Prince Yasuhiko Asaka of Japan and his spouse Princess Nobuko Asaka, with their entourage on the steps of the Peace Palace. On the far right, Dr. Jacob ter Meulen, Director of the Peace Palace Library. Date 1925.

General Prince Yasuhiko Asaka (1887-1981) of Japan, was the founder of a collateral branch of the Japanese imperial family and a career officer in the Imperial Japanese Army. Son-in-law of Emperor Meiji and uncle by marriage of Emperor Shōwa (Hirohito).

Nanking Massacre 1937

Prince Asaka was commander of Japanese forces in the final assault on Nanking (now Nanjing), then the capital city of Nationalist China, in December 1937. He was implicated in the Nanking massacre but never charged. He was interrogated about his involvement in the Nanking Massacre on 1 May 1946, but was not brought before the International Military Tribunal for the Far East for prosecution. Indeed, for politico-strategic and geopolitical reasons, General Douglas MacArthur decided to support the Imperial family and to grant immunity to all its members.

Peace Palace Library | Photo collection