Unit 731: Japanese-style Auschwitz, never again?
The global shutdown from the COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented, and as nations are grappling with adaptations and perspectives, the United Nations Secretary Antonio Guterres has recommended time and again that all nations cooperate and collaborate with one another. On June 26, 2020, he stood up for the United Nations Charter and reminded us of that watershed moment at its 75th anniversary, calling on nations to “reimagine multilateralism, give it teeth to function as its founders intended, and ensure that effective global governance is a reality when it is needed.” It is a sober reminder that the United Nations, and World Health Organization, so dependent on U.S. patronage, is undergoing shaky times.
President Trump has already announced that the U.S. will cut funding for the World Health Organization, and ultra-conservatives have proposed quitting the United Nations. Many young voters have their views colored by Libertarianism, which frequently promotes a conspiracy that the New World Order is all about One World Government. Actually our planet is so huge and complex, it is barely humanly governable; hence the attempt by the U.N. to curry a semblance of civic order. Whether it is honoring biological diversity, calling for a global ceasefire, proposing a debt moratorium, or dismantling trade barriers to help win the war against the pandemic, it appears the U.N. Chief is, nevertheless, seemingly ignored.
The fury of the virus illustrates the folly of war. That is why today, I am calling for an immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world. It is time to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives. —U.N. Chief Antonio Guterres, March 23, 2020
For young people of the 21st century that fight includes climate change, resources depletion, environmental degradation, nuclear proliferation, pushback on human rights, and even cyber-attacks. That is obviously a far cry from a vision of the 21st century of where we are developing along the lines of Plan C, restoring communities, building justice, fostering spiritual growth, and developing free energy. In fact, it is as if we have stepped back in time and are at the cusp of revisiting the Old Forces.
AGN‘s quest to trace the origins of COVID-19 almost reads, as Gospa News‘ Fabio Guiseppe Carlo Carisio puts it, like Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express mystery; however it might be more apt for those of us with oriental lineage to picture it like the movie, “Rising Sun.” In any event, it appears that there is much more to biodefense labs and vaccine development than any one government wants to admit, let alone the Big Pharma corporations. Chinese, English, and French scientists, even an ambassador, have recently passed on.
Thanks to citizen-journalists and writers such as featured at China Rising radio, a Bioweapon Truth Commission global online library was created. There are documents, podcasts, and reports going back to World War II and the Korean War. Being related to civilians and veterans who served, there are always questions about their physical and mental health, and why they even refuse to talk about their experiences. Even having written a book, a family memoir, the discovery that there was germ warfare used during the Korean War was a revelation for me; let alone that the biotechnology came from Japan which unleashed tons of germ warfare on civilians during the Second Sino-Japanese War under Unit 731.
The history of Unit 731 is definitely a shock because it is never in the history books, and students would never hear about it unless they were avid World War II history buffs. However there is a personal watershed moment from my growing up years. Did I not recognize an overt mania represented by all those Lysol, Listerine, glass floor shine, and radio commercials in the 60s? The American housewife was obsessed with a germ-free house in contrast with the vermin represented by the depraved yellow hordes whose countries were sprayed with germs. There was also an unspoken fear about germs among Chinese refugees’ consciousness, like a dark shadow never mentioned because it could not be formulated.
Poring over the online materials available on Unit 731, the gap that AGN has long felt in her consciousness, an invisible yet tangible sense of hidden history, helps explain so much. There had to be more to why so many mothers in Canton were suffering miscarriages and hemorrhaging to death; why bouts of typhoid and cholera appeared at random; why my grandfather was stricken with both T.B. and malaria in one lifetime; and why refugees on the road sensed something else they were running from besides just soldiers and bombs.
Unit 731, officially known as the Epidemic Prevention and Water Purification Department, was the headquarters and command for Japan’s germ warfare activities in China. Located in Harbin, in Pingfang, the Japanese government under General Surgeon Shiro Ishii would have free rein to conduct bacteriological, and weapons research. The location was chosen because it was already under Japanese occupation and Chinese victims could easily be rounded up on pretexts as ‘human guinea pigs.’ They were experimented upon until they died; there were no survivors; and after they were killed by various methods, they were also chopped up and cremated. Because the residents at Pingfang could only build one-story level structures, they were not allowed to confirm their suspicions. Dust, gas, and insects released from the building roamed the countryside contaminating the fields and infecting villagers.
The annual budget was extremely generous, and Japanese doctors and medics were eager to serve, being told they would gain solid experience as well as a salary and peerage. From 1936-1945, test regions were expanded to include at least 63 other units covering China, Korea, Singapore, and other Asian countries. It is not coincidental perhaps that the Manchurian Japanese Army Unit was named Kwantung; the hard-consonant variant represents Guangdong, the ultimate objective of the Japanese empire being to extend from North China down through Canton. Unit 8604 was headquartered at Sun Yat-Sen University of Medical Sciences in 1939 in Guangdong (Canton). The staff was headed by Major General Dr. Sato Shunji, and included 800 personnel (of which 600 were soldiers and both commissioned and noncommissioned officers). While the 200 medical and scientific researchers conducted experiments, field staff were frequently needed in conducting large scale tests or physically spreading contaminants around the countryside.
