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Unit 731: Japan's Secret Biological Warfare in World War II

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From then on, the Japanese term for log, Maruta, was used to speak of the prisoners whose last days were spent being infected with lethal pathogens, torn apart, frozen, or gassed by Japanese researchers. The expression indicates a degree of racism far beyond disdain; it is evidence of a belief that torturing the Chinese was of no more consequence than squashing a bug. What makes this descent into barbarity all the more stunning was the Japanese contribution to medical science just three decades earlier. A U.S. Army doctor named Lewis Livingston Seaman observed colleagues who were attending to the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) during the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905). Conventional weapons tests were also carried out. Victims were tied to stakes and used to determine the operational range of flamethrowers, grenades, and various kinds of shells and bombs. Japanese microbiologist Dr. Shiro Ishii, head of Unit 731. As noted earlier, the primary objective of Ishii and Unit 731 was the creation of biological and chemical weapons. To facilitate that end, wholesale human experimentation was utilized, including the vivisection of thousands of people. The justification for performing all these surgeries came from the expectation that human tests would create better weapons. The Japanese government has also failed to grant the OSI meaningful access to these and related records after the war, while European countries, on the other hand, have been largely cooperative, [136] the cumulative effect of which is that information pertaining to identifying these individuals is, in effect, impossible to recover.

Neuman, William Lawrence (2008). Understanding Research. Pearson/Allyn and Bacon, p. 65. ISBN 0205471536 The Nanjing Massacre and Unit 731". Advocacy & Intelligence Index For POWs-MIAs Archives. 2001. Archived from the original on 17 October 2007 . Retrieved 28 September 2010. Endicott, Stephen and Hagerman, Edward. The United States and Biological Warfare: Secrets from the Early Cold War and Korea, Indiana University Press, 1999. ISBN 0253334721. At Tokyo's Kyushu Imperial University in 1945, US POWs from a shot down B-29 were subjected to fatal medical experimentation. [103] Surrender and immunity

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Silvester, Christopher (2006-04-29). "Electrocuted, gassed, frozen, boiled alive". Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Archived from the original on 2022-01-10 . Retrieved 2019-05-31. X, X (1950). Materials on the Trial of Former Servicemen of the Japanese Army Charged With Manufacturing and Employing Bacteriological Weapons. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House. Originally set up by the military police of the Empire of Japan, Unit731 was taken over and commanded until the end of the war by General Shirō Ishii, a combat medic officer. The facility itself was built in 1935 as a replacement for the Zhongma Fortress, a prison and experimentation camp. Ishii and his team used it to expand their capabilities. The program received generous support from the Japanese government until the end of the war in 1945. His younger brother, Prince Mikasa, toured the Unit 731 headquarters in China, and wrote in his memoir that he watched films showing how Chinese prisoners were "made to march on the plains of Manchuria for poison gas experiments on humans." [1]

The best moments are when Yang and co-author, Yue-Him Tam, a professor of history at Macalester College in Minnesota, reveal the stories of ordinary people who suffered. In 1934, some 30 prisoners staged a breakout of the unit. They carry an interview with a villager who still remembered he and his brother desperately trying to smash the fetters as the Japanese patrols drew closer; some were killed others, escaped to join the resistance. A special project, codenamed Maruta, used human beings for experiments. Test subjects were gathered from the surrounding population and sometimes euphemistically referred to as "logs" ( 丸太, maruta), used in such contexts as "How many logs fell?" This term originated as a joke on the part of the staff because the official cover story for the facility given to local authorities was that it was a lumber mill. According to a junior uniformed civilian employee of the Imperial Japanese Army working in Unit731, the project was internally called "Holzklotz," German for log. [21] In a further parallel, the corpses of "sacrificed" subjects were disposed of by incineration. [22] Researchers in Unit731 also published some of their results in peer-reviewed journals, writing as though the research had been conducted on nonhuman primates called "Manchurian monkeys" or "long-tailed monkeys." [23] Additionally, Unit731 Youth Corps member Yoshio Shinozuka testified that his friend junior assistant Mitsuo Hirakawa was vivisected as a result of being accidentally infected with plague. [62] Known unit members Under the auspices of weapons development and intentional infection of diseases, prisoners were injected with various biological agents including plague, typhus, cholera, anthrax, and syphilis. Thousands of these still-dangerous bombs remain in the Chinese countryside today, Tam says. Some people still suffer from the Japanese "dirty" bombs.Emanuel, Ezekiel; Grady, Christine; Crouch, Robert; Lie, Reidar; Miller, Franklin (2011). The Oxford Textbook of Clinical Research Ethics. US: Oxford University Press. p.36. Names of 3,607 members of Imperial Japanese Army's notorious Unit 731 released by national archives". The Japan Times. April 16, 2018. Archived from the original on April 18, 2018 . Retrieved April 17, 2018.

Barenblatt, Daniel. A Plague Upon Humanity: The Secret Genocide of Axis Japan's Germ Warfare Operation, HarperCollins, 2004. ISBN 0060186259. Twenty years later, Japan signed the Geneva Convention, which prohibited biological and chemical warfare. But where other men reasoned with justification that these kinds of weapons should be banned by civilized nations, another man, a specialist in bacteria and related fields, Dr. (Colonel) Shiro Ishii, saw the prohibition as an opportunity. Su, Zhaohui; McDonnell, Dean; Cheshmehzangi, Ali; Abbas, Jaffar; Li, Xiaoshan; Cai, Yuyang (2021). "The promise and perils of Unit 731 data to advance COVID-19 research". BMJ Global Health. 6 (5): e004772. doi: 10.1136/bmjgh-2020-004772. PMC 8141376. PMID 34016575. In June-July 1944, during the Battle of Saipan, plague-infested fleas were again to be used against U.S. forces. Fortuitously for the Americans, by this stage in the war it had become almost impossible for the Japanese to get any reinforcements and or matériel to its island bastions, and the Japanese submarine carrying the fleas was sunk en route.Kristof, Nicholas D. (1995-03-17). "Unmasking Horror – A special report.; Japan Confronting Gruesome War Atrocity". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331 . Retrieved 2023-01-03. There are unit members who were known to be interned at the Fushun War Criminals Management Centre and Taiyuan War Criminals Management Centre after the war, who then went on to be repatriated to Japan and founded the Association of Returnees from China and testified about Unit 731 and the crimes perpetrated there.

a b Ye, Josh (February 4, 2020). "Hit manga My Hero Academia removed in China over war crimes reference". South China Morning Post. Archived from the original on November 19, 2020 . Retrieved November 11, 2020. September 7, 1940, 6 pm: Tired and exhausted. Looks with hollow eyes. Weeping redness of the skin of the upper part of the body. Eyelids edematous, swollen. Epiphora. Hyperemic conjunctivae.

While male prisoners were often used in single studies, so that the results of the experimentation on them would not be clouded by other variables, women were sometimes used in bacteriological or physiological experiments, sex experiments, and as the victims of sex crimes. The testimony of a unit member that served as a guard graphically demonstrated this reality: Harris, S.H. (2002). Factories of Death: Japanese Biological Warfare, 1932–1945, and the American Cover-up. Routledge. p.334. ISBN 978-0415932141. Archived from the original on 2022-06-07 . Retrieved 2017-07-08. Nakagawa Yonezo [ ja], professor emeritus at Osaka University, studied at Kyoto University during the war. While he was there, he watched footage of human experiments and executions from Unit731. He later testified about the playfulness of the experimenters: [25]

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