Tomoyuki Yamashita

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Tomoyuki Yamashita

Tomoyuki Yamashita (November 8, 1885 - February 23, 1946) was a general of the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II. He was most famous for conquering the British colonies of Malaya and Singapore, earning the nickname "Tiger of Malaya." An American military tribunal tried General Yamashita for war crimes relating to the Manila Massacre and sentenced him to death. This case has become a precedent regarding the command responsibility for war crimes and is known as the Yamashita Standard. Tomoyuki Yamashita was hanged on February 23, 1946, at Los Baños Prison Camp. His chief of staff in the Philippines, Akira Mutō, was executed on December 1948 after having been found guilty of war crimes by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East.


  • I was carrying out my duty, as the Japanese high commander of the Japanese Army in the Philippine Islands, to control my army with the best of my ability during wartime. Until now, I believe that I have tried my best for my army. As I said in the Manila Supreme Court that I have done everything with all my capacity, so I wouldn't be ashamed in front of the Gods for what I have done when I have died. But if you say to me "you do not have any ability to command the Japanese Army," I should say nothing in response, because it is my own nature. Now, our war criminal trial is going on in the Manila Supreme Court, so I wish to be justified under your kindness and righteousness. I know that all your American military affairs always have had tolerant and rightful judgment. When I had been investigated in the Manila court, I have had good treatment, a kind attitude from your good-natured officers who protected me all the time. I will never forget what they have done for me even if I die. I don't blame my executioners. I'll pray that the Gods bless them. Please send my thankful word to Col. Clarke and Lt. Col. Feldhaus, Lt. Col. Hendrix, Maj. Guy, Capt. Sandburg, Capt. Reel, at Manila court, and Col. Arnard. I thank you. I pray for the Emperor's long life and prosperity forever.
    • Last words. Quoted in "Yamashita Hanged Near Los Banos" - "New York Times" article - February 23, 1946
  • How could we win when you had all that?
    • About the great armada of ships gathered for the invasion of Japan. Quoted in "The Tiger of Malaya: The Story of General Tomoyuki Yamashita" - Page 38 - by Aubrey Saint Kenworthy - 1953
  • We have just received your reply. The Japanese Army will consider nothing but surrender.
    • Quoted in "But Not in Shame: The Six Months After Pearl Harbor" - Page 216 - by John Toland - 1961
  • In order to carry out orders from the southern army I sent 50,000 troops to Leyte, but due to air and submarine attacks half of them were lost.
    • Quoted in "Yamashita Denies Any Atrocity Link" - New York Times - November 29, 1945
  • All I want to hear from you is Yes or No!
    • Demanding the surrender of Singapore. Quoted in "Secret Missions: The Story of an Intelligence Officer" - Page 419 - by Ellis M. Zacharias - 2003

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