Unit 731

  • #1
The Smoking Man
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On a lot of the sites that I post on, people inevitably say when I mention 'Unit 731' or ANYTHING to do with Japan during the second world war ... 'That was over 50 years ago. Time to forget'.

I wish it could be so easy.

You see, due to the Official Secrets Act, the revelations about what actually occurred during the war have been sealed to the world and have only JUST come out from behind the 'veil of secrecy'.

Individual Chinese citizens have been trying to sue the Japanese government for things done to them during the war for over 50 years however the Japanese courts have been allowed a peculiar defence stating that there is 'no evidence'.

Actually, there is evidence, it is just sealed.

Unit 731, the 'Mengle-esque' unit responsible for biological and chemical experimentation was not even acknowledged to have existed until the early 1990's by the Japanese Supreme court but the government itself refused to acknowledge its activities.

Due to the veil of secrecy being lifted, this is some of the information that is coming to light:

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getarticle.pl5?nn20050815a1.htm [Broken]

What do you think?

Should we forget?

Should we really ignore what happened as a result of Japan's activities?

Ishii is said to have killed 12 times the number of victims of Mengele and yet he was PAID for his information by the US government.
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
TheStatutoryApe
203
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I agree that these people should have been taken to trial. Guilty parties don't always go to jail though. Quite often they strike bargains for a get out of jail free card.
Should the arrangements that were made no longer be honoured? If so I would think that you would have to consider the arrangements made illegal so should those that made those arrangements be prosecuted too?
 
  • #3
The Smoking Man
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TheStatutoryApe said:
I agree that these people should have been taken to trial. Guilty parties don't always go to jail though. Quite often they strike bargains for a get out of jail free card.
Should the arrangements that were made no longer be honoured? If so I would think that you would have to consider the arrangements made illegal so should those that made those arrangements be prosecuted too?
I don't think there were any official arrangements not to prosecute.

I think they just 'failed to bring suit' in return for information.

Unfortunately, from some of the other information I have read on the subject, this 'conspiracy' seems to go as high as the presidency.

A 137-page counterintelligence file from the National Archives which had been declassified, makes it clear that U.S. intelligence agents not only covered up war crimes against Americans, but also aggressively protected the architect of those crimes, Lt. Gen. Shiro Ishii.

"At the request of Nationalist Chinese officials who heard about "bacteriological experiments upon Chinese and Americans as human guinea pigs," the U.S. counterintelligence corps prepared a report on Ishii, the head of Unit 731, according to a July 24, 1947, memo. The document makes it clear that a high-level U.S. intelligence officer, Col. Philip Bethune, quashed the report after informing his agents that " no information is to be released to any agent as data on subject is classified as top secret." The agent who wrote the memo, identified only by the initials WSC, also wrote that "Col. Bethune desires no further action be taken in this case. No further action was taken."

Months later, on April 15, 1948, it was noted for the record that "It is of a highly sensitive nature, and that every precaution must be taken to maintain its secrecy."

A report dated April 18, 1947 from the legal section of Gen. MacArthur's headquarters, specifying that the Unit 731 investigation was "under direct Joint Chiefs of Staff order." "Every step, interrogation, or contact must be coordinated with this section," said the report by Lt. Neal R. Smith of Report of Investigation Division, Legal Section, " The utmost secrecy is essential in order to protect the interests of the United States and to guard against embarrassment."

Some of the reports were labeled "Commander in Chief" that leaves little doubt that US President Truman was informed of the events. President Truman also withdrew the 1925 Geneva Protocol outlawing Chemical and Biological Weapons from Senate ratification of protocol in 1947.

http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/packages/ccic/cnd/InfoBase/NJMassacre/germ-warfare1.html
http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2002/08/28/1030508070534.html?oneclick=true
 
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  • #4
TRCSF
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Does anybody else find it deeply ironic that right now the WH is actively trying to hide photos and videos of war crimes at Abu Ghraib? They're not even releasing the reasons why they're hiding the evidence.
 
  • #5
PerennialII
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Never forget. The dirty deals, arrangements, failures to carry legal action etc. that have been made should belong to the same category, power doesn't supersede laws and treaties as obvious and naive as it is. For that purpose alone cleaning under the rugs serves a purpose, thinking about our day and age it doesn't appear that lessons have been learned.
 
  • #6
russ_watters
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The Smoking Man said:
'That was over 50 years ago. Time to forget'.
This isn't about forgetting, its about lawsuits.

What do you think the statute of limitations should be on such lawsuits? Should children, grandchildren, etc. be allowed to sue?

In the US, there is a (small) movement for getting decendants of slaves reparations for work performed 150+ years ago. Do you think that is reasonable?
 
  • #7
The Smoking Man
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russ_watters said:
This isn't about forgetting, its about lawsuits.

What do you think the statute of limitations should be on such lawsuits? Should children, grandchildren, etc. be allowed to sue?
When the evidence required to sue is buried in the name of 'national security' and lawsuits are repeatedly being thrown out, what do you think?

