Have you heard of Unit 731? If you have an interest in the history of Japan and have already researched about 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 marionette state of Manchukuo, northeastern China.
However, despite its 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 underground in the district.
The activities were based on human experiments on Chinese, Russian, Mongolian, Korean and even Allied civilians and prisoners of war. In addition, other guinea pigs were selected. Common criminals, captured enemies and anti-Japanese supporters. The unit was commanded by the general and surgeon of the Kwantung army, Shiro Ishii.
Inside Unit 731
The horrific activities of Unit 731 included:
- Infection of prisoners with venereal diseases to study the effects of diseases on the human body;
- Vivisection of prisoners without anesthesia to study the effect of diseases on organs;
- Subject to rape by the unit’s guards;
- Exposing prisoners to a cold temperature test to study the effects of freezing cold;
- Testing of firearms such as grenades and flamethrowers and biological weapons using prisoners as human targets;
- Deprivation of water and food to determine how long it took prisoners 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 stand trial for the war crimes committed and immunity was guaranteed by the Americans in exchange for the data collected during the experiments carried out at the unit.
Therefore, the existence of Unit 731 went unnoticed by the public. Thus, it remained far from popular knowledge until 1989, when in Shinjuku human remains were buried 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 yet another atrocity committed by the Empire of Japan during World War II. As such, Japan had to portray itself before its Asian neighbors. This is something that will be marked in the history of Japan.
Despite official retraction, countries like China and Korea still maintain a distance and mistrust relationship with Japan. This is due to the inadequate approach to such atrocities committed by the Japanese in times of war.
Did you know Unit 731? What is your opinion on the matter? We appreciate comments and shares, we also recommend reading: