Shiro Ishii -Japan’s Medical Monster

Chief Medical Officer, notorious Unit 731

Chief Medical Officer, notorious Unit 731

I stumbled on this story while searching for information on biological warfare.  I’m a history buff, fairly cognizant of the theater of blood that was WWII and the medical atrocities committed by the Nazis;  not as well versed in the Pacific war. But this story of Shiro Ishii, Japanese wartime medical experimenter was someone I hadn’t heard of.  Unlike some of the top Nazis, the Japanese might be said to have gotten away with the horrors they committed, as the records of their acts were deliberately concealed by the U.S. occupation at the end of the war.
Anyone  acquainted with the levels of Japanese barbarity during WWII probably won’t be surprised by their medical experiments. While all war is barbarous, the atrocities carried out by the Japanese Imperial Forces seem to exceed those of most other countries for sheer numbers slaughtered and the gut wrenching savagery and sadism of the deeds.  If you have the stomach for pure evil, read here and see if you agree.  The victims of  Japanese barbarity included untold numbers of Chinese, Sikhs, Filipinos, Javanese, Malays, Russians, Dutch, Australians, Brits, Americans, Koreans; in short anyone the military got their hands on. Here’s an excerpt:

LOA KULU MASSACRE (July 30, 1945)

After surrendering to overwhelming numbers of Japanese troops, around one hundred members of the Netherlands East Indies Army were disarmed and for a while permitted restricted freedom in the town of Samarinda, in Borneo, where most of the soldiers lived with their families. Early on the morning of July 30, all prisoners, including their families, were rounded up and taken before a Japanese officer who summarily sentenced them all to death. No reason was given as they were bundled into lorries and taken to Loa Kulu just outside the town. There they had their hands tied behind their backs and as the men and children watched, the women were systematically cut to pieces with swords and bayonets until they all died. The screaming children were then seized and hurled alive down a 600 foot deep mine shaft. The men captives, forced to kneel and witness the butchery of their wives and children, and suffering the most indescribable mental torture, were then lined up for execution by beheading. When the grisly ritual was over, the bloodied corpses and severed heads of the 144 men were then thrown down the mine shaft on top of their murdered wives and children. The horror of Loa Kulu was discovered by Australian troops who had earlier started a search for the missing Dutch soldiers.

or this:


While many atrocities were committed on Luzon, this one stands out for its sheer bloody mindedness. Fourteen Filipino resistance fighters surrendered to the Nippon savages after their ammunition was expended. Tied together neck to neck and with hands tied behind their backs, they were marched three miles to their place of execution. Ordered to sit down, another group of prisoners were brought in and forced to dig fourteen holes two feet wide and four and a half feet deep. When the digging finished the fourteen Filipinos, with their neck ropes removed, were forced to jump into the holes while the other group shoveled the earth back into the hole and stamped it down hard until only the head and neck of the victims were visible above ground. Their repugnant duty finished, the grave diggers were then lined up and shot in cold blood. The attention of the Japanese was now focused on the fourteen heads awaiting decapitation. A few soldiers had gone behind some bushes to defecate and after scraping together their excreta on to banana leaves they returned to the buried victims and kneeling down offered each head a last meal. Unable to move, the helpless men could only shake their head from side to side whereupon the Japanese soldiers stuffed the revolting faeces into their mouths amidst peals of laughter from their comrades. After they had their fun, the serious business of execution commenced as an officer drew his sword and with deft strokes separated the fourteen heads from the bodies. No one was ever punished for this foul deed.

Had enough?

With so much evil everywhere the medical experiments of Shiro Ishii do not seem beyond the norm but they were.  Most of the experiments occurred at Kiyushu University Mukden and Pingfan, Manchuria:

Unit-731-photo-10t Chemical and biological experimental Units 731 and 100, of    the  Germ Warfare Complex were situated at Pingfan. It was here that Chinese and Manchurian nationals were experimented upon. It is not known exactly how many Allied POWs were subjected to these experiments but their numbers were relatively small. The terrible experiences suffered by prisoners at Pingfan and Mukden, has been, for over forty years, one of the best kept secrets of the Second World War.

Kiyushu University:

…in the university’s anatomy department they were subjected to the most horrible medical experiments imaginable. One prisoner was shot in the stomach so that Japanese surgeons could get practice at removing bullets. Amputations on legs and arms were practiced while the victims were still alive. One was injected with sea water in an experiment to find out if sea water could be substituted for saline solution. One badly wounded American, thinking he was going to be treated for his wound, was anaesthetized and woke up to find that one of his lungs had been removed. He died shortly after. Others had part of the liver removed to see if they could still live.

and Pingfan:

The huge, super-secret laboratory station for chemical and biological warfare called Unit 731. Shiro Ishii was the chief medical officer .  Humans, mostly Chinese, but some Russians and others designated humorously as mantuas or “logs”were caged and subjected to dissection and amputation without anesthesia, frostbite and gangrene experiments, injection with various infectious and chemical agents, before execution.

Pingfan had 4,500 flea breeding machines which produced 100 million infected fleas every few days. These fleas, infected with plague, typhoid, cholera and anthrax organisms, were to be dropped on the invasion troops in a last ditch effort to win the war. Most of these plague-infected fleas was purposely released before the complex was destroyed. North-eastern China immediately became a disaster area and at least 30,000 people died over the next three years from plague and other diseases.

Photos from CharonBoat:

phosphorus burns-first female victim Unit 731

phosphorus burns-first female victim Unit 731

According to the article, this is one of the best kept secrets of the war:
Only one person among the medical experimenters is known to have been tried for war crimes.  The others, including Shiro Ishii made a deal with General McArthur to turn over the results of their horrifying experiments for use by the Americans in exchange for total exhoneration.  Ishii died of throat cancer in 1959.  Many others became government officials or heads of pharmaceutical companies after the war, benefiting directly from their atrocities.
From DeepBlackLies:

gas burn caused gangrene-Unit 731

gas burn caused gangrene-Unit 731

Scientists and medical experts from Fort Detrick, Maryland – the American top secret BW facility – raced to interview Japanese technicians.  Barely one of them stopped to consider the ethical implications.  Having assessed the facts, an intelligence cable coldly informed the War Department, Washington DC, that the “foregoing information warrants conclusion that Japanese BW Group, headed by Ishii did violate rules of land warfare.”  The message added pragmatically: “this expression of opinion is not a recommendation that group be charged and tried as such.”  None of those implicated in Japanese BW research were brought to trial by the Allies.

Douglas McArthur warned the U.S. to keep the files secret, which it did, until forced to release them in 1993. Even the British government participated in the cover-up.  Apparently the experiments didn’t stop with the end of the war.

from DeepBlackLies:

Mukden inmate, Arthur Christie, a private in the Loyal’s Regiment, has no reason to think successive British governments lived up to his Regiment’s proud name. His many letters to the government, were met with an icy response. “Ministry of Defence, Whitehall, December 12, 1986: … we still have no evidence to support allegations that the Japanese experimented on Allied POW’s at Mukden, nor any evidence to support the allegations of a conspiracy to conceal the truth about what took place.”


24 Responses to Shiro Ishii -Japan’s Medical Monster

  1. Harry Wood says:
    A Preliminary Review of Studies of Japanese Biological Warfare and Unit 731 in the United States Tien-wei Wu Table of contents • Introduction • The origin of Unit 731 • The US knowledge of the Germ War • The deal between US and Unit 731 members • Japanese experiments on American POWs (Related article: The Failure of Tokyo Trial) In the midst of continuous denial by important members of the Japanese government individually or collectively that Japan was an aggressor in World War II, the planned exhibition of the Smithsonian Institute to commemorate the end of WWII in Asia has turned into an unusually fervid debate, with which an interest in discussing and writing on Japan’s wartime atrocities has been aroused. Most prominent among numerous writings on the subject is “Japan Confronting Gruesome War Atrocity” penned by Nicholas D. Kristof and published inNew York Times on March 17, 1995. The article has given us a detailed account of the most shocking, heinous, cruel crime the civilized world has ever known: Japanese Unit 731 used human beings for vivisection in order to develop biological weapons. Equally unbelievable is that the United States has covered up the crime in exchange for the data on human experiments, an act utterly ignoring international laws and human justice. What a great irony to the lofty ideal of democracy and the so-called “American civilization” of the 20th century! The shock created by Kristof’s article has been felt primarily in the U.S. and a few Western countries. However, as early as 1949, the Soviet Union held a week long trial at Khabarovsk of the Japanese war criminals for biological warfare. Among those tried, 12 people were associated with 731, including General Yamada Otozo, Commander-in-Chief of the Kuantung Army, Lt. Gen. Ryuiji Kajitsuka, Chief of the Medical Administration, and Lt. Gen. Takaatsu Takahashi, Chief of the Veterinary Division, both in the Kuantung Army; Maj. Gen. Kiyoshi Kawashima, longtime head of Unit 731’s production department; Maj. Gen. Shunji Sato, head of Unit 731’s Canton branch; and Lt. Col. Toshihide Nishi, Major Tomio Karasawa, Maj. Maso Onoue, Lt. Zensaku Hirazakura, Senior Sergeant Kazuo Mitomo, Corporal Norimitsu Kikuchi, and Private Yuji Kurushima, all of Unit 731. The entire proceedings of the trial were published under the title “The Trial of Former Servicemen of the Japanese Army Charged with Manufacturing and Employing Bacteriological Weapons” by Foreign Language Publishing House, Moscow, 1950. Since 1940, in Chinese theater, Ishii Shiro had led his Unit 731 to engage in biological warfare by attacking Ningpo, Chinhua, Chuchou of Chechiang province (during the Japanese-Soviet war at Nomonhan, Mongolia in the summer of 1939, Unit 731 was dispatched to the front to make bacterial assault). To retaliate the U.S. air raid of Tokyo led by Col. Doolittle in April 1942, from which over 60 U.S. airmen were rescued in Chechiang area, Japan launched a largescale mopping-up campaign, in which several hundred men from Unit 731 and its subsidiary Unit 1644 of Nanking took part. Early in November 1941, Unit 731 dispatched an airplane to spread bubonic plague at Changte, Hunan, which was verified by Dr. E. J. Bannon of American Presbyterian Church hospital at Changte. The event was well known to American and British intelligence agencies at Chungking and besides the Chinese government had fully informed the American and British government of it through its ambassadors Wellington Koo at London and Hu Shih at Washington. Chinese authorities had long learned that Japan used biological warfare against China and had repeatedly appealed to international communities for help. Before making their escape at the time of Japanese surrender, Japanese in Unit 731 set free scores of thousands of infected rats that caused widespread plague in 22 counties of Heilungchiang and Kirin provinces that took more than 20,000 Chinese lives. As the plague was well publicized in newspapers and periodicals, many Chinese became aware of Japan’s employing biological warfare in China during the war. While the Korean was raging, North Korea and China accused the United States of using biological warfare that rekindled the public interest in probing Unit 73 1. Among thousands of Japanese prisoners of war (POW) repatriated from Siberia, some belonged to Unit 73 1. Together with those Japanese POWs then detained in China, they were tried in a special court at Shenyang (Mukden) in June 1956. Strikingly one of them was Ken Yuasa, the doctor mentioned in Kristof’s article in the New York Times. Some others under trial included important members of Unit 73 1: Major Hideo Sakakihara who was in charge of Hailar branch of Unit 731 (there were four branches under Unit 731: Hailer, Sunwu, Linkou, and Mutanchiang), Dr. Yataro Ueda, Yukio Yoshizawa, Masauji Hata, etc. and also police affairs chief of the Kuantung Army Mibu Saito as well as many captains of Kempeitai (military police) who were responsible for providing Unit 731 with victims for vivisection (their oral and written testimonies were reprinted in a book entitled Chemical and Biological Warfares published by Chunghua Book Company in 1989). Both chemical and biological warfares were banned by the Geneva Convention of 1925. Totally disregarding international laws and human morality, Japan employed poison gas bombs in the Wusung-Shanghai campaign at the beginning of the Second Sino-Japanese war in August 1937. But not until Japan dropped bacterial bombs at Changte, did President Roosevelt issue a strong statement of protest on June 5, 1942, warning against Japan by saying that if Japan continued to use poison gases or other forms of inhuman warfare, it would invite U.S. retaliation in full measure. It was about this time, U.S. started its own biological warfare research with the approval of Roosevelt, but that ever since has been kept secret from the public. Also kept from the public is the U.S. role in suppressing all efforts to put Unit 731 on trial in the Tokyo Trial and its subsequent cover-up. As a result, unlike hundreds of Nazi doctors who were duly tried and sentenced in accordance with the “crime against humanity,” Ishii and members of Unit 731 have not been brought to justice. In the United States, the first person who uncovered serious atrocities committed by Unit 731 and raised the issue of possible U.S. cover-up was John W. Powell, Jr. (who took over his father’s publication, The China Weekly, at Shanghai, which was suspended in June 1953, followed by his return to America. After his return, he had suffered from inexorable persecution). In the October 1981 issue of Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, jointly with Gomer and Rolling, he published “Japan’s Biological Weapons, 1930-1945.” However, a detailed, book-length account of the Japanese biological warfare Unit 731 and U.S. cover-up had not been available until Peter Williams and David Wallace, two British journalists, published their book, Unit 731: Japan’s Secret Biological Warfare in World War II (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1989; a translation was made by Tien-wei Wu and published by Academia Historica, Taipei, 1992). On the foundation of the joint work of Williams and Wallace, Professor Sheldon Harris completed his monumental book, Factories of Death: Japanese Biological Warfare 1932-45 and The American Cover-up (New York: Routledge, 1994). This article will try to compare Harris’s work with that of Williams and Wallace and see whether Harris has succeeded in solving those questions first raised by Williams and Wallace and what remains for further academic inquiries. Before making the comparison between the two works, this writer will first report on what has been regarded as new or unheard-of in Kristof s article. So far as atrocities committed by Unit 731 are concerned, the most shocking revelation made by Kristof may be: (1) without giving anesthetic to the victim, vivisection was performed by Unit 731 doctors; (2) even three-day old baby was used for experimentation; and (3) Japan planned to use biological warfare against the United States. In December 1944, Japan started a balloon assault on the U.S. by sending about 200 balloon bombs, but not germ bombs, to the west coast, each 30 feet in diameter and 91 feet round. They caused the deaths of 7 people. The person taking charge of the investigation of the balloons was none other than Murry Sanders, the man who was first sent to Japan to investigate Unit 731. Forty years later, Sanders recalled: The only explanation I had, and still have, is that Ishii wasn’t ready to deliver what he was making in Pingfang; that he hadn’t worked out the technology. If they had been, we were at Ishii’s mercy. Moreover, Tojo had been the staunch supporter of Ishii and biological warfare. Dating back to his days as commander of Kempeitai of the Kuantung Army, Tojo was responsible for supplying Unit 731 with live experiment victims. Upon assumming premiereship in October 1941, Tojo personally presented an award to Ishii for his contribution to developing biological weapons and had a picture taken with him, which appeared in major newspapers. Unfortunately Tojo’s responsibility for making biological weapons and using them was not charged at the Tokyo Trial. If Tojo indeed was opposed to using biological assault on the U.S. as Kristof believes, he did it probably not out of fear of U.S. retaliation rather than Japan’s inability to deliver biological weapons. Finally Kristof reports that one month before Japan surrendered, it still tried to send the “Kami kazi” suicide airplane with plague bombs carried by a submarine to attack San Diego on the west coast. Undoubtedly this is a piece of new information to fortify the belief that Japan on the eve of surrender still clung to a hope that the wheel of fortune might turn to its favor so as to escape the fate of unconditional surrender. The rest of Kristof s report was largely borrowed from the two books in question, which will be discussed in the ensuing pages. I. The Origin of Unit 731 At the conclusion of World War I in 1918, the medical bureau of Japanese army set out to study biological warfare and assigned Major Terunobu Hasebe to head the research team, who was soon succeeded by Dr. Ito with a team of 40 scientists. This lasted a few years. However, the real beginning of Japan’s biological warfare came only with the rise of Ishii Shiro. Ishii was graduated from the medical department of Kyoto University in 1920, and immediately joined the army. In 1924, he returned to Kyoto University for graduate studies, during which he married the daughter of President Torasaburo Akira of the University. He was awarded with Ph.D. in 1927. He rejoined the army and began to propagate biological warfare. Harnessing the rising tide of Japanese militarism, Ishii rose to power which was redounded to three elements. First, in the name of a military attache, Ishii was sent to Europe in 1928. He pent the next two years in Europe and America to survey biological research in Western countries. After his return, he was promoted to major, and devoted himself to promoting research and manufacturing of biological weapons buttressed up by a theory that modem war could only be won by science and technology and that manufacturing biological weapons is most economical, particularly suitable for a country like Japan who is poor in natural resources. Second, Ishii found willing, powerful supporters in the army: Col. Tetsuzan Nagata, chief of military affairs; Col. Yoriniichi Suzuki, chief of lst tactical section of Army General Staff Headquarters; Col. Ryuiji Kajitsuka of medical bureau of the army; and Col. Chikahiko Koizumi, the Army’s surgeon general (at the end of the war, he served as Minister of Public Health and comniitted suicide for fear of being prosecuted on war crimes), known as “father of Japanese chemical warfare; and the Minister of the Army and later as Education Minister Sadao Araki, leader of the “imperial way” faction in the Japanese army. Third, shortly after Ishii’s return from Europe, a kind of meningitis erupted in Shikoku, for which Ishii designed his water filter which helped stop the spread of the disease, thereby making his name known, especially in the army where he became the most famous bacteriologist. In spite of all this, Ishii’s greatest asset to his success probably lies in his lack of morality strongly required for a physician. He apparently excelled others in being sycophantic to his peers, while oppressive to his subordinates. Finally he was so lavish with money as he became a frequent, valuable customer of geisha houses. Less than half a year after Japan launched the September 18 Mukden Incident in 1931, Japan occupied the whole of China’s northeast or Manchuria. Ishii and Japanese military seized the opportunity to move the center for bacteriological research at the Army’s Medical College established in 1930 to northern Manchuria for expansion with a view to making the Soviet Union the hypothetic enemy. A special advantage for this move was that the Kuantung Army could kill Chinese at will and provide for unlimited supply of human experiment materials. With Chinese lives at no cost, Japan could lead the world in biological warfare. At the end of August, 1932, Ishii led a group of 10 scientists from the Army’s Medical College to make a tour of Manchuria and came back with the decision to make Harbin the center biological research, while choosing a site at Peiyin River, 20 kilometers south of Harbin. to build a factory for human experiments. To confuse the public, Ishii’s center inaugurated at the end of 1932 was sometimes called Kamo Unit and other times Togo Unit. Then Ishii was promoted to lieutenant colonel and the 1933 budget of Kamo Unit was a staggering some of 200,000 yen. The year 1936 marked the establishment of two units by order of Emperor Hirohito: one was Ishii’s unit (to the outside it was called “Epidemic Prevention and Water purification Department of the Kuantung Army,” whose name was not changed to Unit 731 until 1941), which was to be relocated to a new base at Pingfan, 20 kilometers southwest of Harbin. The other was the Wakamatsu Unit (after the name of its commander Yujiro Wakamatsu, later changed to Unit 100) to be built at Mengchiatun, near Changchun; to the outside it was called Department of Veterinary Disease Prevention of the Kuantung Army. In June 1938, Unit 731 moved to its new location at Pingfang occupying an area of 32 sq. kilometers which was marked off as “no man’s land.” In the meantime, Ishii had a promotion to full colonel with 3,000 Japanese working under him. Both the joint work of Williams and Wallace and Harris’s new book based their accounts of the early history of Unit 731 upon the Fifty Year History of the Tokyo Amy Medical College (Tokyo, 1988); Seiichi Morimura, The Devil’s Gluttony. 3 volumes (Tokyo, 1982-85); and Kei’ichi Tsuneishi’s two books, The Germ Warfare Unit That Disappeared (Tokyo, 198 1) and with Tomizo Asano, The Bacteriological Warfare Unit and the Suicide of Two Physicians (Tokyo 1982). Both works made a thorough use of the Khabarovsk Trial, particularly the testimony give by Ryuiji Kajitsuka who himself was a physician and a bacteriologist. Also both were consulted with a posthumous work by Saburo Endo who was a colonel in the general staff of the Kuantung Army and made an inspection tour of Unit 731 in 1933. Harris’s work had even consulted Endo’s diary which was published in 1985. Both works confirm the amount of Unit 731’s 1933 budget as 200,000 yen and that Emperor Hirohito decreed the establishment of the two biological warfare Units 731 and 100 in Manchuria. II. U.S. Authorities Well Aware of Japan’s Using Biological Warfare in China As mentioned earlier, at the outbreak of the Wusung-shanghai campaign on August 13, 1937 and in front of the watching eyes of the American and British navies and many Europeans and Americans, the Japanese army used poison gas against Chinese troops. In the succeeding eight years of war, Japan in 14 Chinese provinces had used poison gases for 1, 131 times. In the book by Williams and Wallace, there is a translation of Chinese accusation of Japan’s dropping from airplane plague bacteria at Changte, Hunan, submitted by Chinese Ambassador to London Wellington Koo to the British government and the Conunittee for the Pacific War which reads: On at least five occasions during the first two years the Japanese armed forces have tried to employ bacteriological warfare in China. They have tried to produce epidemics of plague in Free China by scattering plague-infected materials with airplanes. These five times are: October 4, 1940, when Japanese airplane dropped plague bacteria at Chuhsien in Chechiang province which caused the deaths of 21 people. On the 29th of the same month, Japanese airplane spread plague bacteria at Ningpo, Chechiang which caused the deaths of 99 people. On November 28 of the same year, Japanese airplanes dropped a large quantity of germs at Chinhua but no death was reported. In January 1941 Japan spread plague germs in Suiyuan and Ninghsia provinces and again in Shansi that caused serious epidemic outbreaks of plague in these areas. Not that the U.S. was not aware of the fruitful research on biological warfare the Japanese had accomplished. However, she did not take the Japanese biological program seriously, Harris believes, simply because Japan was far away from U.S. homeland and could not launch a massive attack on America and also because Japanese being Asian were incapable of developing sophisticated biological weapons without the help of white men. In the August 1942 Rocky Mountain Medical Journal , there appeared a lengthy article under the heading “Japanese Use the Chinese as ‘Guinea Pigs’ to Test Germ Warfare.” With increasing number of Japanese prisoners of war captured in the South Pacific, the U.S. found out that not only was Japan engaged in significant Biological research; its program was on a far larger scale than previously suspected. Americans then knew that Tokyo was the center for biological experimentation and that Ishii was the forerunner of Japanese biological warfare with his epidemic prevention and water purification headquarters at Harbin. Also known to the Americans, mainly from Japanese naval sources, were the size of Unit 731 and germ bombs being manufactured. Not until September 1943, did the U.S. begin its own research on biological weapons with Lt. Col. Murry Sanders, a young bacteriologist, heading the program and with Camp Detrick in Maryland as its base. Although the United States was almost four years behind England in biological warfare research, its program grew rapidly and was capable of mass production. For instance, a spoonful botulinus toxin multiplied to fill the vat in 72 hours, to produce enough poison to destroy 50,000 or more men. The most successful experimentation achieved by Detrick was the virus being freeze-dried that could be delivered to the enemy’s territory. It is natural that American scientists wished to acquire the fruits of Unit 73 I’s research. III. The Deal Between the United States and Former Members of Unit 731 Only one week after Japan surrendered, Col. Sanders was among the first group of Americans to land in Japan. His mission was to locate as soon as possible the Japanese biological warfare machine and Ishii himself. In the next three months, Sanders had interrogated many important military leaders and Scientists of Unit 731, notably Yoshijiro Umezu, Chief of the Army General Staff and erstwhile Kuantung Army Commander-in-Chief, Ishii’s deputy Col. Tomosa Masuda, germ bomb expert Major Jun’ichi Kaneko, but not Ishii himself. Upon his arrival in Japan, Sanders was immediately under the deception of his interprete Lt. Col. Ryoichi Naito. He was a student of Ishii at the Tokyo Army Medical College. When serving as assistant professor at the college in 1939, Naito was sent to America. His mission was to get yellow fever strain from the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research in New York, which was refused. Later at Pingfang, he became the right-hand man of Ishii. Eager to secure the experiment data of Unit 73 1, Sanders approached General Douglas MacArthur saying: “My recommendation is that we promise Naito that no one involved in BW will be prosecuted as war criminal.” The recommendation was readily accepted by MacArthur. By September, Sanders discovered that Unit 731 was involved in human experiments and he took the issue to MacArthur whose response was, “We need more evidence. We can’t simply act on that. Keep going. Ask more questions. And keep quiet about it.” Sanders spent only ten weeks in Japan and was ordered home. The second stage of investigation was taken over by his Detrick colleague Lt. Col. Arvo T. Thompson, a veterinarian. After his return, Sanders was protracted to tuberculosis and invalid for the next two years, having forever lost the chance to come back to Japan to renew the investigation of Unit 73 1. Forty year later, he told Williams and Wallace: I talked to Arvo Thompson [who committed suicide in 1948] who was to carry of the next stage of the investigations. And I remember telling “Tommy” Thompson about the anthrax bomb and the experiments on the human beings. I told him specifically to look the anthrax experiments and the Uji bomb. When Col. Thompson arrived in Japan, the International Military Tribunal for the Far East just began the trial of Japanese Class A war criminals. In the meantime, Maj. Gen. Kitano, Commander of Unit 731 from August 1942 to March 1944, was brought back to Japan from China to face interrogation. Though Ishii was declared dead in newspapers and a mock funeral was held in Ishii’s home town, he was available for Thompson’s interrogation which was to last from January 17 to February 25, 1946. Ishii’s tactics of resistance was to speak as little as he could and minimize the magnitude of biological warfare research as much as possible. He admitted neither human experiments nor Emperor Hirohito’s involvement and instead took the entire responsibility upon himself. Yet sometimes he boasted of his knowledge of biological warfare, for which he could have written many volumes. Like Sanders before him, Thompson was fooled. He finished his investigation report at the end of May 1946, augmenting knowledge on manufacturing germ bombs and technique of mass production of germs achieved by Unit 73 1. Taking a hint from MacArthur, Chief Prosecutor of the Tokyo Trial Joseph B. Keenan (a Democrat politician from Ohio) suppressed the Soviet accusation against Japanese biological warfare criminals. Maj. Gen. Charles Willoughby, MacArthur’s intelligence chief, was in charge of the whole affair of Unit 731, shielding its former members from any outside contact in order to avoid any research data on biological warfare fallen into the Soviet hands. Despite the fact that Lt. Col. Thomas H. Morrow (a lawyer from Ohio) of International Prosecution Section of the Tokyo Trial and David N. Sutton, head of its Document Division, made a trip to China to collect evidenc on Japanese waging biological warfare in China, during the afternoon of August 29, 1946 no sooner was the Unit 731 case raised than it was dropped. MacArthur was empowered “to approve, reduce or otherwise alter any sentence imposed by “the International Military ‘Tribunal the Far East.” Chief Prosecutor Keenan, though deriving his powers from the US government, handed control of the whole International Prosecution Section to MacArthur. Williams and Wallace have ascribed the whole deal–that Ishii and members of Unit 731 were exonerated from being sued for war crimes in exchange for their human experiment data, a price paid by several thousand lives, most Chinese but some Soviets, Koreans, and Mongolians-largely to MacArthur. This is not quite true. Harris’s new book has proved that U.S. scientists, mainly those from Detrick, were equally willing to make the deal, therefore bearing considerable responsibility. In April 1947, General Allen Waitt, Commander of U.S. Chemical Corps, sent Camp Detrick bacteriologist Norbert Fell to Japan for investigation to assess the progress and level of achievement in biological warfare. To Fell, Ishii, Maj. Gen. Hitoshi Kikuchi, Col. Tomosada Masuda and Dr. Kan’ichiro Kamei, particularly the last mentioned, who earned a Ph.D. from Columbia University, had repeatedly expressed that more valuable data were forthcoming on condition of their immunity from war crimes. They insisted that verbal promise would not do. On May 5, 1947, MacArthur sent a radio message to Washington making the following recommendation: Ishii states that if guaranteed inmmunity from “war crimes” in documentary form for himself, superiors and subordinates, he can describe program in detail … Complete story, to include plans and theories of Ishii and superiors, probably can be obtained by document immunity to Ishii and associates. The above message put the State-War-Navy Co-ordinating Conunittee at Washington into crucial dilemma. Its sub-committee for the Far East did not complete its report on MacArthur’s May 6 recommendation until August 1, and in the report a comparison of Nazi scientists and doctors as war criminals was drawn: Experiments on human beings similar to those conducted by the Ishii group have been condemned as war crimes by the International Military Tribunal for the trial of major Nazi war criminals in its decision handed down at Nuremberg on September 30, 1946. This Government is at present prosecuting leading German Scientists and medical doctors at Nuremberg for offenses which included experiments on human beings which resulted in the suffering and death of most of those experimented on. Ironically, the conclusion the Committee for the Far East reached was: “The value to the U.S. of Japanese BW data is of such importance to national security as to far outweigh the value accruing from war crimes’ prosecution.” In spite of the State Department strongly dissenting as such a course would be a violation of international laws and detrimental to human morality and once revealed, it would be a source of serious embarrassment to the United States, the SWNCC accepted MacArthur’s recommendation and decided that “the BW information obtained from Japanese sources should be retained in ‘top secret’ intelligence channels and not be employed as war crimes evidence” and not be fallen into the Soviet hands. However, the formal reply to MacArthur’s recommendation had dragged on until March 13, 1948, when the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff sent his cable of approval to Tokyo. From Sanders’s first investigation in the autumn of 1945, MacArthur acceded to granting immunity to members of Unit 731 in exchange for data of research on biological warfare. He also inculcated on Sanders to keep silence on “human experiments.” And the belated reply from the Joint Chiefs to MacArthur’s May 6, 1947 recommendation can only be construed on broad background. First, the Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union began with Winston Churchill’s March 1946 speech that the “iron curtain” was lowered in Eastern Europe, followed by Marshall’s commencement speech at Harvard University next June which promised U.S. aids for rehabilitation of Western Europe. Then there was the Berlin blockade by the Soviet Union in June 1948, thus having constituted nearly 40 years of Cold War. Only viewed against this background, an we understand why the United States tried its utmost to get ahead in the biological warfare. The second element which is also related to the first is that the granting of immunity from war crimes of Unit 731 fell in the province of MacArthur’s authority. Then he was virtually a “super emperor of Japan.” For the expediency of his rule in Japan or for his love for the Japanese that had been generated, by 1947 MacArthur had lost his interest in pursuing the issue of war criminals and in making Japan to pay war reparations to the victimized nations, particularly China. Just as Fell once said in connection with MacArthur Headquarter’s secret funding for Unit 731: “The feeling of several staff groups in Washington, including G-2, is that this problem is more or less a ‘family’ affair in FEC [Far East Command].” Hence that Washington respected MacArthur’s opinion was rather natural. IV. U.S. Prisoners of War Used for Experiment by Unit 731 and the Issue of American Use of Biological Warfare in Korean War As early as January 6, 1946, the Pacific Stars and Stripes, an official organ of the U.S. Army, reported that Americans were among the victims of Ishii’s human experiments. A week later, similar reports was ensued in New York Times, hence news about Allied prisoners of war to have been used as human guinea pigs were sporadically divulged. An U.S. government document dated August 1947 has this to say: It should be kept in mind that there is a remote-possibility that independent investigation conducted by the Soviets in the Mukden area may have disclosed evidence that American prisoners of war were used for experimental purposes of a BW nature and that they lost their lives as a result of these experiments. Until 1956, the Federal Bureau of Investigation continued to accept as fact that U.S. prisoners of war were used in human experiments. In the 1960s, the issue no longer riveted the public interest. In 1976, Japanese television broadcast a documentary entitled “A Bruise-Terrors of the 731 corps,” which rekindled the public interest which grew apace in America in the 1980s. Out of 1,485 Allied white prisoners of war taken to Mukden, 1, 174 were Americans. In their first winter (1942-43) at Mukden, 430 perished, most Americans. No matter how desperate American survivors from Mukden, like Gregory Rodriquez of Oklahoma, tried to tell how they were used by Unit 731 for human experiments, an accusation verified by Naoji Uezono, former member of Unit 731, U.S. Congress turned a deaf ear , thereby being irresponsible for paying their medical benefits and compensations. A British Major Robert Peaty kept a diary while detained in Mukden that gives sufficient evidence of Unit 731’s using Allied prisoners of war as guinea pigs. Another Australian doctor R. J. Brennan also kept a diary, indicating that how the prisoners of war underwent experimentation. What bothered him most was one day 150 American prisoners were forced to march out of the camp, from which they never returned. For over ten years, Rodriquez’s son has persistently lobbied in Washington on behalf of his father and other survivors from Mukden. Not only does he ask for compensations to the victims; moreover he wants that the crimes of Japan using the prisoners of war for human experiments be known to the world. He told this writer that there is a former Mukden prisoner now living in Oklahoma who was taken to Pingfang, Harbin. The chapter “BW Experiments on Prisoners of War?” of Harris’s new book has given great details, but had some discrepancies in figures. Also it is hard to accept his conclusion. He says that death rate at Mukden Camp was about 12 percent, almost all being Americans. Both Jack-Roberts of the royal Army Medical Corps and Frank James, a sergeant in the U.S. signal Company, confirmed that in that first winter, 430 men died. In the August 6, 1943 entry of Major Peaty’s diary, “there are now 208 dead”; in the November 21, 1943 entry, “there are now over 230 dead.” 430 plus 230 have made 44 percent of the Mukden POW population. Further, how many more deaths would have been in the next two years! According to Harris’s tally, there were only 238 POW dead at Mukden Camp and 1,617 survivors, figures which are far apart from those given by former British and American POWs at Mukden. His conclusion is that “American POWs may have been victims of BW tests, but there is no substantive evidence to prove that the experiments took place at Camp Mukden.” It is unthinkable that Harris wrote only two pages on the issue of U.S. using biological warfare in the Korean War, which he apparently did not want to talk about; in contrast, Williams and Wallace used 51 pages, one-sixth of the whole book dealing with the subject. China and North Korean began to accuse the United States of using CW and BW on March 5, 1951, a campaign which was stopped only with the conclusion of the war in 1953. Most importantly, International Science Committee composed of renown “Leftist” scientists sent a delegation to China and North Korea, whose investigation lent support to the accusation. This writer would take issue with Professor Harris for his using the term “Leftist.” Could we ask: Is J. Robert Oppenheimer, “father of atomic bomb” also labeled Leftist scientist? Does being Leftist make one non-scientific? And then how about “Rightist” scientist? The six that came to China and North Korea included Dr. Joseph Needham who just died last March. Needham’s studies of Chinese culture (he had studied the history of Chinese science and technology for over fifty years) and his concern for China had won esteem of Chinese intellectuals both in Taiwan and the Mainland, who would not question the results of his investigation and regard them as propaganda. Harris believes that the issue of American use of biological warfare cannot be clarified until archives of all countries concerned are open. Surely we hope this can be realized soon, but at the same time should point out that the release of more archival materials cannot overthrow a scientific investigation already made. Also, Harris tried to water down the issue of confession given by U.S. airmen under captivity. Col. Frank H. Schwable was the chief of the First Marine Air Wing. After having been captured, Schwable and Major Roy Bley made “confessions” stating that “the joint Chiefs of Staff had directed U.S. forces to carry out planned germ warfare and that the order was part of a directive given to General Ridgway in October 1951” (New York Times, February 23, 1953). At least as important as Schwable were Col. Walker F. Mahurin, World War II fighter ace and an assistant executive to US Secretary for Air Finletter, and Col. Andrew J. Evans, a former secretary to Air Chief of Staff Vandenberg. Before coming to Korea, Mahurin was commander of the First Fighter Interceptor Group in California which supplied men and equipment to the 51st and 4th fighter wings near Seoul. After being released, Mahurin was elected as spokesman for all POW fliers. All the 25 airmen who made confession under captivity had repudiated their confessions and denied BW charges. But Mahurin wrote his memoirs (Honest John published by Putnam of New York without date) which reveals and contradicts some of his sworn repudiation to his confession. Any fair-minded person would not believe that the United States had tried to unleash a large-scale biological warfare in the Korean war. Needham said in reminiscence: I felt then, and still feel, that attacks using toxic aerosols would have been far more dangerous, but I think the Americans just wanted to see what degree of success could be obtained with the essentially Japanese methods. My judgment was never based on anything which the downed airmen had said, but rather entirely on the circumstantial evidence. As a matter of fact, over the issue of whether or not the United States was engaged in biological warfare, irrefutable evidence is still lacking; hopefully it could be resolved in the near future. Should it then prove that the U.S. indeed used biological warfare, one would not be surprised. Let us bear in mind that at his November 30, 1950 news conference, when asked “Does mean that there is active consideration of the use of the atomic bomb?” President Truman said: “There has always been active consideration of its use. I don’t want to see it used. It is a terrible weapon.” V. Conclusion The new work on Unit 731 by Harris as the joint work by Williams and Wallace certainly reflects years of studies, traveling for collecting archival materials which had long been closed and conducting interviews with former members of Unit 731 and others involved who otherwise would have kept silence on the sensitive issues of Japanese biological warfare and American cover-up. Despite the fact that the two works have not solved all the questions such as Japan’s plan for using biological weapons to stop the invading Soviet army north of the Yalu River and to repel the landing of U.S. forces in Kyushu in the south, they together have given us a thorough understanding of the developments of Japanese and American biological warfare and how the immunity from war criminal charges granted to Ishii and members of Unit 731 had been done. Undoubtedly the two books combined represent a breakthrough in scholarship and have made a great contribution to the general public. As in any excellent work, it is easy to carp some criticism, both works have made insufficient references to Chinese sources. Since Unit 731 caused a terrible havoc to the Chinese people, information about which has largely been found in Chinese materials. For instance, in the collection entitled Selected Archival Meterials of Japanese Imperialist Aggression against China: Biological Warfare and Poison Gas Warfare (Beijing: Chunghua Book Company, 1989), there are testimonies given by scores of members of Unit 731 and people aasociated with it are invaluable source materials. For the celebration of the 50th anniversary of China’s victory in the War of Resistance against Japan, a comprehensive work treating the subject of Japanese biological warfare against China will make its appearance. Still, crucial to our knowledge of Unit 731 are Japanese sources. Recently a few former members of Unit 73 1, regardless of the pressure from the Japanese government, resolutely came out and gave their witnesses to truth and history and for their posterity. It is anticipated that what remain to be riddles of Unit 731 will soon be revealed to the world. The Failure of the Tokyo Trial Wu Tianwei “”No. One War Criminal” Not Brought to Trial. ” “The Majority of Class A War Criminals Not Tried but Released.” “all the uncondemned Class A war criminals were set free by Gen. MacArthur in 1947 and 1948. Most of them immediately returned to the Japanese political arena, which was again dominated by the same Fascists and militarists though clad in democratic cloak in disguise. ” “All Killers of “Human Experimentation” At Large. ” “Hundreds of doctors of the former Unit 731 are still practicing or living in retirement in Japan today. ” The Beginning, of the Tokyo Trial. About half a year after the opening of the Nuremberg Trail, the International Military Tribunal for the Far East began its trial of 28 Class A Japanese war criminals at Tokyo on May 3, 1946, which is known as the “Tokyo Trial.” The hearings of the Trial dated back to 1928, when Marshal Chang Tsolin, warlord of Manchuria, was assassinated, and extended right to the Japanese surrender. The background of the Tokyo Trial was somewhat different from that of the Nuremberg Trial. At the Cairo Conference, the three Allies, Britain, China, and the United States, issued a declaration on December 1, 1943, which spelled out that “the purpose of this war is to stop and punish Japanese aggression.” The 5th article of the Potsdam Declaration of July 1945 issued by the same three Allies enunciated that “stem justice shall be meted out to all war criminals including those who have visited cruelties upon our prisoners.” In the Instrument of Japanese Surrender of September 2, 1945, all matters related to the arrest and treatment of war criminals were specifically stipulated. In the meantime, the Commission of Crimes of the United Nations (established at London in the summer of 1943) made recommendation on the establishment of an international n-military tribunal for Japanese crimes and atrocities. U.S. State Department adopted the “Policy of Arrest and Punishment of War Criminals in the Far East,” with which it notified the Supreme Command of the Allied Powers (SCAP) and 8 nations (Australia, Britain, Canada, China, France, Netherlands, New Zealand, the Soviet Union, and the United States) to organize the tribunal. The Moscow Conference of foreign ministers of the big four, Britain, China, the Soviet Union and U.S. decided the tribunal would be established at Tokyo. In January 1946, General Douglas MacArthur approved its charter to formally inaugurate the Tribunal. Although the United States played a major role in both the Nuremberg and Tokyo Trials, having had her legal views and opinions well pronounced, she virtually dominated the latter, in which her policy toward Japan took precedence. The Tokyo Trial also was overshadowed by the Chinese civil war and the imminent Cold War that engulfed the American-Soviet relations. All this led to the Trial of the Class A war criminals unfinished and a hasty close of the Trial. Nevertheless, the Tokyo Trial was based upon the concepts of war crimes initiated at the Nuremberg Trial, i.e., Crimes against Peace, Crimes against Humanity, and War Crimes and Aggressive War–but without the “collective guilt” as with the crimes of the Nazis. Each member of the I 1 -nation Far East Council, supposed to be a guiding and policy-making organ for the SCAP, appointed a judge each, with Sir William F. Webb of Australia as presiding judge, the other judges being E. Stuart McDougall for Canada, Ju-ao Mei for China, Henri Bernard for France, Delfin Jaranilla for the Philippines, Bernard Victor A. Roling for the Netherlands, Erima Harvey Northeroft for New Zealand, I.M. Zaryanov for the Soviet Union, Lord Patrick for Great Britain, and John P. Higgins for the U.S. (later replaced by Maj. Gen. Myron C. Gramer), and R.M. Pal for India. The chief