Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to visit the Unit 731 Exhibition Hall.
At present, you are in the new exhibition hall which was officially opened to the visitors on August 15, 2015. The new three-storey exhibition hall is equipped with 6 exhibition rooms, whose gross floor area is ten thousand square meters.
At present, you arrive at the lobby of this exhibition hall. And five Chinese characters of “INHUMAN ATROCITIES” are engraved on the wall, which have been translated into English, Japanese, Russian, Korean and Mongolian. During the Japanese invasion of China, Japan had established the germ warfare system focused on the Unit 731 in a premeditated and organized way, had developed the germ weapons and conducted the experiments on human bodies in secret, and had implemented the large-scale germ warfare by blatantly violating the Geneva Protocol, which had led to the heavy casualties and economic losses of the people of all countries, and had caused the unimaginable human disaster.
The germ weapons, also known as the biological weapons, are classified as three kinds of weapons of mass destruction along with the chemical weapons and the nuclear weapons.
Ladies and gentlemen, now let us find out why Japan implemented the germ warfare, that is to say, what is its historical background?
In 1931, Japan launched the “September 18 Incident”, and gradually occupied the northeast China. It also launched the “July 7 Incident” of 1937 soon afterwards, and the full-scale war of aggression against China broke out. These provided the necessary preconditions for Japan to prepare and implement the germ warfare in China.
[Map Introduction] This is the full figure of the puppet Manchukuo.
The germ warfare conducted by Japan wasn’t a personal thought or an independent behavior of a certain unit, but a top-down organized crime which was premeditated, large-scale, and systematic as well as a national crime committed by Japan. The basic evidences of the crimes against humanity committed by Japan by germ warfare were composed of a series of decrees, instructions and orders. These documents and the criminal evidences of the Japanese germ warfare support each other, which has formed a complete chain of evidence.
These are the three decrees of the emperor of Japan about organizing the Japanese bacteria unit.
These are the six instructions of the General Staff Headquarters on the germ warfare.
These are the two orders given by the Army Ministry of Japan about the germ warfare.
These are the fourteen orders of the Kwantung Army Headquarters about the germ warfare.
These are the two orders of the divisions of imperial Japanese army about the germ warfare.
The emperor of Japan issued a decree in 1936 commanding the formation of Unit 731 in Harbin and Unit 100 in Changchun. Later on, more biological warfare troops were established, such as Unit 1855 in Beijing, Unit 1644 in Nanjing, Unit 8604 in Guangzhou and Unit 9420 in Singapore. In the meantime, 58 epidemic prevention and water purification troops were set up within divisions.
Since then, the huge network of germ warfare, which was based on the germ warfare units of the northeast China, North China, Central China, South China as well as Southeast Asia and was supplemented by the epidemic prevention units and sanitation units of the divisions, has been taken shape.
This was the epidemic prevention institution newly established by the Japanese army after the July 7 Incident of 1937.
At the time of Japanese invasion of China, some non-military medical units participated in the biological warfare research. Manchukuo Academy of Science supplied bacteria vaccine to Unit 100 in Changchun for biological warfare research. Manchukuo Medical University, Tokyo Imperial University and Kyoto Imperial University etc assisted with Unit 731 to conduct germ experiments and human experiment. Kyushu University had used American prisoners of war for vivisection experiments.
It has been a long time since the research on the Japanese germ warfare was carried on. In 1916, the Japanese Army Military Medical School taught how to conduct the germ warfare in the teaching of bacteriology. In 1918, Japan started to develop the germ weapons after learning the intelligence that Russia was carrying on the research on the germ warfare. Since the task wasn’t fulfilled within the deadline, the people in charge were arrested and brought to justice under the accusations of “incompetence in the work” and “wasting the state financial resources”, and more than 40 scientists participating in the research suffered from pay cuts and were all transferred to do other jobs. After that, the research on the bacteria broke off for a time.
After 1930, Shiro Ishii made an utmost effort to advocate the germ warfare in the Japanese army, which had drawn the attention of and had been praised by Chikahiko Koizumi, the influential military scientist in the army at that time. With the support of Chikahiko Koizumi, the bacterial laboratory, which was known as “Epidemic Prevention Laboratory” to the public, was set up in the Army Military Medical Academy of Tokyo in 1932. And the research on the germ weapons was carried on under the leadership of Shiro Ishii.