These are not grand kids, by the way ... in most cases, they are the principals.

Also, there is no statute of limitations on murder and crimes against humanity.

Are you implying becasue the crimes were committed 50 years ago, they have no basis in law?
 
  • #8
The Smoking Man
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russ_watters said:
This isn't about forgetting, its about lawsuits.

What do you think the statute of limitations should be on such lawsuits? Should children, grandchildren, etc. be allowed to sue?

In the US, there is a (small) movement for getting decendants of slaves reparations for work performed 150+ years ago. Do you think that is reasonable?
Ms. Wang Xuan is called by some as " The Joan of Arc of China". She was interviewed by PBS and BBC for their documentary films, including: "Unit 731: Nightmare in Manchuria", "Rotten Foot Village" and the most recent "Avoiding Armageddon".

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 sued Japan, charging that Japan had spread bubonic plague and other diseases in China during WWII. However, in 2002, Tokyo District Court rejected their claim for an apology and compensation.

I should add that this was the test case where the Supreme Court of Japan was forced to admit the presence of Unit 731 since they had a Japanese participant testify as to what he did.
 
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  • #9
arildno
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Well, and then it is the matter with our beloved Werner von Braun.
Made quite a career for himself in the US, didn't he?
The old f*cking Nazi.
 
  • #10
The Smoking Man
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russ_watters said:
This isn't about forgetting, its about lawsuits.

What do you think the statute of limitations should be on such lawsuits? Should children, grandchildren, etc. be allowed to sue?

In the US, there is a (small) movement for getting decendants of slaves reparations for work performed 150+ years ago. Do you think that is reasonable?
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 WMD 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 WMD Chemical Weapons research facility in Qiqihar, China.

They now have until 2007 to clean then up.
 
  • #11
The Smoking Man said:
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getarticle.pl5?nn20050815a1.htm [Broken]

What do you think?

Should we forget?

Should we really ignore what happened as a result of Japan's activities?

Ishii is said to have killed 12 times the number of victims of Mengele and yet he was PAID for his information by the US government.
We went after Saddam in Iraq for using chemical weapons, why not Japan?

Uh, nevermind. I have just been informed that Japan doesn't have oil.

Sorry about the sarcasm, I couldn't help myself. :devil:

I would like to think that the US would be more willing to help the victims of such crimes, not pay the perpetrators for the data collected from chemical and biological experiments conducted on human beings!
 
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  • #12
loseyourname
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Skyhunter said:
We went after Saddam in Iraq for using chemical weapons, why not Japan?

Perpetrating an all-out war for four years and then dropping two nuclear bombs on them doesn't constitute going after them?
 
  • #13
loseyourname said:
Perpetrating an all-out war for four years and then dropping two nuclear bombs on them doesn't constitute going after them?
I understood it in the context of going after war criminals to bring them personally to justice as is being done to Saddam.
 
  • #14
Burnsys
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Art said:
I understood it in the context of going after war criminals to bring them personally to justice as is being done to Saddam.

Not nuking 150.000 inocent civilians.
 
  • #15
russ_watters
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The Smoking Man said:
These are not grand kids, by the way ... in most cases, they are the principals.
For crimes comitted 50 years ago? I find that a little hard to believe.
Also, there is no statute of limitations on murder and crimes against humanity.
That's true, but if the defendant is dead, there isn't anyone to prosecute.
Are you implying becasue the crimes were committed 50 years ago, they have no basis in law?
No, I'm implying that since the crimes were comitted 50 years ago (actually, 50-70), virtually all the people involved are likely dead.

In any case, reading that article, it doesn't say anything about lawsuits or aything else that should be done with this info, its just reporting facts. In fact, with the recent resurgence of anti-Japan sentiment in China, the purpose of bringing this up again may simply be a justification for hate. So I guess I really need to be asking you: are you interested in lawsuits, prosecuting offenders (do you know for sure some are still alive?), looking for reparations (again, do you know for sure some of the victims are still alive?), or just looking for a reason to hate? What do you hope can be accomplished by pursuing this??

From what I understand, there are no more general reparations being paid by Germany for WWII.
 
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  • #16
loseyourname said:
Perpetrating an all-out war for four years and then dropping two nuclear bombs on them doesn't constitute going after them?
I thought that was for Pearl Harbor, not for using chemical weapons on their neighbors.

And I was being sarcastic. :tongue:
 
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  • #17
The Smoking Man
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russ_watters said:
For crimes comitted 50 years ago? I find that a little hard to believe. That's true, but if the defendant is dead, there isn't anyone to prosecute. No, I'm implying that since the crimes were comitted 50 years ago (actually, 50-70), virtually all the people involved are likely dead.

