Unit 731

Japan's Secret Human Medical
& Biological Experiments

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Unit 731 - Japan's Secret Human
Medical & Biological Experiments

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BrainMind.com - Contents

Unit 731

Unit 731, 100 - Inhuman Biological Warfare

This Biological Warfare is definitely the worst case of systematic biological massacre against Humanity committed by a country in our Human History.

"The fellow knew that it was over for him, and so he didn't struggle." recalled the old former medical assistant of a Japanese Army unit in China in World War II, "But when I picked up the scalpel that's when he began screaming. I cut him open from the chest to the stomach, and he screamed terribly, and his face was all twisted in agony. He made this unimaginable sound, he was screaming so horribly. But then finally he stopped." The former medical assistant who insisted on anonymity, explained the reason for the vivisection. The Chinese prisoner had been deliberately infected with the plague as part of a research project.

Imperial Japan's biological killing fields are a lost chapter of history that the full horror of which is only recently been exposed and understood in all its enormity.

Japan set up Headquarters of Unit 731 in Ping Fan near Harbin and Unit 100 in ChangChun, and Mukden, now called SunYang, in China to develop plague bombs for use in WWII. The base was disguised as Epidemic Prevention and Water Supply Unit. After infecting him, the researchers decided to cut him open alive, tear him apart, organ by organ, to see what the disease does to a man's inside. Often no anesthetic was used, he said, out of concern that it might have an effect on the results.

From July 1993 to Dec. 1994, the "Unit 731 Exhibition" toured Japan and presented at 61 locations over the course of one and half year. It had sent shockwaves throughout Japan. Hal Gold had collected many testimonies in his book.
"Unit 731: Testimony; Japan's Wartime Human Experimentation and the Post-War Cover-Up". One of the testimonies was provided by an aged former Japanese doctor Kurumizawa Masakuni.

The Chinese woman victim had regained her consciousness while being vivisected.
" She opened her eyes. "
" And then ? "
" She hollered. "
" What did she say ? "
Kurumizawa could not answer, then began weeping feebly and murmured,
" I don't want to think about it again. "
The interviewee apologized, waited a few seconds, and tried again for an answer.
He gave it though sobs.
" She said, " It's all right to kill me, but please spare my child's life. "

The research program was one of the great secrets of Japan during and after World War II : a vast project to develop weapons of biological warfare including following deadly diseases : bubonic plague, anthrax (including inhalation, skin and gastrointestinal types), smallpox, typhoid, paratyphoid A and B, tularemia, cholera, epidemic hemorrhagic fever, syphilis, aerosols, botulism, brucellosis, dysentery, tetanus, glanders, tuberculosis, yellow fever, typhus, tularemia, gas gangrene, scarlet fever, songo, diphtheria, brysipelas, selmonella, venereal diseases, infectious jaundice, undulant fever, epidemic cerebrospinal meningitis, tick encephalitis, plant diseases for crop destruction and a dozen other pathogens.

Unit 731 & Unit 100 were comprised of over 3,000 researchers and technicians. It was a gigantic research center focused on biological weapons - the world's most technically advanced at the time, used human as the guinea pigs, known as marutas (logs). The Japanese told the locals that the facilities were lumber mills.

More than 10,000 Chinese, Korean and Russian PoWs were slaughtered in these biological experiments.

The vivisection was routinely used for practicing various kinds of surgery says Dr. Ken Yuasa, a former Japanese doctor working in China during the War. First an appendectomy, then an amputation of an arm and finally a tracheotomy. When they finished practicing, they killed the victim with an injection.

Medical researchers also locked up diseased prisoners with healthy ones, to see how readily various ailments would spread. The doctors put others inside a pressure chamber to see how much the body can withstand before the eyes pop from their sockets.

To determine the treatment of frostbite, prisoners were taken outside in freezing weather and left with exposed arms, periodically drenched with water until frozen solid. The arm was later amputated, the doctors would repeat the process on the victim's upper arm to the shoulder. After both arms were gone, the doctors moved on to the legs until only a head and torso remained. The victim was then used for plague and pathogens experiments.

Victims were burned with flamethrowers, blown up with shrapnel, bombarded with lethal doses of X-ray, spun to death in centriguges, injected with animal blood, air bubbles, exposure to syphilis, surgical removal of stomachs with the esophagus then attached to the intestines, amputation of arms and reattachment on the opposite side, gassed to death in chambers .......

The doctors experimented on children and babies, even three-day-old baby measuring the temperature with a needle stuck inside the infant's middle finger to keep it straight to prevent the baby's hand clenching into a fist.