In 1932, the northeast China was fully occupied by Japan, which had provided the ideal and expansive regional selection for the research on the germ warfare of Shiro Ishii. At that time, since the research on various kinds of infectious germs, such as cholera, typhoid, anthrax, etc was badly in need of conducting the experiments on living people, Shiro Ishii put forward to transfer the bacterial research center to the northeast China to his superior. And there were three reasons: Firstly, it was convenient to get large numbers of materials for the experiments on living bodies, which could fully meet the needs of the experiments; secondly, it was risky to conduct the bacteria experiments, once the bacterial infection was out of control, this kind of risk could be shifted to the local region; and thirdly, it was convenient for the Japanese army to conduct the germ warfare in the wars against China and the Soviet Union.
In 1933, the supreme headquarters of the Japanese army approved the report on establishing the bacterial research base in Harbin made by Shiro Ishii. In August, the bacterial research institution, whose assumed names were “Kamo Unit” and “Ishii Unit”, and also known as “Epidemic Prevention Squad of Kwantung Army”, was set up in the middle area of the Xuanhua Street and Wenmiao Street in the Nangang District, Harbin. The bacteria experimental site affiliated with it was set up in the Beiyinhe Town which was about 70 kilometers south from Harbin.
In the spring of 1933, the Ishii Unit recruited labors and built houses by force in the Beiyinhe. The “military camp” was built in less than a year. Since the “military camp” was managed by a Senior Captain called Zhongma, people called it the “Zhongma Fortress”.
It was hard to understand the various abnormal phenomena in the Zhongma Fortress. People often heard the weak screams coming out of the “Zhongma Fortress” late at night. When the night falls, the villagers often saw the big vehicles which were all covered up driving from Harbin one by one. And the big chimney in the “Zhongma Fortress” kept belching out the dense smoke with the smell of burnt odor.
What are the secrets in Zhongma Fortress?
Since 1933 when the “Zhongma Fortress” was built, the Ishii Unit had started to conduct the large-scale experiments on human bodies. There were many so-called “prisoners” locked up in the “Eastern Manchukuo Prison” inside the “Zhongma Fortress”, people were used for the bacteria experiments every day, and the personnel were supplemented while the experiments were conducted.
According to the records in the diary of Saburo Endo who was the Vice-Chief of Staff of Kwantung Army, when he inspected in the bacteria experimental site in the Beiyinhe, he once saw the experiments on human bodies conducted by the Ishii Unit with his own eyes.
A jailbreak occurred in the Ishii Unit in the process of conducting the experiments on human bodies.
Wang Ziyang was a soldier of the Anti-Japanese Amalgamated Army, and he was captured to the Beiyinhe experimental site by the Japanese when coming into Harbin for investigation. He ascertained the actual situation that the Japanese army conducted the experiments on human bodies here.
One night, when there was a power failure in the “Zhongma Fortress”, Wang Ziyang took the opportunity to lead the fellow sufferers to escape from the prison and to flee outside the prison. However, the wall outside the prison was very high, and the power grid blocked the way. Therefore, Wang Ziyang quickly commanded everyone to put up a human ladder, to rip off the power grid, and to climb over the wall. Senior Li, who was put in prison with Wang Ziyang at the same time, helped everybody to climb over the wall all the time, he was left alone at last, and eventually died because of running out of strength.
Senior Li could have climbed over the wall at first. However, he chose to help others and to sacrifice his own life.
After the jailbreak, Shiro Ishii was on pins and needles, and he felt that the secret of the “Zhongma Fortress” had been revealed.
After approved by Japanese Army Headquarters, Shiro Ishii decided to transfer the exposed bacteria experimental base to the Pingfang District in Harbin. At the beginning of 1935, he sent someone to occupy and to measure the land in the Pingfang District. The construction was started in 1936, and the construction of the main buildings was basically accomplished in 1938. On June 30, 1938, the Kwantung Army Headquarters issued the Order No. 1539 in order to keep the secret of Unit 731, and 120 square kilometers of the Pingfang District was designated as the special military area. The Unit 731 transferred here in succession, and the Pingfang District had become a shocking ogre cave from this day on.
