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Japanese "experiments" - Unit 731

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I often wonder how many of the members of the public in world nations have heard of the sickening activities that went on in the Japanese Army's 'Unit 731' during WWII? A tragic minority I shouldn't wonder?

It was a covert network of 150 buildings (6km sq) where Japanese 'doctors' -sanctioned by their Govt- systematically perfomed horrific, warped 'experiments' upon other asian civilians...and allied PoW's, that rivalled only the abhorent 'Rape of Nanking' in 1937 for atrocities and horror.

Shiro Ishii (employed by the US Govt during the Korean War), chief medical officer of the Jap Army,was placed in command, and from 1941 on all these units were known collectively as the "Epidemic Prevention and Water Purification Department of the Kwantung Army"

Test subjects were gathered from the local population and sometimes referred to euphemistically as "logs" -a term that originated as a joke by the staff due to the fact that the official cover story for the facility given to the local authorities was that it was a lumber mill.

The test subjects were selected to give a wide cross section of the population, and included common criminals, captured bandits and anti-Japanese fighters, political prisoners, allied servicemen, and also people rounded up by the secret police for alleged "suspicious activities" and included infants, the elderly, and pregnant women.

Amongst their unbelievably evil experiments were;-

  • Vivisections were performed on prisoners- without anesthesia- after infecting them with various diseases. Scientists performed invasive surgery on prisoners, removing organs to study the effects of disease on the human body.
  • These were conducted while the patients were alive -and often left in blinding agony whilst the operating staff took meal breaks- because it was felt that the decomposition process would affect the results.
  • The infected and vivisected prisoners included men, women, children, and infants.
  • Vivisections were also performed on pregnant women, sometimes impregnated by doctors, and the foetus removed.
  • Prisoners had limbs amputated in order to study blood loss, and those limbs that were removed were sometimes re-attached to the opposite sides of the body. Some prisoner's limbs were frozen and amputated, while others had limbs frozen then thawed to study the effects of the resultant untreated gangrene and rotting.
  • Some victim's had their entire stomachs surgically removed and the osophegous reattached to the intestines, and often parts of the brain, lungs and heart were removed from some prisoners.

Other tests included tying their victims up and exposing them to attacks by hand-grenades, flamethrowers and various germ and chemical weapon tests.

At the end of the war, US General MacArthur secretly granted immunity to the physicians of Unit 731 in exchange for providing the USA with their human-testing research on biological and chemical warfare, which we allies supposedly abhor?

And of course, as part of the healthy process of healing, have the Japanese authorities even bothered to systematically teach their post-war generations about what their young men did, thus acknowledging guilt, much less apologising, let alone compensating victims/nations? :blink::rolleyes:

Edited by John Wilson
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