Victims were often taken to a proving ground called Anda, where they were tied to stakes and bombarded with test weapons to see how effective the new technologies were. Planes sprayed the zone with a plague culture or dropped bombs with plague-infected fleas to see how many people would die.

White-coated Japanese medics claiming to be from a government epidemic-prevention unit would arrive at villages unannounced, saying that they were there to implement hygiene measures or to administer vaccinations. After they left, the village would become sick.

The Japanese army regularly conducted "Field Tests". Planes dropped plague-infected fleas over Ningbo in eastern China and over Changde in north-central China. Japanese troops also dropped cholera and typhoid cultures in water reservoirs, wells and ponds.

Cottony material and feathers coated with anthrax bacteria were used to spread the disease in an airborne manner, as such fibers had been found to be effective in keeping the bacteria alive long enough to reach the intended human victims.

Witnesses recall watching Japanese airplanes dropping a mixture of wheat, millet, soy beans, rice, cotton fibers, paper and fabric cuttings, aerial spraying pathogens over the cities . They all had been coated with the biological organism or with fleas and brought the germs to people.

Japanese distributed infected food, cakes, drink, clothes and even children's candies to locals.

The same mass infections were being repeated all over China.

"Glanders was a disease first found in horses, and it could attack human beings," said Furmanski. Human beings' legs are most affected by the disease. "Only one out of 20 people with the disease could survive.

Medical records showed that glanders had long been wiped out in 1906, but new cases suddently broke out in the 1940s during WWII in China."

Even today, one hard-hit village in Zhejiang still bears the nickname "Rotten-Leg Village" because so many older residents are scarred by glanders from the 1942 attacks. Their flesh are still rotten and have not been healed since they were attacked - they have been suffering for almost 60 years now.

Sheldon H. Harris, a historian at California State University and author of the book,Factories of Death: Japanese Biological Warfare 1932-45 and the American Cover-up" stressed that "My calculation, which is very conservative, and based on incomplete sources as the major archives are still closed, is that 10,000 to 12,000 human beings were exterminated in lab experiments".

"Field Tests" were carried out all over China and Manchuria.

An in-depth study by Chinese and Japanese scholars have shown that at least 270,000 Chinese soldiers and civilians were killed by Japanese germ warfare between 1933 - 1945.

Scholars also believe that the toll from Japanese-seeded cholera epidemics in the southern province of Yunnan alone may reach the staggering figure of 200,000 killed.

As the war was ending, Japanese purposely released all the plague-infected animals. The Northeastern China immediately became a disaster area and caused outbreaks of plague that killed at least another 30,000 people from 1946 - 1948.

These crimes are more than parallel to the coeval work of Joseph Mengele and the Nazi doctors.

Japanese military scientists killed 12 times the number of civilians as did the Nazis Angel of Death, Dr Josef Mengele.

U.S. itself in 1943 also set up a major Biological Warfare program at Camp Detrick, now Fort Detrick, in Frederic, MD. Instead of putting the ringleaders on trial, U.S. gave them stipends to gain some advantages in the mass destruction Biological Weapon.

On Aug. 13, 1985, British Independent Televison broadcast a documentary "Unit 731 - Did the Emperor Know ? ". It was producted by Peter Williams and David Wallace after years research, hinted broadly that Emperor Hirohito was aware of the human experiments. There was also an interview with retired Lt. Col. Murray Sanders, the first US investigator into Uint 731. Sanders claimed that Gen. Douglas MacArthur authorized him to make a deal with the Japanese if they cooperated with US Biological Warfare scientists.

The producers even sent a copy of the documentary film to the Japanese officials in London.

William and Wallace also published the book "Unit 731: The Japanese Army's Secret of Secrets". For some reason, a chapter was omitted from the American edition. The chapter was titled "Korean War". They examined evidences from the International Scientific Commission for the Facts Concerning Bacterial Warfare in Korea and supported the theory of US-Japanese culpability of using Unit 731's techniques in Korea War.

The same controversial conclusion was also reached by Professor Stephen Endicott and Edward Hagerman, author of their 1998 book "The United States and Biological Warfare", that "United States had an operational biological weapons system, and that it was employed in the Korean War."

NGO The Sunshine Project has discovered that even today the US is still actively developing Biological and Chemical Weapon.