This is the Order No. 1539 issued by the Headquarters of Japanese Kwantung Army in those years.
This is a residence permit. Unit 731 exercised very strict control over residents in the Special Military Zone and everyone above 16 years old had to hold a residence permit like this one. This was used to prevent outsiders’ activities in Special Military Zone. One without permit be found within the Zone, shall be punished as the political suspect.
A casket bed: the implement that was used for torturing the labors.
Laborers’ armband: The laborers in Unit 731 wore different armbands representing their engagement in different types of miscellaneous affairs.
We have to mention one person once we mention the Unit 731——Shiro Ishii. Shiro Ishii was born into a landlord family in the Chiba-ken, Japan in 1892, and he was called “Shiro” because he was the fourth child in the family. He was graduated from the Medicine Department of Kyoto Imperial University, and had been in charge of the plan of germ warfare since the beginning of the establishment of Unit 731. In 1942, he was dismissed from his post because of embezzling the military expenditure. In 1945, the Japanese army retreated one step after another, and Shiro Ishii was reappointed as the line officer in order to retrieve the war situation. After the Unit 731 was eliminated, Shiro Ishii fled back to Japan.
From 1928 to 1930, Shiro Ishii successively went to more than 20 European and American countries for collecting the intelligence of the germ warfare. When coming back to Japan after the investigation, Shiro Ishii made an utmost effort to lobby for the germ warfare. And the contents are mainly composed of the following points:
I. During the overseas investigation, I found out that various powerful countries are studying the germ warfare. If Japan doesn’t actively prepare for it, once the wars break out in the future, Japan is bound to suffer a severe setback;
II. Japan is short of metals, mineral resources and other kinds of raw materials which are necessary for making the weapons. Therefore, we must look for new type weapons, and the germ weapons are one of them;
III. The cannonballs made of steel have limited lethality, while the germ weapons are possessed of broader scope of destruction, and can keep the lethality for a long time by repeat infection. Therefore, the germ weapon is a kind of extremely favorable weapon for attack from the perspective of strategic significance.
These thoughts of him were supported by the superior of Japanese army headquarters. Therefore, Shiro Ishii started his career of committing crimes against humanity by specifically conducting the development of germ weapons and the implementation of germ warfare.
From this resume of Shiro Ishii, we can have a good view of his course of life.
At present, you arrive at the exhibition area of the headquarters of Unit 731 which was known as the “ogre cave”. Why was here referred to as the headquarters? It was a relative name compared with the detachments set up outside Harbin.
In August 1940, Unit 731 complex was completed with its core area covered 6.1 square kilometers, with more than 80 buildings.
The facilities of Unit 731 were accomplished with the design method of German secret place jointly by the design company and construction unit designated by Kwantung Army, and it was called “the most luxury camp with the special designing”, which was rare in the design of the camps of Japanese army at that time.
(I) Completed heat supply, hot water supply, and power supply system
Now we can see the boiler room of Power Squad, it is a three-floor large-scaled building with reinforced concrete structure, equipped with water supply, heat supply and power supply etc, it is the only power source of Unit 731.
(II) Design features of buildings
The Square Building is the largest building in Unit 731, it takes 15,000 square meters, constructed by reinforced concrete, although it is three-floor building, but it actual height equals the present five-floor building.
In the center of the Square Building are two buildings with prisoner for experiment, which is called Building 7 and Building 8. The building adopted abovementioned Germany secret construction methods, special prison is a two-floor building, cannot be seen outside of Square Building, it is very confidential. Poisoned gas pipes are equipped inside the prison, in case of emergency accidents, poisoned gas will be released to subdue prisoners for experiment. In addition, special prison is closely connected with other experiment room, so that the experiment made on the living can be conducted.
(III) Convenient transportation
Unit 731 has its own special railway tracks and airport. Special railway tracks is located on the east
side of the Unit 731, total length is 4 kilometers, connected Pingfang railway station in the south, and No. 1 warehouse in the north. In the beginning, it is used for material transportation; after the completion of military camp, it is also used to transport living materials and equipment of bacterial study, even some person for experiment are transported to Unit 731.