In any case, reading that article, it doesn't say anything about lawsuits or aything else that should be done with this info, its just reporting facts. In fact, with the recent resurgence of anti-Japan sentiment in China, the purpose of bringing this up again may simply be a justification for hate. So I guess I really need to be asking you: are you interested in lawsuits, prosecuting offenders (do you know for sure some are still alive?), looking for reparations (again, do you know for sure some of the victims are still alive?), or just looking for a reason to hate? What do you hope can be accomplished by pursuing this??

From what I understand, there are no more general reparations being paid by Germany for WWII.
Russ, all I can say is that I am glad you are posting here because it is people like you that prove the premise of this thread. Thanks.

Let’s see, you assumption is that if this happened 60 years ago then the people all must be dead.

Well, this is exactly what we would expect from the American perspective that only sees their 18 to 20 year olds going off to war.

Unfortunately, when a war is fought ON your soil, even babies get caught up in those nasty little machinations.

In a recent lawsuit in China, one of the victims testified to what happened to her in the war as a ‘comfort woman’. She was raped over 3,400 times. She’s 76 now. The state denied the whole ‘comfort women thing’ happened too. She was only 13 at the time.

Another of the ‘comfort women’ was a victim of venereal disease and a subsequent birth left her child blind, deaf and dumb. Is this child a ‘victim’?

The whole issue of 'comfort women' was brought to light when a recent document proved that it was a MILITARY DIRECTIVE that created the comfort woman program. Until then, the Japanese had claimed that a) the women were willing participants and that b) it was local crime bosses that were responsible for it and not the military.

In the case of Unit 731:
It is called the Asian Auschwitz and, in terms of inhumanity and horror, it certainly warrants this description. Yet there remains a fundamental difference with the crimes perpetrated by the Nazis against Jews. While Germany has shown deep contrition and remorse, the leaders of the country that spawned the evil of Unit 731 still struggle to come to grips with what occurred.

This week in a Tokyo court, the world was again reminded of Japan's inability to deal with its march across Asia. In courtroom 103, three judges of the Tokyo District Court rejected a claim for an apology and compensation by 180 Chinese, either victims or the family of victims of Unit 731.

If there was anything positive out of the decision for the Chinese, it was that for the first time, a Japanese court had acknowledged that Unit 731 and other units had engaged in "cruel and inhumane" biological warfare in China, costing many lives.

But that was it. The judges claimed there was no legal basis for the plaintiffs' claim, as all compensation issues were settled by a treaty with China in 1972.
While it had an authoritative legal ring to it, there was a deep sense of injustice around the courtroom and among supporters waiting outside. How could a court acknowledge a crime had been committed, yet fail to do anything about it?

The Chinese are planning to appeal, but regardless of what may come out of that, one positive factor to emerge from this case has been that the international community - and, indeed, the Japanese themselves - has been reminded of one of the darkest hours of the Japanese Imperial Army.

You will note the apology from the government that they are requesting?

Japan has NEVER apologized officially for what happened in the war ... and even if they had ... what have they apologized for when the courts have continually denied what they did due to the 'lack of evidence' due to the official secrets act?

How about this Russ?:http://www.cbc.ca/news/viewpoint/vp_yu/20050608.html [Broken]
For 63 years, Mr. Chen Chong Wen has had to change the bandages on his leg daily. His home-style remedy for his oozing wound is to use a playing card to stop the flow. “There’s no medicine for this,” he said, “it hurts very much and it itches.”

The stench of rotting flesh is overwhelming as he shows his leg. His open sore is terrible-looking and has a tofu-like texture. He feels he’s been a burden to his family because they have to take care of him. “It’s my bad luck,” he says and looks down at the ground.

Chen was infected with “rotten leg disease,” it’s also known as glanders, as he was running away from the Japanese Imperial Army in Zhejiang province in 1942. His mother was also infected. And not too long after her heel rotted off, she died in terrible pain.

Yeah, where would be the justice in compensating a man infected with Glanders at the age of 3 who also lost his mother, who has lived in pain for the last 60 years and has had the expenses related to being an invalid all his life?:sarcasm:

Oh, and Russ, the defendant is JAPAN and the Japanese government. Japan can't die.
 
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  • #18
The Smoking Man
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Skyhunter said:
I thought that was for Pearl Harbor, not for using chemical weapons on their neighbors.

And I was being sarcastic. :tongue:
Well, we all know the USA starts wars and then decides on the reason later.
:tongue:
 
  • #19
MaxS
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Thank you smoking man for pointing this stuff out, nothing makes me more angry than people spouting off bs worthy of tv punditry in its idiocy (gj russ!!). :mad: :mad: :mad:
 
  • #20
Perhaps the victims would have more success if they were to sue the American gov't for their complicity in covering up these attrocities after the war?
 
  • #21
The Smoking Man
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Art said:
Perhaps the victims would have more success if they were to sue the American gov't for their complicity in covering up these attrocities after the war?
I can just hear Russ' reaction to THAT!!! :rofl:
 
  • #23
Hurkyl
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Is anyone else bothered with the small, technical matter that the entity that perpetrated these crimes doesn't exist anymore?
 