Takai Matsumura, Japanese historian and economist at Tokyo's Keio University, said germ warfare experiments were also conducted in at least 10 other cities in China, including Hailar (unit 2646/unit 80), Harbin (unit 731), ChangChun (unit 100), SunYang (unit 100), Beijing (unit 1855), Nanjing (Tama unit 1644), Shanghai and Guangzhou (Nami unit 8604), as well as Singapore (Oka unit 9420), Burma, Rangoon, Bangkok, possibly in Manila, East Indies.

There were 26 known Japan's killing laboratories in China.

U.S. silence on this issue has allowed the Japanese Government to maintain the fiction that there is not enough evidence to prove that the Chinese are telling the truth. When Japanese journalists and academics have stumbled over crucial validating evidence in government archives, the material has been confiscated and re-classified.

When neither the Japanese Government nor the U.S. was prepared to admit to either the crimes or cover-up, a small group of conscientious Japanese human rights activists, doctors, lawyers and former soldiers formed an unprecedented alliance with the Chinese.

Senior Japanese lawyers are acting for the Chinese, among them Tsuchiya Koken, the former president of the Japanese Lawyers Association. Few old Japanese soldiers who worked on the biological warfare programme have also come forward to give evidence. Their stance exposes themselves to abuse at home and accusations from ultra-nationalists that they are traitors.

"The brutality my parents generation committed in the name of war has to be resolved and addressed by my generation." said Keichiro Ichinose, one of the lawyers.

In June 1996, they formed the Association to Reveal the Historical Fact of Germ Warfare by the Japanese Armed Forces.

In 1997, 108 survivors and family members, including Wu Shi-Gen, filed a lawsuit against the Japanese Government demanding apology and 10 million yen compensation per victim of biological weapons and acts of brutality carried out by Japan's notorious Unit 731 and Unit 164. The thousands of victims included 2,100 civilians, whose personal details have been verified in China.

In October 1940, Japanese warplanes that had passed over Wu Shi-Gen's village in Quzhou, southern China, but the bombs dropped did not explode. From them poured a mixture of rice and wheat covered with fleas. Few days later, many villagers were struck down by sickness. His nine year old brother had bubonic plague.

It is an agonising disease glands swell to the size of grapefruit, limbs fill with fluid and whole areas of flesh turn deep purple. Eventually, victims die screaming. The plague killed his two-year-old sister, too.

Ms. Wang Xuan is called by some as "The Joan of Arc of China". She used to live in rural village called Yiwu on China's east coast. She shows visitors the Tragedy Pavilion which lists 1,500 plague victims, and describes how Unit 731 dropped plague-infected fleas from aircraft and killed 20 villagers a day at one point in 1942. She then leads visitors through the gray-brick Buddhist temple where the Japanese performed autopsies to gauge the impact of their biological tests.

Ms. Wang has assembled 180 Chinese victims and is now suing Japan, charging that Japan had spread bubonic plague and other diseases in China during WWII.

Eisuke Matsui, Japanese Professor of radiology at Gifu University school of Medicine, said he was compelled to uncover Japan's germ warfare in order to educate the young generation of Japan.

However, Toshimi Mizobuchi, a 76 year old real estate manager living outside the Japanese city of Kobe. He makes no secret of his years as a training officer with Unit 731. He also participated in July 1945, in training kamikaze pilots for Operation Cherry Blossoms, a military plan to use five submarines, each carrying few small aircraft to the California coast where they would attack San Diego with "plague bombs" full of infected fleas.

"They were logs to me," said Mizobuchi, "Logs were not considered to be human. They were either spies or conspirators." As such, he said, "they were already dead. So now they die a second time. We just executed a death sentence." He said reunion for the several hundred surviving veterans of Unit 731 was held almost every year. He is organizing this year's reunion.

As the war was ending, Japan waited and intended to use plague germs if American had landed on Okinawa. Ironically, Okinawans themselves never knew the plan until Jan. 1994 when the Unit 731 Exhibition opened there. Ito Kageaki recalled, "Okinawa could be thrown away if Japan could gain some military advantage." One local said, "This makes the sacrifices in the Okinawa battle even more pitiful."

Back in China, "After 60 years, we are still finding positive antibodies of bubonic plague in rats, dogs, cats and other animals. Every year a certain number of healthy people develop typhoid. Japan's germ warfare has left behind problems that still threaten our lives." said Qiu, a Chinese doctor.

Fears of another outbreak still haunt the Chinese cities.

Unit 516 - Inhuman Chemical Warfare

This Chemical Warfare is definitely the worst case of systematic chemical massacre against Humanity committed by a country in our Human History.

Japan refused to acknowledge formally that chemical weapon were used, despite the discovery of huge quantity left behind.