(IV) Well-equipped living area
Unit 731 is consisted with residential area of 3,000 and living area, name “Togo Village”, it is well-equipped include sport yard, swimming pool and shrine, etc. It is said by experts the area of 6.1 square kilometer is “City within the city”, the Japanese people said “small Harbin, huge Unit 731” at that time.
(V) Four defensive lines
Kwantung Army and Unit 731 have paid highly emphasis to the important base of Biological Warfare, they have made four defensive lines from the air to ground.
I. Rigorous Institutional Framework
The Unit 731 was possessed of rigorous institutional framework. The Headquarters was equipped with eight departments, such as bacteria research department, bacteria experiment department, etc., the special squad which had the equal authority with the departments was also set up, the departments were equipped with the sections, and the sections were equipped with the squads. In addition, the Unit 731 also established four detachments, one research institution, and three field experimental sites.
II. The Division of Labor of the Departments
This is the set-up diagram of the institutions in the headquarters of Unit 731.
The Unit 731 was composed of four kinds of personnel, which were high-ranking officers, non-commissioned officers, soldiers and army civilian employees. In 1945, the Unit 731 was equipped with 3 general officers, 44 field officers, 102 company officers along with the non-commissioned officers, soldiers and army civilian employees, which was a total of 3,540 people. And more than 50 of them had the doctoral degrees, and they were all Japanese experts in the bacteriology, biology and other fields at that time. And there were nearly one hundred senior officers.
The senior officers were civil officers and military officers approved and appointed by the emperor of Japan in person. And this is the group photo of the senior officers of Unit 731.
The so-called army civilian employees were civil personnel without any military ranks in the unit.
This is the second line officer of the Unit 731 Masaji Kitano, and he was graduated from the Tokyo Imperial University. The photo of Masaji Kitano on the panel was taken before the Togo Shrine, and the relevant documents about the promotion and assumption of duty of Masaji Kitano were displayed as follows.
At that time, there were many world’s top medical experts in the Unit 731. It should have been their responsibilities to cure the sickness, to save the patients, and to serve the human beings. However, they used the living people as experimental materials, and published the research results as their own academic achievements, which had violated the orbit of medical research and the criterion of human civilization.
This is a group photo of the Japanese Medical Association, the fifth person from the left in the front row is Shiro Ishii, and the fourth person from the right is Masaji Kitano.
I. The Training Squad of the Germ Warfare
The Unit 731 was equipped with the Training and Education Department, which was responsible for carrying out the education and training of the germ warfare to the Headquarters, detachments and relevant personnel.
II. Recruiting the Youth Class Members
In order to cultivate the reserve force for the long-term germ warfare, Shiro Ishii recruited large numbers of teenagers from 14 to 17 years old from his hometown. The juvenile soldiers joining the Unit 731 had two things in common: Firstly, they were born in a poor family; and secondly, they had good grades.
These photos reflect the education and training situation of the Youth Class members and the Unit 731.
After 1940, the annual military expenditure of Unit 731 was over ten million yen, and there was also about half a million to a million yen used as specific or special research funding. The camp was equipped with complete supporting facilities of life.
The confidentiality measures of Unit 731 were very strict. According to the provisions, all members of the unit were forbidden to reveal the work that they were engaged in to each other, and the communication with the outside world needed to be examined strictly. The members of the Unit 731 must change into the plain clothes and replace the license plates when coming in and going out, in order to cover their real identities.
The person in the picture is Sadao Koshi, the driver of Shiro Ishii. Every time when he went from the Pingfang District to the downtown of Harbin, he would change into the Chinese clothes.
This building is the Baihualiao located at the Jiaohua Street in Harbin city, which was the transfer station for the members of the Unit 731 to enter into the downtown of Harbin
In December 1940, the commander of Kwantung Army gave the Order No. 398 in order to meet the needs of the wars against the Soviet Union, which was the command file at that time. There were 5 branches in the Unit 731 in total, including the Hailin, Linkou, Sunwu and Hailar detachments established in the border regions of China and the Soviet Union as well as the Dalian Institute of Health taken over in 1938. You can find the locations of these detachments on the picture.