  • #24
The Smoking Man
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Hurkyl said:
Is anyone else bothered with the small, technical matter that the entity that perpetrated these crimes doesn't exist anymore?
Okay all you people ... pull out your globes and see if you, like I can find the islands of Japan.

Now look a little closer and see if you can find the Yasukuni Shrine.

See if you can catch a glimpse of the little pamphlets.

http://edition.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/asiapcf/east/08/13/japan.shrine/

Where war criminals are venerated

Tuesday, January 14, 2003 Posted: 12:08 AM EST (0508 GMT)

The Yasukuni Shrine is dedicated to about 2.5 million people who have died in Japan's conflicts between 1853 and 1945.

Their names are inscribed in the shrine's Book of Souls, and venerated as "gunshin", or war gods.

In 1978, 1,068 convicted war criminals, among them executed wartime prime minister Hideki Tojo and 13 other Class A war criminals, were secretly enshrined there.

The shrine's authorities are reluctant to accept the verdict of war crimes tribunals, and history.

"War is a really tragic thing to happen, but it was necessary in order for us to protect the independence of Japan and to prosper together with Asian neighbors," explains a pamphlet published by the shrine, aimed at children.

Referring to the convicted war criminals, the pamphlet says: "Some 1,068 people, who were wrongly accused as war criminals by the Allied court, were enshrined here."

About eight million people a year visit Yasukuni, according to the shrine's website, many to pay respects to their ancestors' "mitama," or souls remaining on earth to watch over their descendants.

The shrine, situated in central Tokyo just outside the moat to the Imperial Palace, was established in 1869 as the Tokyo Shokonsha, or Shrine for Inviting the Spirits, during the reign of Emperor Meiji.

The shrine was intended to venerate those who died in the struggle to reassert imperial rule in place of shogun warlords.
shrine protests
Protesters have tried to dissuade Koizumi from visiting the shrine

Ten years later it was renamed Yasukuni Shrine, which means Shrine for Establishing Peace in the Empire.

More than two million people killed in the Pacific region during World War II are commemorated.

"Owing to the meritorious services of the spirits of the deities worshipped, the nation enjoys peace and security," the shrine explains on its website.

After the war ended, the US-led occupation forced the shrine to become a private religious foundation.

It has remained so, despite the efforts of members of the conservative, ruling Liberal Democratic Party to restore state protection.

Koizumi, who took office in April, is the third Japanese premier to visit the shrine since 1978. There was a 1985 trip by Yasuhiro Nakasone and a visit by Ryutaro Hashimoto on his birthday in July 1996.
They not only exist but they have forgiven those executed of missdeeds and made them war heros.

Yasukuni is a shrine for the country's WAR DEAD ie. those killed in battle.

In 1978, they enshrined the people executed after the war ended for war crimes.

At what point do they acknowledge the date these people died?

At what point do they see what was done was wrong?
 
  • #25
The Smoking Man
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Hurkyl said:
Is anyone else bothered with the small, technical matter that the entity that perpetrated these crimes doesn't exist anymore?
What I meant by that Hurkyl was that one of the people convicted for 'life' by the tribunal was let out in 1956 and went on to become the Prime Minister of Japan.

Another went on to become the Governor of Tokyo.

Others, the crowd working for Unit 731, started up the Pharmaceutical company 'Green Cross' and sat on the board of directors for a number of years. It is now the largest Pharmaceutical in the world.

It doesn't exist in your mind however becasue you have your hero 'Douggie MacArthur' who rebuilt their economy in return for favours.

It really DOES exist and they want to be armed again.

And they want a UN veto on the Security Council before all the secrets are out.
 
  • #26
russ_watters
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Hurkyl said:
Is anyone else bothered with the small, technical matter that the entity that perpetrated these crimes doesn't exist anymore?
I was thinking about that, (and I've argued it in the past), but people who want to hate don't tend to accept that - they look for any connection to the previous entity. That's the entire basis for nationalistic/racist hatreds that exist in many places in the world, going back centuries. It doesn't matter that we deconstructed the country "Japan" and made an entirely new one from its ashes - people want to hate the new one for the crimes of the old one. That's the main reason WWII happened in the first place! TSM, your mindest is the reason why wars happen.

TSM, Germany is a fully-functional member of the world community. Do you understand how that is possible? Tell me why it is possible for Germany and not possible for Japan.

TSM - Comfort Women? I know about them. This thread isn't about them. Honored war dead? It isn't about them either... Or is it? - is the whole point of this thread simply a random rant of anti-Japanese hate? Any reason to hate the Japanese, you'll bring up? Hey, while we're at it, why don't I bring up Tienanmen square again...? The Great Leap Forward? Hey, how 'bout Ghengis Khan?