Only in November 1995, after US declassified documents pertaining to the weapons, did the Japanese government admit that it had used "lethal gases". according to a report in 2001 by the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London.

During the final weeks of WWII, Japanese lmperial Army truckloaded thousands of Chemical Weapons, including mustard gas and another lethal toxin and dumped them into the Nen River, northeast China. The dumping was part of a secret campaign to erase evidence of Japan's Chemical War against China.

Only recently the Japanese government begun to admit to their work on these weapons of mass destruction by Unit 516, Japan's top-secret Chemical Weapons research facility in Qiqihar, China.

On Aug. 12, 1945 former soldier Masaji Takahashi, now a 77-year-old retired barber, supervised the disposal of chemicals in the Nen, River. The order, recalled Takahashi in 1998, "was to throw them from the bridge." into Nen River.

In 1929, in defiance of the 1925 Geneva Protocol banning chemical weapons, Japan seceretly began building a production facility so secret that its location, Okunoshima Island in Takehara, Hiroshima Prefecture, was erased from unclassified Japanese maps. Dubbed "Island of Great Hardships".

The facility had 6,000 workers and produced toxins 1,200 tons annually for 7.5 million weapons. Gases were also injected into shells and bomb casings at the Sone Armory in Fukuoka Prefecture; and the navy's chemical weapons plant was located in Samukawa, Kanagawa Prefecture.

Yoshiaki Yoshimi, professor of modern and contemporary Japanese history at Chuo University, based on the incomplete declassified U.S. Army documents at the National Archives in Washington D.C. and a six-volume intelligence report on Japanese chemical warfare, compiled by the General Headquarters of the U.S. Army Forces Pacific in May 1946, he has estimated Japan had produced 1,646,326 units of chemical weapons from 1938 through 1943.

In 1931 the "Hardships" spread to China. Japan invaded Manchuria, a resource-rich industrial region, and established Unit 516 staffed with 3,000 personnel in Qiqihar to develop and test a modern chemical arsenal. The facility perfected a variety of chemical weapons, from deadly smoke "candles" to chemical grenades, mortars and heavy artillery - all manufactured with Okunoshima's poisons.

Japanese troops used these chemical weapons almost from the day they started full invasion in China 1937. They launched 375 separate chemical attacks in a four-month campaign to conquer Wuhan.

Benjamin C. Garrett, one of the world's leading experts in Chemical Weapons, has visited China. He has found 6 types of gases the Japanese used in Chemical Weapons against Chinese:

1. Phosgene
2. Hydrogen Cyanide
3. Bromobenzyl Cyanide and Chloroacetophenon
4. Diphenyl-cyanoarsine and Diphenylchloroarsine
5. Arsenic Trichloride
6. Sulfur Mustard and Lewisite

It was estimated that Japan, during its 14 years invasion in China, had used chemical weapons in more than 2,000 battles and caused great casualties.

After the war, China began gathering abandoned chemical weapons and burying them in remote Dunhua County. In Haerbaling, Jilin province, there are 2 large pits, interred a vast stockpile of munitions: 670,000 artillery and mortar shells, smoke canisters, huge drums of chemicals.

It is now Asia's most dangerous dump. The two massive pits contain more than half a million munitions shells. Experts warned that an accidental explosion in Dunhua would kill everything, even grass, within a 200 kilometer radius.

Chemical ordnance in varying amounts has been found in at least a dozen other provinces (Jilin, Sangdon, Hebei, Zhejiang, Anhui, Jiangsu etc.), Chinese officials say.

It has been estimated that 700,000 - 2,000,000 Chemical Bombs most of them loaded with mustard gas and many of them corroded and leaking, are still scattered in China.

Japan has an obligation to remove these weapons within 10 years, under the terms of the Convention for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which came into effect in April 1997.

OPCW reaffirmed in May 2000 that it held Japan responsible for destroying all these abandoned deadly chemical weapons.

The chemical warheads have continued to injure and kill, harming as many as 2,000 Chinese and damaging the environment. The rotten chemicals leaked from these munitions are continuing to pollute people's health, rivers and underground waters.

China is now home to the world's largest chemical weapons cleanup campaign for 700,000 - 2,000,000 chemical warheads.

"This is something that has been done before, but not on that scale," said Abu Talib, a chemical weapons expert from Mitretek Systems in Falls Church, Va. in U.S., "Most of the chemical weapons around the world, you're talking hundreds and thousands -- not such a huge pile."

Whether such a monumental task can be completed by 2007, the deadline imposed by the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, remains to be seen.

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