This is a group photo of the line officers and detachment leaders of Unit 731 as well as the director of Dalian Institute of Health, which was taken in December 1943.
Ladies and gentlemen, we will make introduction to the core evidence of crime next——the experiments on human bodies. The experiments on human bodies were the most brutal, inhuman and outrageous crimes committed by the Unit 731, and were also the top secret in the Unit 731.
Before the introduction of the experiments on human bodies, let us know about the bacterial research first. In order to achieve the goal of germ warfare, the Unit 731 conducted large numbers of bacterial researches and experiments.
These are the list of the main types of the bacteria experiments of the Unit 731 and the main bacterial species. Unit 731 conducted researches on most types of the bacteria and contagious diseases. The major categories of study included highly destructive plague, anthrax, typhoid, paratyphoid, and cholera bacteria. Generally after 24 to 48 hours of cultivation, the bacteria would be applied to living human bodies.
After the bacterial research, the Unit 731 would finish the experimental reports, and the following file on display was the inside pages of the reports on the experiments on human bodies with the plague bacillus of the Unit 731.
What you see here are the testimony of the former member of the Unit 731 Shigeo Ozeki about the bacterial culture, the testimony of Toyo Takeuchi about cultivating the plague bacillus and the typhoid bacteria, and the testimony of Toyonori Yamauchi carrying on the research on the effect of typhoid vaccines.
The Unit 731 was also referred to as “Rat Unit” at that time. The Unit 731 fed large quantities of rats, whose main purpose was to breed the fleas, because the fleas were the intermediary to spread the plague. And these were the underground small animal breeding room for feeding the rats and the ground squirrel breeding room of the Unit 731.
In this diagram, you can see the research stage of the fleas infected with the plague of Unit 731.
In order to research and produce various kinds of bacteria, the Unit 731 specially fed a large number of cows, horses, goats, sheep, monkeys, camels and other animals.
This photo is the leader of the Animal Squad Mitsuo Ishii who was the third elder brother of Shiro Ishii. He was graduated from the Japanese Veterinary University, and enjoyed the treatment of senior officers. In August 1945, he received orders to burn all of the animal breeding rooms, and fled back to Japan in advance along with his family members.
This is the leader of the Plant Virus Research Squad of the Unit 731 Yukimasa Yagisawa, and the Yagisawa Squad was mainly responsible for the research on the destruction of crops.
Before the visit, we probably heard that the most brutal and inhuman crimes of the Unit 731 were the experiments on human bodies. And these are some videos of the testimonies of some former team members about the experiments on human bodies.
Since the germ warfare was aimed at human beings, living people were used to conduct the experiments, which could improve the accuracy of the experiments. The bacteria experiments on human bodies can be divided into the experiments of bacterial efficacy and the experiments of way of infection.
The Unit 731 conducted the experiments of bacterial efficacy, in order to screen out the toxic germs with strong efficacy from many bacteria. Therefore, the Unit 731 conducted a series of experiments, and the efficacy experiments were designed to k
now about and to master the poisoning ability of various kinds of bacteria to the human bodies.
What we see here are the methods and species of the bacteria experiments on human bodies.
After the Unit 731 screened out the toxic germs, the following question was how to let people infected with the bacteria. Therefore, the Unit 731 conducted the experiments of way of infection.
According to the verification of the former team member Yataro Ueda: There were mainly three methods for the Unit 731 to conduct the bacterial infection experiments: The first one was the intramuscular injection, which is like the injection that we have at ordinary times. The bacteria were put into the needles and injected into the human bodies; the second one was the bacteria injection from the mouth cavity. The subjects ate the food which was put into the bacteria; and the third one was the subcutaneous implantation, they cut the skins of people, put into the bacteria, and then sutured the skins. It turned out that the intramuscular injection was the most efficient method.
The vivisection could ensure the accuracy of the experimental data, which was also the most direct way to observe the change of internal organs after people were infected with the bacteria. The anatomical objects also included the pregnant women and children.
This is the testimony of the leader of the Pathological Research Squad Tachiomaru Ishikawa, and he once conducted the vivisection experiments many times in those years.