And glanders? I'm sorry, but I don't see any evidence in that article that it has anything to do with biological warfare. It apparenly used to be a more common disease coming from animals in 3rd world countries. This allegation seems equivalent to Americans accusing Great Britain of biological warfare for foot-and-mouth disease.

TSM, my gut reaction to the OP was that this was a looking-for-a-reason-to-hate thread, and by bringing up half a dozen unrelated issues, you've confirmed that for me. If you want to talk about that one issue, talk about that one issue. Explain precisely what you think should be done about it. Otherwise, this just looks like one big anti-Japan rant.
MaxS said:
...nothing makes me more angry than people spouting off bs worthy of tv punditry in its idiocy.
Ironic - I was thinking exactly the same thing!
 
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  • #27
russ_watters
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Big point:
The Smoking Man said:
It really DOES exist and they want to be armed again.
Could you elaborate? Are you saying that the Japan of today is planning on starting another world war? Are they poised to invade China right now? Poised to attempt another takeover of the southeast Asian islands? And how much power does the Emperor have today? What does Japan's military look like today?

Japan today is one of the most peaceful and benevolent nations on the planet. Its a shocking change from the Japan that started WWII, but its real. They are quite happy to not have a real military(mandated by the treaty ending WWII) - they see no need for one.

Heck, I brought up Germany vs France before, but Japan didn't just attack China, it attacked the US as well, in the worst single attack on the United States since its inception. Japan also comitted plenty of war crimes against the US during the war (specifically, in its treatment of our POWs) So why is it that I can let that go and you can't? I mean - I was in the US Navy. If there is anyone who should despise Japan for Pearl Harbor, its me. Why don't I - why should I?

Why do you cling to hate, TSM?
 
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  • #28
TheStatutoryApe
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Russ said:
No, I'm implying that since the crimes were comitted 50 years ago (actually, 50-70), virtually all the people involved are likely dead.
Remember.. they tend to live longer than we do.

Art said:
Perhaps the victims would have more success if they were to sue the American gov't for their complicity in covering up these attrocities after the war?
That was my meaning about putting those on trial who set up the arrangements to keep the Japanese war criminals from being taken to trial. You still have to prove that these people did something illegal. On top of that those people most likely ARE all dead.
Hurkyl said:
Is anyone else bothered with the small, technical matter that the entity that perpetrated these crimes doesn't exist anymore?
In 50 some years Japan has never so much as apologized. Even if none of those who perpetrated those crimes exist any longer the way in which Japan views these matters of honour should lead their families to apologize for them. If these crimes are recognized it is attached to the family, not just the criminal. By their own manner of dealing with such issues they are showing that they do not recognize a crime has been made or that the victims of these crimes are worthy of an apology.
The Smoking Man said:
What I meant by that Hurkyl was that one of the people convicted for 'life' by the tribunal was let out in 1956 and went on to become the Prime Minister of Japan... ect
Do you know if any of these people or their families still exist? Do you know if any individuals, or family members, have come forward with an apology on their own(without government endorsment)?
 
  • #29
russ_watters
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TheStatutoryApe said:
Remember.. they tend to live longer than we do.
Huh? China has a life expectancy of 71, the US of 77.
In 50 some years Japan has never so much as apologized.
Huh? Of course they have! They've been more apologetic than average (more than Germany has). Its a source of national shame and something deeply regretted in Japanese culture. http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20050815/ts_nm/japan_war_anniversary_dc [Broken]
TOKYO (Reuters) - Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi marked the 60th anniversary of Japan's defeat in World War Two on Monday with an apology for suffering caused by Japanese military aggression, and pledged that Tokyo would never again go to war.

"Japan caused huge damage and suffering to many countries, especially the people of Asia, with its colonization and aggression," Koizumi said in a statement.

"Humbly accepting this fact of history, we again express our deep remorse and heartfelt apology and offer our condolences to the victims of the war at home and abroad,"
What I'd really like to know is how many apologies would be enough?
 
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  • #30
TheStatutoryApe
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russ_watters said:
Huh? China has a life expectancy of 71, the US of 77.
Now or then? And sorry I should have thrown in a smily because I was mostly just joking.
Russ said:
Huh? Of course they have! They've been more apologetic than average (more than Germany has). Its a source of national shame and something deeply regretted in Japanese culture. http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20050815/ts_nm/japan_war_anniversary_dc [Broken] What I'd really like to know is how many apologies would be enough?
I mean for these events described and their cover up. It would be like the Germans making a general apology to the world for the war and Hitler but not expressly apologizing for, or even recognizing, what was done to the Jews.
 
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  • #31
The Smoking Man
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russ_watters said:
I was thinking about that, (and I've argued it in the past), but people who want to hate don't tend to accept that - they look for any connection to the previous entity. That's the entire basis for nationalistic/racist hatreds that exist in many places in the world, going back centuries. It doesn't matter that we deconstructed the country "Japan" and made an entirely new one from its ashes - people want to hate the new one for the crimes of the old one. That's the main reason WWII happened in the first place! TSM, your mindest is the reason why wars happen.
No Russ.

