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Guilt, survival, opportunities, and stigma

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Abstract

Following the end of World War II, Japanese interpreters faced unique andcomplex opportunities and hardships. In occupied Japan, thousands of localinterpreters (and translators) were recruited to assist in a variety of occupation operations led bythe US forces. In war crimes trials, Japanese linguists played an important roleas interpreters in court proceedings against their former superiors and compatriots.At the same time, some interpreters who had served in the JapaneseArmy were prosecuted as war criminals. Wartime interpreters were also tappedas witnesses to testify for the prosecution during trials. Thesediverse experiences of Japanese interpreters during the occupation period shinelight on some issues and risks faced by wartime interpreters and local interpretersserving foreign military occupiers.

References

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