Masakuni Kurumizawa was the human anatomy technician of Unit 731, according to his verification: he once dissected a pregnant Chinese woman, before the dissection, that woman begged him to let her child live, however, he conducted the experiment anyway.
The famous Japanese writer Seiichi Morimura made inquiries about many former team members of the Unit 731, and wrote the Devil’s Gluttony. According to the records in the book, in 1943, in order to get the internal organs of a healthy child as samples, the Unit 731 captured a boy who was about 13 or 14 years old from the street of Changchun at random. In the dissecting room of Unit 731, all of the internal organs of this boy were dug out in order to make into the samples, and his dead body was thrown into the incinerator.
The Youth Class member of the Unit 731 verified that: A Chinese person infected with the plague bacillus was once dissected in the dissecting room of Unit 731. The person who conducted the dissection cut off his carotid artery, he cried out the last word “devil” angrily before dying, and then he died. At last, the person who conducted the dissection cut his dead body at random.
Since the Unit 731 conducted a large number of experiments on human bodies and vivisections, three incinerators were built. One of them was located on the northwest corner of the square building, which was mainly used to incinerate the dead bodies of the subjects; and the other two were used to incinerate the dead bodies of the animals and the team members of the Unit 731.
The experiments on human bodies and the germ warfare conducted by Unit 731 could not be separated from the link of field experiments.
The field experiments mainly used the airplanes to cast the bacteria.
The plane in this photo was the one used by the Aviation Squad of Unit 731.
The internal of aircrafts were modified with bacteria bombs, sprayers, dispensers and other equipment needed for biological warfare and biological experiment.
In order to adapt the needs of the field military operations, the Unit 731 set up three fixed experimental sites in Anda, Chengzigou and Taolaizhao respectively as well as some temporary field experimental sites.
What you see here are the special experimental site in Anda, and the field experimental site in Chengzigou.
A dozen or dozens of subjects were used in each experiment. They were put on the clothes of Japanese army, and were tied on the fixed crosses. In order to protect the subjects from being killed on the spot, the heads of the subjects were generally covered by the specially-made metal caps before the experiments, their bodies were covered by iron plates, and their arms and legs were exposed on the outside. And then the ceramic bacteria bombs were dropped next to the subjects with the airplanes. The bombs exploded at one or two hundred meters from the ground. After the bacteria bombs exploded, the pieces of the bombs impacted the exposed parts of the subjects, which caused them to be infected with the bacteria. After the experiments, the subjects were pulled back to the Pingfang headquarters after the disinfection treatment, in order to implement the so-called “effect observation”.
The driver Sadao Koshi once drove to the field experimental site in Anda many times. According to his verification, in the winter of 1943, the Unit 731 conducted an efficacy experiment of the bombs filled with plague bacillus in the special experimental site in Anda. When the bombs were about to be casted, one subject successfully untied his rope, and then untied more than 30 people around him in succession, and they scattered in all directions. In the process of the entire experiment, the team members of the Unit 731 observed them with the telescopes from 2 kilometers away. In order to prevent these escaped people from revealing the secret of the field experiment, they drove the cars to run over these more than 30 people to death.
The one who untied his own rope first could escape alone. However, he fought against the experiments on human bodies conducted by Japan with the unyielding spirit of living and dying together with his fellow sufferers.
The frostbite experiment was also an important kind of experiments conducted by the Unit 731, whose purpose was to meet the needs of the Japanese army of conducting operations in the alpine regions. The Japanese military physician Hisato Yoshimura was responsible for this experiment which was usually conducted in winter. The frostbite laboratory was established in order to increase the efficiency of the frostbite experiments. After this laboratory was established, the frostbite experiments could be conducted at any time. After confirmed by conducting the experiments repeatedly, the best way to treat the frostbite was to soak in the 37°C warm water.
The Unit 731 was equipped with huge facilities for producing the poison gas, poison gas generation room, and underground poison gas storage room. Furthermore, it specially established the poison gas laboratory, which was located on the northeast corner of the airport. There were sealed glass cabinets in the poison gas laboratory, the subjects were pushed into the glass cabinets, and were conducted the poison gas experiments at different level, until these subjects were poisoned to death.