The reason wars happen is because people feel an injustice.

Japan has never been punished for what they did during the war. They were in fact REWARDED for their trip through asia.

russ_watters said:
TSM, Germany is a fully-functional member of the world community. Do you understand how that is possible? Tell me why it is possible for Germany and not possible for Japan.
Japan has failed to make war repatriations, acknowledge their crimes and have officially elevated their version of Nazis to 'war gods' in the Yasikuni Shrine.

russ_watters said:
TSM - Comfort Women? I know about them. This thread isn't about them. Honored war dead? It isn't about them either... Or is it? - is the whole point of this thread simply a random rant of anti-Japanese hate? Any reason to hate the Japanese, you'll bring up? Hey, while we're at it, why don't I bring up Tienanmen square again...? The Great Leap Forward? Hey, how 'bout Ghengis Khan?
Russ, you asked about victims of this time and stated they were 'probably all dead'. I gave you examples of victims who were very much still alive and had been in the news to prove the longevity of the people.

russ_watters said:
And glanders? I'm sorry, but I don't see any evidence in that article that it has anything to do with biological warfare. It apparenly used to be a more common disease coming from animals in 3rd world countries. This allegation seems equivalent to Americans accusing Great Britain of biological warfare for foot-and-mouth disease.

http://www.copi.com/articles/guyatt/unit_731.html
http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200508/10/print20050810_201486.html
After Unit 731 the Japanese troops set up germ units in many cities such as Changchun, Peking, Nanjing and Guangzhou. These units had over 60 branches or agencies with more than 10,000 personnel. By the end of the war in 1945 Unit 731 still had over 3,000 personnel.

The Harbin-based Unit 731 and Changchun-based Unit 100 manufactured large amount of anthrax and glanders germs. Unit 731 could produce 600 kilogram anthrax in one month. From 1941 to 1942 Unit 100 produced 1,000 kilogram anthrax germs and over 500 kilogram glanders germs.

According to studies almost all the germ units of the Japanese aggressors used living human beings to conduct germ weapon tests and researches on germ warfare and mass-produced germ weaponry. Apart from regular germ units various Japanese army hospitals, units or even normal troops, hospitals and medical associations also took part in the germ warfare.

Since 1938 the Japanese aggressors began to resort to germ warfare. Surveys conducted after the war show that they used germ warfare in more than 20 Chinese provinces. Of them Zhejiang, Jiangxi and Hunan saw the largest and most damaging germ warfare with Chinese victims reaching at least 270,000.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unit_100[quote]Unit [Broken] 100 conducted research about bacteria in and from animals. As most armies were still heavily dependent on horses, the IJA was looking for ways to kill them and therefore to weaken military power. The second purpose was to use animals as carrier of diseases. Experiments were also conducted with living human beings, but little record or proof of human experimentation has been found. (Unit 731 was created to develop biological weapons against humans.)

Biological Warfare Agents

The following potential agents were tested:

* Glanders Mr. Kuwabara gave testimony after WW2 that Unit 100 released horses infected with Glanders.
* Anthrax[/quote]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ishii_Shiro[/INDENT] [Broken]

TSM, my gut reaction to the OP was that this was a looking-for-a-reason-to-hate thread, and by bringing up half a dozen unrelated issues, you've confirmed that for me. If you want to talk about that one issue, talk about that one issue. Explain precisely what you think should be done about it. Otherwise, this just looks like one big anti-Japan rant. Ironic - I was thinking exactly the same thing!
Well, thank the powers that we don't have to rely upon your reduced capabilities as a person with 'gut' reactions.

Anyone WITH a brain could actually formulate the idea that most of the evidence used to prosecute the Japanese for these atrocities would be held in Japanese military documents.

Since it was precisely this that trigered the government to enact bill s-1902and the address to congress in support of the bill:
Based on the evidence revealed at the War Crimes trials, as well as

subsequent work by numerous scholars, there is little doubt that Japan conducted these chemical and biological warfare experiments, and that the Japanese Imperial Army attempted to use chemical and biological weapons during the course of the war, included reports of use of plague on the cities of Ningbo and Changde.

And, as a 1980 article by John Powell in the Bulletin of Concerned Asia Scholars found,

Once the fact had been established that Ishii had used Chinese and others as laboratory tests subjects, it seemed a fair assumption that he also might have used American prisoners, possibly British, and perhaps even Japanese.​

Some of the records of these activities were revealed during the Tokyo War Crimes trials, and others have since come to light under Freedom of Information Act requests, but many other documents, which were transferred to the U.S. military during the occupation of Japan, have remained hidden for the past fifty years.

And it is precisely for this reason that this legislation is needed: The world is entitled to a full and compel record of what did transpire.