prosecutor was American Joseph B. Keenan, each of the I 11 nations appointed an associate prosecutor, the Chinese prosecutor being che-chun Hsiang. Japan then was under U.S. occupation and the U.S. provided for funds and manpower for the Trial; as a result, the U.S. assumed the entire work of prosecution. Still the biggest problem was that the Supreme Commander Douglas MacArthur had the authority not only to select judges but “to reduce, but not to increase the sentences.” Chief Prosecutor Keenan, a politician from the State of Ohio, cooperated slavishly with the Supreme Commander; under such circumstances, the Tokyo Trail dragged for two and a half years and closed on November 4, 1948, with its sentences meted out to the 28 Class A war criminals as tabulated below. Seven death sentences: Hideki Tojo: Gendarme Commander and Chief of Staff of the Kwantung Army; Minister of the Army and Prime Minister (October 1941 to July 1944), launching the Pearl Harbor attack. Kenji Doihara: Chief of Special Service of the Kwantung Army; one of the conspirators engineering the “September 18, 193 1 ” Incident and kidnapping the “last emperor” of the Manchu dynasty with whom to inaugurate Manchukuo. Seishiro Itagaki: One of the conspirators to engineer the “September 18, 193 1 ” Incident, Chief of Staff of the Kwantung Army, and Minister of the Army. lwane Matsui: Chief of Special Service of the Kwantung Army at Harbin, Commander-in-Chief of Japanese Central China Army, chief culprit of the Rape of Nanking. Akira Muto: Deputy Chief of Staff of Japanese Central China Army, responsible for the Rape of Nanking and atrocities in Indonesia. Heitaro Kimura: Chief of Staff of the Kwantung Army, deputy minister of the Army, army commander in Bunna, where he was responsible for the brutalization of Allied POWs especially to build the Siain-Bunna Railway. Koki Hirota: As Foreign Minster, he introduced the “three principles” in dealing with China in 1935. Next year he became Prime Minister; he was the only civilian to receive death sentence. Sixteen defendants sentenced to life imprisonment: Sadao Araki: Minister of the Army, Minister of Education, and leader of the “Imperial Way Faction.” Kingoro Hashimoto: As an artillery regiment commander, Colonel Hashimoto was a major culprit in the Rape of Nanking,. He was behind assassinations and coups d’etat and published books for racist propaganda. Shunroku Hata: Field Marshal, Commander-in-Chief of Japanese expeditionary army in China, Minister of the Army. Yoshijlro Umezu: Commander-in-Chief of Japanese Army stationed in North China and later of the Kwantung Army; Chief of General Staff representing Japan to sign the Instrument of Surrender on the USS Missouri. Teiichi Suzuki: Expert on China masterminded Japan’s wartime economy and was involved in drug trafficking in China. Koichi Kido, Marquis: Minister of Education, Welfare, Home Affairs in various periods, and Lord Keeper of the Privy Council. Kuniaki Koiso: Chief of Staff of the Kwantung Army, Governor of Korea then known as “Tiger of Korea,” and Prime Minister. Kichiro Hiranuma: Founder of the Kokuhonsha (society for national quintessence), Prime Minister, and President of the Privy Council. Jiro Minanii: Commander-in-Chief of the Kwantung Army, Minister of the Army, Governor of Korea, and an early leader advocating the “Holy War” against China. Takasumi Oka: Chief of Bureau of Military Affairs; Deputy Minister of the Navy; he was most responsible for the mistreatment of Allied POWs especially the “hellships.” Okinori Kaya: President of North China Development Company, plundering China’s industry and resources; Minister of Finance with the knowledge of building the Siam-Burma Railway with POWs as slave laborers. Naoki Hoshino: Chief of financial affairs in Manchuria; as chief cabinet secretary, being the war’s most enthusiastic supporter in the cabinet, drafted the declarations of war against Britain and the United States. Hiroshi Oshima: Lt. Gen. and Ambassador to Germany being considered “more Nazi than the Nazis” forged the Axis Pact with Germany and Italy. Kenryo Sato: A confidant of Premiere Tojo, serving as Chief of the Bureau of Military Affairs and divisional commander in Indonesia and Burma, persecuting the Allied POWs. Shigetaro Shimada: Vice Chief of Naval General Staff-, as Minister of Navy, he authorized the Pearl Harbor attack. Toshio Shiratofi: Ambassador to Italy, a rabid supporter of military expansion, being a confidant of Mussolini and having forged the Axis Pact. Two defendants received prison terms: Shigenori Togo: Ambassador to Germany and Italy; Foreign Minister, 1941-42, 1945, being responsible for negotiations with the U.S. before the Pearl Harbor attack, but inimical to Nazi Germany. He was sentenced 20 years of imprisonment. Mamoru Shigemitsu: Ambassador to China, Britain, and the Soviet Union; Forel-n Minister, 1943- 45, representing Japan to sign the Instrument of Surrender on the USS Missouri. As to the other three defendants, Matsuoka died in 1946, Nagano died in 1947, and Okawa was set free because of insanity. Shumei Okawa, a staunch nationalist devoted to militarism, had been Chief of East Asian Economic Survey Bureau and participated in the March and October coups of 193 1, and the “September 18” Incident. He was jailed for the assassination of Premiere Tsuyoshi Inukai in 1932. In the first day of the Tokyo Trial, when the indictments to the war criminals were announced, he beat the head of Tojo. All charged against him were dropped after the conclusion of the Tokyo Trial and he was discharged from the mental hospital as mentally fit; he died nine years later. Field Marshal Osarni Nagano served as deputy naval attach‚ in the Japanese Embassy at Washington, 1912-14 and became Minister of Navy in 1936. He was Chief of Naval General Staff from 1941 to 1944, planning the Pearl Harbor attack; died of natural cause during the Trial. Yosuke Matsuoka came to America for study at the age of 14 and was graduated from Oregon University in 1900. He began his diplomatic career in 1904, first serving as consul at Shanghai. In 1927, he became Vice-President of the Southern Manchuria Railway Company and a rabid supporter for the annexation of Manchuria to Japan, by initiating the theory that “Man (Manchuria)-Mon (Inner Mongolia) is the Lifeline of Japan.” In 1932, he became Chief of the Japanese Delegation to the League of Nations and in March of next year, he led the Japanese Delegation to withdraw from the League on account of the League’s resolution that Japan was an aggressor for invading Manchuria. Upon returning to Japan, he was hailed as a hero for his defiance to the League and soon rewarded with the presidency of the Southern Manchurian Railway Company. In 1940, he became Minister of Foreign Affairs championing the Japanese-German alliance and the “Greater East-Asian Co-prosperity Order.” Having reached a Rapprochement with Moscow by signing the treaty of neutrality in April 194 1, he advocated joining forces with Germany to attack the Soviet Union two months later, when Hitler launched the Barbarossa campaign to invade Russia. He died in a Tokyo hospital in 1946. The Majority of Class A War Criminals Not Tried but Released. Most regrettably was the fact that, of the 70 Japanese apprehended for Class A war criminals, only the first group of 28 people were brought to trial, the rest which was divided into the 2nd and 3rd groups awaited to be tried in Sugamo prison of Tokyo. The International Prosecution Section of the SCAP, then realizing the magnitude of their crimes and the multitude of cases, decided to try the apprehended seventy in three groups, the first group of 28 war criminals all being major leaders in military, political, and diplomatic sphere. The 2nd group of 23 war criminals and the 3rd group of 19 war criminals were notorious, industrial and financial magnates, warmongers engaged in ammunition trade and trafficking in drugs, as well as some less known, but equally rabid, barbaric leaders in military, political, and diplomatic spheres. Notably among them were: Nobusuke Kishi: Taking charge of industry and commerce of Manchukuo, 1936-40; Minister of Industry and Commerce under Tojo administration; and Prime Minister of Japan, 1957-60, having advocated revision of the new constitution to enlarge the Emperor’s authority and curb the Diet’s power. Fusanosuke Kuhara: Leader of the newly-emerging Zaibatsu faction of Seiyukal (Political Friends Society). Yoshisuke Ayukawa: Sworn-brother of Fusanosuke Kuhara, founder of Japan Industrial Corporation; having gone to Manchuria after the “September 18” Incident, where he founded the Manchurian Heavy Industry Development Company to dominate industry and mining of Manchuria. Toshizo Nishio: Chief of Staff of the Kwantung Army, Commander-in-Chief of China Expeditionary Army, 1939-41; and Minister of Education. Kichiburo Ando: Garrison Commander of Port Arthur and Minister of Interior in Tojo’s cabinet. Yoshio Kodama: Radical nationalist behind many coups and assassinations in the 1930s; setting up the Kodama special organ in occupied China engaged in exploiting Chinese resources- and after the war, remaining a major leader of Japanese underworld society. Kazuo Aoki: Administrator of Manchurian affairs; Minister of Treasury in Nobuyoki Abe’s cabinet and then following Abe to China as advisor; Minister of Greater East-Asian Ministry under Tojo. Masayoki Tani: Ambassador to Manchukuo, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Concurrently Director of Intelligence Bureau; Ambassador to the Nanking puppet government; and after the war Ambassador to the United States. Eiji Amo: As Chief of Intelligence Section of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amo issued the “Amo Statement” in 1934, calling upon Western powers not to render assistance to China as the East Asian order was very much the Japanese responsibility; Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs; and Director of Intelligence Bureau in Tojo’s cabinet. Yakijiro Suma: As Consul General at Nanking, Suma was well known to the Chinese owing to his concocting many intrigue, particularly on the eve of the war; in 1938, he served at counselor at the Japanese Embassy at Washington; and after 1941, Minister Plenipotentiary to Spain. Ryoichi Sasakawa: One of the leading Fascists and Militarists of Japan organized his private army of 15,000 men equipped with 20 warplanes and dressed in black shirt to emulate