Tokyo RoseTokyo Rose was a name given by United States forces in the South Pacific during World War II to any of several female broadcasters of Japanese propaganda. However, the name is usually associated with Iva Toguri D'Aquino who was tried for treason by the United States government.
Iva Toguri D'Aquino stood trial for eight "overt acts" of treason at the Federal District Court in San Francisco in July 1949. Neither Toguri nor any of the other women called herself Tokyo Rose: the name was invented by GIs and applied by them to any female Japanese announcer. During what was at the time the costliest trial in U.S. history (over half a million dollars), the prosecution presented only twelve witnesses, including two of Toguri's former supervisors at Radio Tokyo (both of whom later admitted to having committed perjury) and a few soldiers who could not distinguish between what they had heard on radio broadcasts and what they had heard by way of rumour.
Iva Toguri, for her part, denied during the trial that she had committed treason. Ordered to make propaganda broadcasts along with other prisoners of war, Toguri claimed she and her associates subtly sabotaged the Japanese war effort. The American and Australian prisoners of war who wrote her scripts assured her she was doing nothing wrong and immediately after the war General Douglas MacArthur's staff and the United States Justice Department cleared her of wrongdoing.
When the United States press caused an uproar over her attempt to return to the United States in 1948, Toguri was put on trial. Her former supervisors at Radio Tokyo under government pressure gave perjured or otherwise distorted testimony that was instrumental in her conviction. Count VI (the only count on which she was convicted) claimed, "That on a day during October, 1944, the exact date being to the Grand Jurors unknown, said defendant, at Tokyo, Japan, in a broadcasting studio of The Broadcasting Corporation of Japan, did speak into a microphone concerning the loss of ships." The supervisor at Radio Tokyo gave the following evidence:
- ""I said to Toguri I had a release from the Imperial General Headquarters giving out results of American ship losses in one of the Leyte Gulf battles, and I asked that she allude to this announcement, make reference to to the losses of American ships in her part of the broadcast, and she said she would do so."
- "Now you fellows have lost all your ships. Now you really are orphans of the Pacific. How do you think you will ever get home?"