Despite the 1925 Geneva Protocol, formally known as the Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare being signed at Geneval, Switzerland on Jun 17, 1925, several fatal flaws belied its simplicity. With respect to Japan, it had signed but never ratified it, and parties which were non-signatory were not covered by the Protocol. Many Asian countries, including China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Korea, Laos, and Philippines, were under too much duress to become signatories, meaning that the Protocol was nonbinding in these countries. Furthermore, the Protocol contained no stipulations on research, development, or stockpiling of bacteriological or chemical weapons. In general, the agreement was unenforceable, and there were no contingencies for use within a state’s borders as in a civil conflict.
“Unit 731 Japanese Human Experimentation – The Aftermath” by Brody Hyde, Narr. & Writer Paul Johnson, Photography & Audio Desi Sansalone, Original Art by Hilary Moses
[If Google Japan removes this watch “Unit 731 — Nightmare in Manchuria” @ Dailymotion.com/video/x2lt24q dai.ly/x2lt24q]
In the documentary film, “Unit 731 Japanese Human Experimentation – The Aftermath“, Ms. Wang Xuan, an activist who has researched for decades, tells journalists what motivated her is that Changshan is her family’s ancestral village, and her uncle died of plague. Before the Japanese came, there had never been a recorded incident of plague in the village’s history. Ms. Wang describes her case explicitly. This was a big case study in which the Japanese military dropped 8 kilos of plague infected fleas upon the village located in Central China.
“So one-third of the people died of plague in the village. The local people didn’t know anything about plague. There’s no plague in written history, for over a thousand years, there has been no plague.” Afterwards, the Japanese army “sent a special mission unit to investigate the plague in my village. So these were biological warfare specialists. They cut people open. And they published scientific papers on the experiments. —Ms. Wang Xuan, Unit 731 Researcher and activist
The declassified document from June 1947 shown later on in the video does indeed indicate that plague was experimented using human ‘guinea pigs’, one of several code words for Chinese, Korean, or Soviet prisoners in science reports. Other code words included “Manchurian monkey” or “Korean monkey” or “Long-tailed monkey.”
One troubling thought that AGN had exploring the available information is how many generations are affected by the dispersal of a battery of diseases, and within the disease vector populations themselves (rodents, insects), as well as in the natural surroundings (water, soil, vegetation). In several documentaries, the villagers displayed hideous leg sores called “Rotten Leg Syndrome.” While the Japanese hastened to destroy Unit 731 as quickly as possible following surrender, many remnants remained and it was obviously a huge undertaking to locate bioweapons and other unexploded ordnance over the years with the help of the People’s Army.
According to Australian investigative journalist Ben Hills who published “Inside Japan’s Wartime Factory of Death” (circa 1995):
“And as the war ended and Unit 731 fled back to Japan, they unleashed their final onslaught on the people of Pingfang. Jing Fuhe, then a boy of 10, recalls watching in amazement as an extraordinary menagerie of sick animals escaped from the ruins of the death factory—camels, monkeys, rats, bears, squirrels, horses. That was what caused the epidemic that wiped out his family. ‘No one will ever know how many people died altogether,’ say Han Xiao [curator Unit 731 Museum]. ‘I think the number has to be in the millions.’ Western scholars such as Sheldon H. Harris [author of Factories of Death] put the minimum figure at 250,000.”
The minute size of virus (in nanometers) and bacteria would not be filtered out by common cloth textiles, so it’s unknown how far the dust and ash traveled from crematoriums, how many birds and mammals were affected, and the long-term effects in nature. What is known is that an effective cover-up was launched in a devil’s bargain with the United States even before the surrender, because the American military saw too much value in the research, so data was accepted in exchange for immunity from prosecution for the Japanese scientists.
That cover-up ensured that amoral behavior and corruption would be continued surreptitiously, but also that the consciences of all those who belabored these crimes of humanity would never be assuaged. By never recognizing that they had committed atrocious crimes and murders, the Japanese people were deprived of understanding remorse, let alone grief for their attacks in other nations. According to Dr. Brian O’Leary, retired physicist and author of Reinheriting the Earth, all that has happened since the 20th century, and continues to take place now, is connected with the Old Forces paradigm as opposed to the New Free Energy Paradigm that we need today. Our entire earth and especially all of humanity must finally come together and grieve if we are to survive and cope with huge challenges ahead. O’Leary and his wife, Meredith Mitchell, postulate that there is an analogy with our pathway between the current and the new, and it is akin to the grief cycle presented by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, inventor of the Kubler-Ross model presented in On Death and Dying.
