth Geneva Convention. The privileges that they enjoy under international law depends on whether the conflict is an internal one or an international one.

Population All the organisms of a given species that live in the specified region

In biology, a population is the number of all the organisms of the same group or species, which live in a particular geographical area, and have the capability of interbreeding. The area of a sexual population is the area where inter-breeding is potentially possible between any pair within the area, and where the probability of interbreeding is greater than the probability of cross-breeding with individuals from other areas.

After the surrender of Japan, Mutō was arrested by the American occupation authorities and charged with war crimes before the International Military Tribunal for the Far East. He was convicted for atrocities against civilians and prisoners of war in both China and the Philippines, and was executed by hanging on 23 December 1948. [5]

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References

Books

Notes

  1. "WAR RESPONSIBILITY—delving into the past (2)/Konoe, Hirota sat on their hands". Yomiuri Shimbun. 13 August 2006.
  2. Reiji Yoshida (12 August 2006). "Yasukuni gripes still dog nation". The Japan Times.
  3. Ammenthorp, The Generals of World War II
  4. "Trial Watch: Akira Muto". Archived from the original on 28 May 2007. Retrieved 1 October 2007.
  5. Klip, Andre (2001). Annotated Leading Cases of International Criminal Tribunals. ISBN   9789050951418 . Retrieved 1 October 2007.