Russia » Politics
Author`s name Ольга Савка

Germ warfare. The secrets of Unit 731 - 27 August, 2002

Over a hundred Chinese people filed a lawsuit at one of Japanese courts five years ago. They wanted to be acknowledged the victims of the biological war that Japan was waging in China during the World War II. The trial ended recently. The court refused to allow the claim.

Yet, as the BBC informed, the judges acknowledged the fact of the use of biological weapons. It goes about Japan’s infamous Unit 731.

The Japanese army was the first in the history of wars that used biological weapon. The warfare was presumably conducted in the north-east of China. Bacteria killed thousands of Chinese and cattle. There were three methods of the germ warfare: dispersing bacteria with shells and mines, dropping infected bombs from planes, and infecting residential areas, water, or pastures.

Unit 731 was in charge of the germ warfare. The unit was commanded by medical service Lieutenant General Shiro
Ishii. He used to say that the major peculiarity of the germ warfare was its highest efficiency. Metal bullets were not at all harmful. They could kill only certain objects on a certain territory. Bacteria were capable of causing the growing kind of damage, when they were spreading from one area to another. Germs gave a very high percentage of death rate. People could hardly get well after a biological attack. Another peculiarity of the biological warfare, as Shiro Ishii thought, was the fact of its profitability to Japan. The country was not rich with mineral resources. Germs did not require a lot of research and experiments, or any kind of expensive equipment. Furthermore, all those works could be performed under the disguise of medial tests.

Unit 731 had more than two thousand soldiers by 1945. According to eyewitnesses, people were extremely horrified with just a rumor of a group from Unit 731 coming to their village.

The victims of the germ warfare demanded the Japanese government should pay them $84 thousand to each of the plaintiffs. However, the judges actually shared the point of view of the Japanese government: “let the past stay in the past.”

It is worth mentioning that the German government agreed to pay compensations to the victims of Nazism, although the government had nothing to do with Hitler’s crimes. It deems that Tokyo is not ready to follow the example of the German authorities. As a matter of fact, there is an impression that Japan does not feel ready to acknowledge its responsibility for unleashing the WWII, as well as for all those crimes that the Japanese troops committed on the occupied territories. Furthermore, the war against China was being conducted since the beginning of the 1930s. It should be also said here that none of Unit 731 soldiers was convicted.

Apparently, Japanese court will keep on dismissing such suits in the future. The latest occasion is not the only one of its kind. As the BBC said, courts repeatedly dismissed other suits. Plaintiffs were asking paybacks for working like slaves or prostitutes for the Japanese.

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