There are five stages to traverse in the cycle for healthy grieving, the first two stages being denial, then anger. It appears that while the Japanese government did issue a general apology in 1995, they have more often than not tried to sweep history under the rug, or white-wash the facts with either omissions, minimizations, or even denials. By continually emphasizing their scientific contributions from their deranged biowarfare experiments or the international recognitions garnered, they have harmed their descendants. They have also further damaged the diplomatic relations and healing possible between Japan and China, who afterall, share so many cultural intangibles. Ultimately a new paradigm shift can be actuated only if all of humankind recognizes that civilization is not just appearance, manners, and smarts: it must embrace true values, including understanding the lasting value of redemption.
As the Buddhist JingSi aphorism states: “Only by realizing the truth of suffering, can one attain happiness.” Forcing whole nations to apologize may or may not work, since the most important work is actually internal. According to decades-long researcher Jin Chengmin at the Museum of Evidence of War Crimes by Japanese Army Unit 731, out of 3000 to 4000 people remaining from the days of Unit 731, only 30 to 40 people volunteered to interview. Of those, focusing on how to reflect and disclose, only a handful seemed to understand the need for closure, such as Okawa Fukumatsu, who as a last wish, presented his ceremonial Japanese sword to the Museum.
While a select few who have come out to offer testimony are genuinely remorseful, others adopt a gallows humor with their bloodlust and frenzied joy manifesting in their eyes. Of course the best of the testimonies are displayed only by the Museum so that the visitors will not be too horrified or corrupted. Of the worse ones, they are preserved here and here. Naturally AGN watched a couple of the testimonies and read the statements, but it was obvious that the tenor was not conducive for Epidemic Prevention and Water Purification. It caused AGN to wonder almost prejudicially if there is something innately wrong with Japanese culture, such as a maniacal fixation on Thing-ism. However exploring the issue further, AGN discovered a helpful perspective by Knowing Better who specializes in history and psychology. According to Knowing Better, basically, Japan has suffered from growing pains.
So much of its culture was borrowed and adapted from China that Japan suffers “a little brother complex.” If you don’t believe me, please watch his presentation, “Playing the Victim: Historical revisionism and Japan.” Even if one is not convinced, it does help one understand why Japan might have, and still holds mighty ambitions. Certainly, for a much bigger country, both Chinas (PRC and Taiwan) have not been too vindictive, only reproachful. Unit 731 staff who offered apologies were even praised as heroes, and admired for their courage.
In closing my brief exploration of Unit 731 for now, AGN believes it is proper to allow China, which suffered massive setbacks, resulting in tens of millions dead in both the Sino-Japanese Wars and civil war, to offer its own reflections on history as carefully reconstructed. It has taken decades for it to gather the strength and evidence to substantiate in museum form that a Unit 731 existed and there was systematic Japanese biowarfare research, weapons development, and deployment taking place in various provinces and including in other countries. The work is far from finished. One lively related discussion that AGN followed that has allowed social insight on the matter was found at Quora.com in answers to the question: “Why did Japan kill so many Chinese people in the Nanking massacre, and not other nationalities like the Vietnamese or the Indonesians?” It was refreshing and inspiring to discover that people are learning and sharing their own history, for in the United States, history is generally popular only insofar as test-taking is concerned. One interesting fact that most Westerners overlook is that actually many different ethnic groups and religions (including Muslims) reside in China, but these were nevertheless uniformly victimized by the Japanese.
Unmasking Japan’s Germ Warfare Project Unit 731 (https://youtu.be/hC4MrY4qXTA)
New China TV‘s “Unmasking Japan’s Germ Warfare Project Unit 731” is a very condensed version of Unit 731’s history. It includes a virtual tour of the Museum of Evidence of War Crimes by Japanese Army Unit 731 which opened in 2015. Here are some quotes by Jin Chengmin (curator) that are memorable because they are cryptic:
“The germs produced by Unit 731, once spread, will exterminate human beings not once, but several times.”
“Experimenting with humans that are alive for the purpose of germ warfare not only harmed people physically and mentally but also harmed nature and the environment and distorted the nature of medicine as a result. Its negative effects are endless…”
“A considerable number of people were infected and tortured. They endured enormous pain.”
“All these acts breached public international law and were contrary to the purpose of medical research for the benefit of mankind. It was immoral.”
“Even today, germ warfare or bombs are still being uncovered. A toxic gas bomb deserted by the Japanese army was discovered in Taiyuan, Shanxi, in 2014.”
“We at least want them to acknowledge what happened in history, publicly apologize to us Chinese people, and give monetary compensation to the victims. That would be a wise move on the part of the Japanese government. Yet, even if they did this, they would still be far from having compensated us for our losses.”–Fang Yunshang (relative of Unit 731 victim)
Top image from Infograph at PacificAtrocities.org (Untold Stories of WWII)