Sheldon Harris, Professor of History Emeritus at California State university Northridge wrote to me on October 7 of this year that:

In my capacity as an academic Historian, I can testify to the difficulty researchers have in unearthing documents and personal testimony concerning these war crimes * * *. Here in the United States, despite the Freedom of Information Act, some archives remain closed to investigators * * *. Moreover, "sensitive documents--as defined by archivists and FOIA officers--are at the moment being destroyed.​

Professor Sheldon's letter goes on to discuss three examples of the destruction of documents relating to chemical and biological warfare experiments that he is aware of: At Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah, at Fort Detrick in Maryland, and at the Pentagon.

This legislation establishes, within 60 days after the enactment of the act, the Japanese Imperial Army Records Interagency Working Group, including representation by the Department of State and the Archivist of the United States, to locate, identify, and recommend for declassification all Japanese Imperial Army records of the United States.

This Interagency Work Group, which will remain in existence for three years, is to locate, identify, inventory, recommend for classification, and make available to the public all classified Imperial Army records of the United States. It is to do so in coordination with other agencies, and to submit a report to Congress describing its activities.

It is my belief that the establishment of such an Interagency Working Group is the best way to make sure that the documents which need to be declassified will be declassified, and that this process will occur in an orderly and expeditious manner.
And the support documents following:
I am the author of "Factories of Death, Japanese Biological Warfare, 1932-45, and the American Cover-up" (Routlege: London and New York; hard cover edition 1994; paperback printings, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999). I discovered in the course of my research for this book, and scholarly articles that I published on the subject of Japanese biological and chemical warfare preparations, that members of the Japanese Imperial Army Medical Corps committed heinous war crimes. These included involuntary laboratory tests of various pathogens on humans--Chinese, Korean, other Asian nationalities, and Allied prisoners of war, including Americans. Barbarous acts encompassed live vivisections, amputations of body parts (frequently without the use of anesthesia), frost bite exposure to temperatures of 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit below zero, injection of horse blood and other animal blood into humans, as well as other horrific experiments. When a test was completed, the human experimented was "sacrificed", the euphemism used by Japanese scientists as a substitute term for "killed."

In my capacity as an academic Historian, I can testify to the difficulty researchers have in unearthing documents and personal testimony concerning these war crimes. I, and other researchers, have been denied access to military archives in Japan. These archives cover activities by the Imperial Japanese Army that occurred more than 50 years ago. The documents in question cannot conceivably contain information that would be considered of importance to "National Security" today. The various governments in Japan for the past half century have kept these archives firmly closed. The fear is that the information contained in the archives will embarrass previous governments.

Here in the United States, despite the Freedom of Information Act, some archives remain closed to investigators. At best, the archivists in charge, or the Freedom of Information Officer at the archive in question, select what documents they will allow to become public. This is an unconscionable act of arrogance and a betrayal of the trust they have been given by the Congress and the

[[Page S14543]]

President of the United States. Moreover, "sensitive" documents--as defined by archivists and FOIA officers--are at the moment being destroyed. Thus, historians and concerned citizens are being denied factual evidence that can shed some light on the terrible atrocities committed by Japanese militarists in the past.

Three examples of this wanton destruction should be sufficiently illustrative of the dangers that exist, and should reinforce the obvious necessity for prompt passage of legislation you propose to introduce into the Congress:

1. In 1991, the Librarian at Dugway Proving Grounds, Dugway, Utah, denied me access to the archives at the facility. It was only through the intervention of then U.S. Representative Wayne Owens, Dem., Utah, that I was given permission to visit the facility. I was not shown all the holdings relating to Japanese medical experiments, but the little I was permitted to examine revealed a great deal of information about medical war crimes. Sometimes after my visit, a person with intimate knowledge of Dugway's operations, informed me that "sensitive" documents were destroyed there as a direct result of my research in their library.

2. I conducted much of my American research at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Md. The Public Information Officer there was extremely helpful to me. Two weeks ago I telephoned Detrick, was informed that the PIO had retired last May. I spoke with the new PIO, who told me that Detrick no longer would discuss past research activities, but would disclose information only on current projects. Later that day I telephoned the retired PIO at his home. He informed me that upon retiring he was told to "get rid of that stuff", meaning incriminating documents relating to Japanese medical war crimes. Detrick no longer is a viable research center for historians.

3. Within the past 2 weeks, I was informed that the Pentagon, for "space reasons", decided to rid itself of all biological warfare documents in its holdings prior to 1949. The date is important, because all war crimes trials against accused Japanese war criminals were terminated by 1949. Thus, current Pentagon materials could not implicate alleged Japanese war criminals. Fortunately, a private research facility in Washington volunteered to retrieve the documents in question. This research facility now holds the documents, is currently cataloguing them (estimated completion time, at least twelve months), and is guarding the documents under "tight security."​

Your proposed legislation must be acted upon promptly. Many of the victims of Japanese war crimes are elderly. Some of the victims pass away daily. Their suffering should receive recognition and some compensation. Moreover, History is being cheated. As documents disappear, the story of war crimes committed in the War In The Pacific becomes increasingly difficult to describe. The end result will be a distorted picture of reality. As an Historian, I cannot accept this inevitability without vigorous protest.

