ever heard of Unit 731? If you have an interest in Japanese history and have researched it, you may have heard of the infamous Unit 731 that existed during World War II (1939 – 1945) and the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937 – 1945).
Unit 731 (Nana-san-ichi Butai) was the unit where the Department of Epidemic Prevention and Water Purification of the Kwantung army located in Pingfang district in the former puppet state of manchukuo, northeast China.
However, despite the official name, the Department that provided services in relation to health was, in fact, a facade to hide the real activities of Unit 731, practiced in the underground of the district.
The activities were based on human experiments on Chinese, Russian, Mongol, Korean and even Allied civilians and POWs. In addition, other guinea pigs were selected. Common criminals, captured enemies and anti-Japanese partisans. The unit was commanded by the general and surgeon of the Kwantung army, Shiro Ishii.
Inside Unit 731
Unit 731's horrendous activities included:
- Infection of prisoners with venereal diseases to study the effects of disease on the human body;
- Vivisection of prisoners without anesthesia to study the effect of diseases on organs;
- Subjection to rape by unit guards;
- Exposing prisoners to cold temperature testing to study the effects of freezing cold;
- Testing firearms such as grenades and flamethrowers and biological weapons using prisoners as human targets;
- Deprivation of water and food to determine the time prisoners took to die;
Unit 731 after the war
Eventually, after the end of World War II and Japan's surrender, Unit 731 was deactivated, putting an end to its activities. However, those involved in the experiments did not go to trial for the war crimes committed and were granted immunity by the Americans in exchange for the data collected during the experiments carried out at the unit.
As such, the existence of Unit 731 went unnoticed by the public. Thus, it remained far from popular knowledge until 1989, when human remains were discovered in Shinjuku buried in pits by workers who worked there.
Subsequently, the Japanese government had to admit the existence of Unit 731 and the experiments carried out during that time.
We leave a video below as a complement:
Unit 731 is one of the atrocities committed by the Empire of Japan during World War II. Therefore, Japan had to recant its Asian neighbors. This is something that will go down in Japanese history.
Despite the official retraction, countries like China and Korea still maintain a relationship of distance and distrust towards Japan. This is due to the inadequate approach to such atrocities committed by the Japanese in wartime.
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