The following is the
excerpt of an article titled Japan Confronts Truth
About Its Germ Warfare Tests on Prisoners of War wirrten
by David McNeill and published on independent.co.uk on
February 22, 2011:
Scientists have begun digging for corpses
at the site of a former Tokyo medical college allegedly
used to conduct bio-warfare trials, reopening one of the
darkest chapters of Japan's wartime past.
The facility was reportedly linked
to Unit 731 of the Japanese Imperial Army, then the most elaborate biological warfare programme
[Because of Unit 731] A centre south
of Harbin in China turned typhoid, anthrax, smallpox, cholera
and dysentery into mass-produced killers. Live prisoners
were dissected to determine the effects of pathogens on
the human body.
Yoshio Shinozuka, who was 16 when he
was dispatched by Tokyo to help the Unit 731 scientists,
remembers the first time he assisted in an experiment on
one of the prisoners who were dubbed maruta, or logs. "I
knew the Chinese individual we dissected alive," he
recalls. "At the vivisection I could not meet his
eyes because of the hate in them. He was infected with
plague germs and... his face and body became totally black.
Still alive, he was brought on a stretcher to the autopsy
room, where I was ordered to wash the body. I used a rubber
hose and a deck brush to wash him... The man's organs were
excised one by one."
The results harvested from these experiments
were, by 1940, being used to spread typhoid, cholera and plague across China.
Soldiers dumped pathogens in rivers and water supplies.
Fleas were cultivated to carry the plague, then dumped
over Chinese villages. The effectiveness of the experiments
is widely disputed, but some historians put the casualty
count in the six-figure range.
After the war, the Japanese military
scientists who had built the programme and boasted of its
war-winning potential were given amnesty by the US occupation, in exchange for their research findings.
The military seal of approval meant
immunity for the key figures, including the programme's
architect, Shiro Ishii, who died of natural causes in Tokyo
in 1959. Many had lucrative post-war careers in the medical
story at Independence.co.uk
Some comments on the
story at the site:
We have to remember that the Japanese
were meddling in the affairs and started wars with China (1931) and earlier in Korea and had been committing
many atrocities (eg Nanking) during this period before
WWII. The Japanese have nevered apologized for their war
crimes and have never paid real compensation to their victims.
Their leaders still continue to visit the controversial
shrine honoring their war dead. As other posters have already
mentioned most of their war criminals escaped justice because
it suited the Western allies.
Its been strange and horrifying, to
improve my historical knowledge over the last few years,
filling major gaps which the english education system deemed
of no use to me, or any other young anglo seedlings. The
largest gap that surprised and shocked me was the role
of Japan in ww2. Which i don't recall ever hearing mentioned
by any of my history teachers, for their focus was on Hitler,
and England's 'proud' defiance of such a tyrant. The bataan
death march is a useful but wretched place to start, for
anyone wishing to equip themselves with more stories so
brutal than they can freeze parts of my mind for a few
seconds, then leave me quiet for hours...
'the Japanese started selecting prisoners
and every day one prisoner was taken out and killed and
eaten by the soldiers. I personally saw this happen and
about 100 prisoners were eaten at this place by the Japanese.
The remainder of us were taken to another spot 50 miles
[80 km] away where 10 prisoners died of sickness. At this
place, the Japanese again started selecting prisoners to
eat. Those selected were taken to a hut where their flesh
was cut from their bodies while they were alive and they
were thrown into a ditch where they later died.' - (a former
Indian POW who survived the march.)'
Allowing Japanese Emperor Hirihito
to live out his life in his palace and pose as a kindly
old man is one of the great crimes of post WWII Japan.
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