Press Release
Press Release · Wednesday, March 20, 2002

Press Release
March 20, 2002
Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Interagency Working Group

Thomas H. Baer, Public Member

Richard Ben-Veniste, Public Member

Christina M. Bromwell, Department of Defense

Elizabeth Holtzman, Public Member

Steven Garfinkel (Chair), National Archives and Records Administration

John E. Collingwood, Federal Bureau of Investigation

William H. Leary, National Security Council

David P. Holmes, Central Intelligence Agency

Paul A. Shapiro, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Eli M. Rosenbaum, Department of Justice

Marc J. Susser, Department of State

IWG Reports to Congress on U.S. Declassification of WWII Japanese War Crimes Records

Giuliana Bullard, IWG, 703-532-1477
Susan Cooper, NARA, 301-837-1700

Washington, D.C.-- The Interagency Working Group, formed under the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act of 1998 and the Japanese Imperial Government Disclosure Act of 2000, issued an interim report to Congress describing the government-wide effort to locate, declassify, and make publicly available U.S. records of Japanese war crimes. The report augments an October 1999 report to Congress-also required by statute-on the government's efforts to identify and declassify Nazi war crimes records.

The IWG's membership consists of representatives of seven Executive Branch agencies and three Presidentially appointed public members. It is tasked with identifying any classified U.S. records of Nazi or Japanese Imperial Army war crimes and recommending their declassification by the agencies for release to the public.

So far, agencies have declassified and are preparing to open 18,000 pages of Japanese war crimes records. An additional 60,000 pages are being reviewed for relevance and possible declassification.

The report highlights some materials opened under the Act, as well as some records that were previously opened but have not been mined by historians and researchers. They include records from the Office of Strategic Services (a CIA predecessor), dossiers of the Army Staff's Intelligence Records of the Investigative Records Repository (IRR), State Department records, and files of the Navy Judge Advocate General.

In addition, the report addresses the differences in the Japanese and Nazi phases of the declassification project. It provides some historical background, discusses previously available U.S. records on Japanese war crimes, and describes the return of captured Japanese records.

Copies of the report, Implementation of the Japanese Imperial Government Disclosure Act and the Japanese War Crimes Provisions of the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act: An Interim Report to Congress, can be downloaded from the IWG Web site.

For additional PRESS information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (301) 837-1700 or by e-mail. Visit the National Archives Home Page on the World Wide Web at


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