You see Russ, this stuff is all related.

It is all related through the cover-up that has allowed the perpetrators to go unpunished and even prosper while the victims have been forgotten and forced to live in agony.​
 
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  • #32
russ_watters said:
Japan today is one of the most peaceful and benevolent nations on the planet. Its a shocking change from the Japan that started WWII, but its real. They are quite happy to not have a real military(mandated by the treaty ending WWII) - they see no need for one.
Really???
Japan Defense Agency (Bôeichô)
Japan Self-Defense Force
With nearly 240,000 military personnel and an annual budget of close to $50 billion, Japan's military outstrips Britain's in total spending and manpower, while its navy in particular scores high among experts for its sophistication.
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/japan/jda.htm or how about
Japanese foreign policy is beginning to adopt a more nationalistic stance. Prime Minister Koizumi participated in a summit with North Korea in 2002. Prior to that, in 2001, A Japanese coast guards boat was attacked by a North Korean spy ship in Japanese EEZ on East China Sea. Japanese coast guards attacked the spy ship as self defence and eventually the spy ship sank itself by a suicide bomb. Following this incident, in 2003, Japan's defense minister suggested that Japan would be willing to contemplate a preemptive attack on North Korea if it saw evidence that a "devastating attack against Japan" was being prepared. The textbook controversy has manifest itself once again, and in 2005 the protests against Japanese 'textbook revisionism' sparked nationalist feelings amongst many Japanese leading to violence.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_nationalism Once again I am amazed at how ill-informed you are


russ_watters said:
Heck, I brought up Germany vs France before, but Japan didn't just attack China, it attacked the US as well, in the worst single attack on the United States since its inception. Japan also comitted plenty of war crimes against the US during the war (specifically, in its treatment of our POWs) So why is it that I can let that go and you can't? I mean - I was in the US Navy. If there is anyone who should despise Japan for Pearl Harbor, its me. Why don't I - why should I?
I believe you are simply following true to form and so patriotic fervor is the reason you are unwilling to criticise Japan over this. The US military's complicity in covering up and shielding the perpetrators of these attocities reflects very badly on America which is where I suspect you are coming from.
As in every other thread you have ever contributed to your instinct is to immediately attack any comment that could be construed as a criticism of US gov't policy no matter how ill-conceived that policy is. You really should try to be a little more open minded and even handed.
 
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  • #33
Hurkyl
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
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Art: It's kind of silly to claim a bias because Russ defends the U.S. government, because (aside from Israel) the U.S. government is just about the only entity that gets attacked in this forum. :tongue2:

If the quality and quantity of, say, anti-French sentiment matched that of the anti-U.S. sentiment, I would expect to see Russ defending the French with roughly as much fervor.
 
  • #34
Hurkyl said:
Art: It's kind of silly to claim a bias because Russ defends the U.S. government, because (aside from Israel) the U.S. government is just about the only entity that gets attacked in this forum. :tongue2:
Well first it is actually Japan who is being criticised here which sort of ruins your premise but notwithstanding that I have no problem with Russ being biased in favour of his own government. I'm sure most if not all of the people on this forum are patriotic to some degree though perhaps not quite so blindly. I am merely pointing out his post was erroneous in matters of fact and it is important not to allow one's personal bias to distort reality.

Hurkyl said:
If the quality and quantity of, say, anti-French sentiment matched that of the anti-U.S. sentiment, I would expect to see Russ defending the French with roughly as much fervor.
Personally I prefer arguments based on facts rather than fervor and that applies to everyone regardless of their political persuasion. It is irritating to have to publish rebuttals to posts from people who should (and probably do) know better but if I and others did not do so other readers would be left with a completely false perspective of world affairs. :tongue:

p.s. You have evidently forgotten the thread where Russ said he hates all French people. Not some of them or something about them but simply all of them. Sorry to dash your expectations.
 
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  • #35
Smurf
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Hurkyl said:
Art: It's kind of silly to claim a bias because Russ defends the U.S. government, because (aside from Israel) the U.S. government is just about the only entity that gets attacked in this forum. :tongue2:
China and Japan do as well. Israel's not too hot either. Also Iran, Iraq... and Britain has stirred up controversy lately too. Not to mention Islam in general. Christianity to a lesser extent. Zionist groups... Venezuela... "Conservatives"... "Liberals"... "Neocons"... "Socialists"... "Communists"... Guess it depends how you define an 'entity'. The democratic party, the republican party.
If the quality and quantity of, say, anti-French sentiment matched that of the anti-U.S. sentiment, I would expect to see Russ defending the French with roughly as much fervor.
One of the things I like about this forum. People don't blurt out off topic anti-french/german insults for no reason. :smile:
 
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