There were hundreds of kinds of experiments in the Unit 731. Besides the various kinds of experiments above, there also included the “human grilling” experiments, penetrating experiments, experiments of hanging the human bodies upside down, experiments of changing the blood of human and horses, etc.
The experiments on human bodies required a large number of living people, and these living people were sent to the Unit 731 by means of “Special Transfer” by Japanese Kwantung Army, police officers, military police, and secret agents at different levels. Special transfer, "特移扱" in Japanese, was a special terminology internally used among the Japanese Kwantung Army, the police, Kwantung gendarmerie, secret agencies and Unit 731.
This is the chart of the organizations participating in the “Special Transfer”. From the chart, we can see that the experiments on human bodies conducted by Japan were the group behaviors that the Japanese Kwantung Army, the police station, the military police, and the secret service participated in.
From January 26, 1938 to March 12, 1943, the Headquarters of the Military Police of the Japanese Kwantung Army successively gave the Order No. 58 and the Order No. 120, which stipulated the implementation standard of the “Special Transfer”. And this standard chart is the evidence of crimes of the experiments on human bodies that they conducted.
From the chart of the procedures of the “Special Transfer”, the pictures of the standard of the “Special Transfer”, and the information of the oral confessions of the war criminals, we can see that each link of the “Special Transfer” was very deliberate.
Since 1997 when the files of the “Special Transfer” were discovered in the Heilongjiang Archives, the research scholars of our archives have found 1549 people in total on the list of victims through the files of the “Special Transfer”. Most of them were Chinese people, and there were also Soviets, Mongolians and Koreans. They were mostly engaged in the anti-Manchukuo and anti-Japanese activities, or worked in the anti-imperialist information organization. What you see here are the photos of the victims of the “Special Transfer” and the Japanese files.
These subjects mostly came from various regions in the northeast China, and participated in the anti-Japanese activities in a variety of ways. Furthermore, there were also a certain proportion of prisoners of war, including the Soviet Red Army men captured in the Nomonhan War.
All the special transferred personnel were locked up in Special Prison in Square Building. Building 7 was designated for men in the west wing, and Building 8 was designated for women in the east wing. There was a passageway in the center, while prison cells of various sizes were located on both sides. Prison cells on first floor were for group detainment and single detainment cells were located on the second floor.
Ladies and gentlemen, the evidences of the crimes committed by Unit 731 through developing the germ weapons are mainly shown in this part.
The huge research base established by Unit 731 was used for developing the germ weapons.
The brutal and inhuman experiments on human bodies conducted by Unit 731 were also used for developing the germ weapons.
The so-called development of the germ weapons was to study how to use the characteristic of chain infection of the bacteria to let the agents of the germ warfare become the weapons for actual combats in the battlefield, and thus to achieve the effect and goal of the large-scale actual combats.
The Unit 731 developed the bacteria bombs with many kinds of material qualities and models, some of them were made of steel, and some of them were made of glass. However, since the bombs above didn’t have good effects, the Unit 731 selected and used the ceramic bacteria bombs eventually. After the experiments and improvement, the Unit 731 confirmed that the “Uji 50” bombs, which were the “Ishii-type” bacteria bombs, were more mature.
This is the only cartridge case of the bacteria bomb in those years that has been discovered in our country at present.
In addition, Shiro Ishii also developed many kinds of bacteria dispensers.
The Noborito Research Institute of Japan developed the huge balloon bombs, which were also known as “wind ship bombs”, and they could actually float to the continental United States.
The major germ weapons produced by Unit 731 included the bacterial liquid which was mainly composed of the plague bacillus, the fleas infected with the plague, and the ceramic bombs.
The production of the bacterial liquid had complex procedures and numerous links. (There is a chart) The Section Four was responsible for the needs of using the Ishii-type bacterial incubators.
This is the record of the bacterial incubators developed by Shiro Ishii in the American Declassified Files.
There were three links in the basic procedures of cultivating the fleas infected with the plague, which were catching the mice, feeding the mice, and breeding the fleas.
This is the completion situation of the Unit 731 asking for mice from various regions.
These are 3 pictures of the team members of Japanese Army Bacteria Unit catching mice.