that of Mussolini, his idol after “September 18, 193 1 ” Incident. Following the outbreak of the Pacific War, his army massacred thousands of innocent Chinese and Malayans for which he earned the name of “Tiger of Malaya.” After the war, he kept his Mafia business in Japan involving drug trafficking, pornographic enterprises, gambling, and usury that made him the super rich, with which he had become the leading philanthropist of the world; he showered handsome donations to the United Nations, President Carter’s Library, and one million dollars each to the leading universities of America. Moreover all the uncondemned Class A war criminals were set free by Gen. MacArthur in 1947 and 1948. Most of them immediately returned to the Japanese political arena, which was again dominated by the same Fascists and militarists though clad in democratic cloak in disguise. Despite a western-style, democratic Japanese Constitution which MacArthur helped to adopt, Japanese political leaders, unlike their counterparts of West Germany, have run counter to the original promises and inclinations. totally ignoring their legal and moral obligations and responsibilities as a defeated nation, as they have pursued the policy of “Three Nos,” no admission of aggression, no repentance and apology, and no compensations to their victims. “No. One War Criminal” Not Brought to Trial. In both Nuremberg and Tokyo Trials, No. One war criminal was not brought to trial. Undoubtedly, had Hitler lived, he would have been brought to Trial, condemned and hanged as had other eleven Nazi leaders. Ironically, the Emperor’s palace was just nearby the site where the Trial took place, but Hirohito, the No. One war criminal was free from being tried, a fact that has intolerably reduced the value of the Tokyo Trial. Before the end of the war, Australia and China had accentuated the necessity of trying the chief culprit Emperor Hirohito, but for the sake of expediency of governing Japan under occupation, the U.S. eventually took off Hirohito from the list of war criminals. Throughout the Trial, the issue of bringing Hirohito to Trial had frequently loomed up. While the debate over whether he should have stood to defend himself or as witness for other defendants had annoyed the postwar Japanese society. Concerning the issue of the stealthy attack on Pearl Harbor, both Naval Chief of General Staff and Prime Minister Tojo admitted having consulted with Emperor Hirohito, at which Tojo expressed confidence in the result. Then the Presiding Judge Webb commented: “The Emperor then directed that the program be carried out. . . It will remain that the men who advised the commission of a crime, if it be one, are in no worse position than the man who directs the crime be committed.” In spite of much he tried to defend Hirohito’s innocence, Tojo was obliged to confess that “the Emperor had consented, though reluctantly, to the war” and that “none of us would dare act against the Emperor’s will.” From the documents of the General Headquarters of the Army and Navy released by the Japan Defense Administration after the war, some logical conclusions can be easily drawn as follows: (1) All major campaigns, such as those of “August 13” of Shanghai, Wuhan, Changsha, Burma, and “Ichigo” had been meticulously studied by Hirohito before he ordered them to be carried out with his blessings; (2) the appointment or dismissal of a division commander (a division usually having the strength of 16,000 to 22,500 men) must have had the approval of Emperor Hirohito and, more often than not, he would have an audience with the appointee before being announced; and (3) any maneuver of troops above the divisional level and a new division being established had to have his approval. By all accounts, his authority over the army and navy was doubtless greater than Hitler’s. Hirohito’s authority was clearly instanced by the following episode. After the Midway debacle on June 5, 1942 (the great loss of the Japanese navy has not been quite appreciated by Western scholars), Japan immediately shifted its strategy in the Pacific from offensive to defensive. In August 1942, U.S. forces launched an offensive, thus unfolding the four-month sanguinary jungle battle for Guadalcanal. For lack of coordination and deficient estimate of U.S. strength, the lives of over 20,000 Japanese soldiers were in jeopardy. Then the Japanese General Headquarters sent its chief of war operation section, Colonel Hattori, to Guadalcanal for an on-the-spot investigation. Hattori flew back to Tokyo on November 1 1, and was received by Emperor Hirohito the next day to present his detailed written report, during which Hirohito said: “As a large U.S. fleet was pressing on Guadalcanal, whether the Army should send reinforcement of its own air force without delay.” Afterwards, the Army dispatched its air force to the Southeast Pacific theater but it was too late to save the Japanese army on Guadalcanal. As for the withdrawal of Japanese army from Quadalcanal, Emperor Hirohito on November 28, 1942 issued Ns order saying: Today the Chief of General Headquarters said that whether or not we withdraw from Guadalcanal will be reported to me on the 30th. I am not satisfied with this kind of as a matter of factly report, but rather I wish to know what is the plan for defeating the enemy. The situation is so serious that the General Hqs. conference should be summoned to discuss the issue. Regardless of the date whether it be the end or the beginning of the year, I will be there. (Important Records of the Japanese Army Warring in China, Tr. Taipei, Bureau of Military History, Defense Ministry, 1992, Vol. 23). The Imperial Conference was held in Emperor’s palace on December 31 to decide the withdrawal from Guadalcanal with Emperor Hirohito presiding. From this, one should not fail to see that Emperor Hirohito was indeed the Conirnander-in-Chief of the Japanese Armed Forces. In fact, why the Japanese surrender procrastinated so long as it did until August 15, 1945, it was chiefly due to Hirohito’s dictatorship. A few years ago, a courageous Japanese writer Hisashi Inoue wrote: In February 1945, for example, as Japan was losing on Asian and Pacific battlefields, Prince Fumimaro Konoe, former prime minister and Imperial counselor, wrote the ruler: ‘I believe that defeat, although tragic and regrettable, is inevitable’ and urged him to accept the premise of defeat. Ignoring this plea, Emperor Showa made a tragic mistake. Had he agreed then to a ceasefire, Tokyo would have been spared the air raid of March 10, 1945, when incendiary bombs leveled much of the capital, killing 100,000 people. The U.S. invasion of Okinawa which cost about 260,000 Japanese lives and 50,000 American casualties, would have been avoided. Atomic bombs would not have obliterated Hiroshima and Nagasaki, sparing another 200,000 lives. (The Japan Times Weekly, September 24-30, 1990.) So that Emperor Hirohito must be held responsible for the deaths of 3 million Japanese, 35 million Chinese, 109,656 Americans, and many million Asian, his guilt was apparently greater than that of Hitler. How can one imagine that this No. One war criminal Kirohito was not brought to justice, as he was allowed to live a full life; when he died in 1989, he was buried with the most pompous funeral of the century. This alone showed the grave failure of the Tokyo Trial and that the sacrifices of Chinese, Japanese, Americans, and Asians were nearly in vain; for this, their souls cannot rest in peace! All Killers of “Human Experimentation” At Large. Another colossal mistake the Tokyo Trial made was that the U.S. government and Supreme Commander MacArthur struck a deal with Lt. Gen. Ishii Shiro, former commander of Japanese biological warfare Unit 73 1, that he and all members of Unit 731 were to be exonerated from war crimes in exchange for data they had acquired through human experimentation of many thousands of Chinese, Koreans, Soviets, and even U.S. POWs. Without a shadow of doubt, Ishii’s crimes had far exceeded those committed by the infamous Nazi doctor Josef Mengele for conducting human experiments, while Unit 731 had murdered the people many times the number of Jews, Gypsies, Polish, and Russians killed by the Nazi doctors! Before the “Doctors’ Trial” at Nuremberg formally began on December 9, 1946, there were 31 secondary war criminals for having conducted human experimentation that were tried at Buchwald, Germany, where many kinds of human experiments took place, and 22 of them were sentenced to death. The “Doctors’ Trial” had convicted 16 out of 23 war criminals originally indicted: death sentences to 7 people including Hitler’s personal doctor Karl Brandt; 5 life imprisonment; 2 twenty years term-n imprisonment; I twenty and ten years’ term each. Importantly, the I 0-article Nuremberg Code adopted by the “Doctors’ Trial has been taken in total by the United Nations and Western countries. Its first article reads: “The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential”; article 4: “The experiment should be so conducted as to avoid all unnecessary physical and mental suffering and injury”; article 9: “During the course of the experiment the human subject should be at liberty to bring the experiment to an end if he has reached the physical or mental state where continuation of the experiment seems to him to be impossible.” Hence members of Unit 731 violated not only the Nuremberg code but also the 1925 Geneva Convention which outlaws the use of chemical and biological warfares and of which Japan is a signatory country. Hundreds of doctors of the former Unit 731 are still practicing or living in retirement in Japan today. We earnestly hope that in their lifetime they could come to terms with the horrendous atrocities they had continued by pleading for forgiveness and making apology to their victims and their bereaved families as well as preparing to pay them fair monetary compensations. In so doing, not only can their souls be saved; in the meantime, they make the least contributions to their posterity and human society, while preserving history and maintaining truth and justice. Otherwise, their victims and families, basing on international laws and resolutions of the United Nations and backed up by millions of Chinese, Asians, and peace-loving people of the world, would take their case to the Japanese and international courts so as to attest that law and morality does exist in the human world.
  2. MikiiTys5 says:

    Wonderful idea. I love it. Appreciate your sharing

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  4. George says:

    The Japanese population should be made known to this and the children should be educated in their forefathers’ atrocities, and taught not to repeat this horror.

  5. Geo says:

    someone need to find this man’s grave in Japan and desecrate it.

  6. Marco says:

    Japanese, even in their pop culture, are well aware of the atrocities. Some of their gory meditation on human brutality and criticism of contemporary society’s cynism took unit 731 as a hidden, implied real-world reference to create fictitious dystopic organizations, the most recent of them being probably “Deadmen Wonderland” from the omonimous manga. Remember that all axis countries well know the inhumanities of war, having been both ruthless aggressors and victims of massive bombings by the Americans. The most extreme on both sides is indeed Japan, home of the most radical and tenacious “nazifascist” party in the whole world and the first and last to suffer atomic bombing. Also Germans went into strong autocriticism and an actual pacifism. I’m not so proud as an Italian to say that in our country has happened something completely similar. We were bombed the least of the three and, also because we freed ourselves rather than undergoing our own Nurnberg humiliation, we still view our Fascist period as kind of a petty,partly unnoxious, laughable and ridictatorship. Recently our government proposed to reduce or abrogate fines to whoever does neo-fascist propaganda. That’s a shame. And now we bomb Africa one again. But, guess what? Democratically

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  13. bernard sanson says:

    I hate those bastards as much now as I did 40 years ago – I will not tolerate anything Nippon in my life.
    They will never accept responsibility for what they did and are hoping it will all go away given enough time.
    Nuke ‘ em again, and again and again until they are all gone.

  14. Tully Gulyas says:

    Bernard. You must be aware that nuking someone is a war crime in and of itself. And the atrocities were not committed 40 years ago, they were 73-67 years ago.
    Also, the Allies committed atrocities too. The American forces raped thousands of Japanese women during WWII and murdered countless prisoners of war, mostly Italian and German. In fact, the Americans even set up their own camps in which they would force German officers to dig their own graves, among other things. They’d line them up and systematically murder them. You look me in the eye and tell me that’s right!

  15. jomarie arnaiz says:


  16. Sabrina says:

    Responding to Tully Gulyas:
    The difference is that the Allies, as well as Italia and Germany, had already payed indemnizations for their victims and made official apologize. Japan, until those days, keep trying to hide what they did in the past (they will even teach at schools that Japan made good things, pretending that they were the victims and that they didn’t have any relation to all these atrocities) and, as it was enough, feed hatred of Koreans, Chinese and lot of other nationalities when they made the wrong things. You can read in this article itself how they deliberately tried to deny all they things they did.

    Sorry for my english, but I hope you can understand what I mean.

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