This is the video of the narration of the labor of Unit 731 Chen Fangdong about feeding the animals in the Ishii Squad.
The production of ceramic bombs can be divided into two links, which are producing the ceramic cartridge cases and filling the ammunition. The Section Three of Unit 731 was responsible for the ceramic cartridge cases, and the Cartridge Cases of Ceramic Bacteria Bombs Manufacturing Factory was established in the downtown of Harbin. And the Yamaguchi Squad of the Section Two was responsible for filling the ammunition in the Pingfang Headquarters.
This is the testimony of the labor Qiao Shixing about the ceramic bacteria bombs in the Yamaguchi Squad and the Weapons Squad.
According to the confession of the former team members of Unit 731 on the court, the production of the bacteria in the Unit 731 was extremely large. The bacterial liquid could monthly produce about 300 kilograms of plague bacillus, about 600 kilograms of anthrax bacteria, about 900 kilograms of typhoid bacteria, and 1000 kilograms of cholera bacteria, paratyphoid bacteria, dysentery bacteria, etc. respectively.
We have already known about the process of the Unit 731 studying and producing the germ weapons earlier in the article, and the final purpose of all this was to conduct the germ warfare. In 1939, bacteriological weapons were first used by Unit 731 in the battle of Khalkhin Gol (Nomonhan). Biological warfare was waged in Zhejiang-Jiangxi railway line and Hunan-Yunnan Region.
These files were the information of Japanese germ warfare collected in the United States National Archives and the Library of Congress. The Report of Thomas Inglis was the summative report on the Japanese germ warfare. According to the detailed record of the files, it can be clearly concluded that the ultimate goal of developing the germ weapons was the attack of germ warfare, which had further confirmed the historical fact that the Unit 731 carried out the research on the germ weapons, the experiments and the production for the purpose of conducting the germ warfare.
In 1939, the Japanese army and the Soviet army conducted a large-scale war, known to the history as “the Nomonhan War”, on the border of China and Mongolia, and both sides sent out large quantities of armed forces. Even though the Unit 731 participated in the germ warfare in this battle, it still ended up with the disastrous defeat of the Japanese army eventually.
Meanwhile, Shiro Ishii also established the bacterial production team, and started the mass production of the bacteria. When receiving the command from the Headquarters of Kwantung Army in the middle ten days of June, the Unit 731 marched to the battlefield in succession, and Shiro Ishii went to the front in person in order to command the battle.
These files are the written confession and confession of the former team member of the Unit 731
Yoshio Tamura about the mass production of the bacteria.
This photo was taken in June 21 when the Seto Team commanded by the Seto military physician was taken the military uniform inspection of the staff officer Yamamoto at the Harbin Railway Station.
This was the circumstance that the vehicles transporting the equipment of the Unit 731 were driving in the Arxan Mountain on the way to the Nomonhan battlefield on June 26, 1939.
This was the circumstance that the Unit 731 was nearby the Highland 738 in the Nomonhan battlefield on July 12, 1939, and the person who wasn’t wearing the helmet and was standing at the foot of the mountain slope was Shiro Ishii.
This file includes two orders of Kwantung Army about conducting operations.
This was the sketch map of the routes for the Unit 731 to march to the Nomonhan battlefield. As shown in the map, the Unit 731 branched out into two columns and entered into the battlefield.
This person was the leader of the Suicide Squad of the Unit 731 Tsuneshige Ikari.
What we see now is the scene that the Suicide Squad was casting the bacteria into the Halha River.
In July 12, the team members of the Suicide Squad marched upstream. In order to cover their identities, they all wore the military uniforms without any shoulder boards or cap insignias. When marching forward the river reached for 1 kilometer, they casted various kinds of bacterial liquids which was up to 22.5 kilograms, which had caused the river pollution.
The Photography Squad of the Unit 731 took photos and made documentaries for these actual germ combats. This was the record in the diary of Saburo Endo about watching the film of the Nomonhan germ warfare.
This video was the narration of the former team member about casting the bacteria into the Halha River in the Nomonhan War.
This was the circumstance that Tsuneshige Ikari was submitting the letter written in his own blood to Shiro Ishii.
The epidemic prevention and water supply were the important parts of conducting the germ warfare. The main task for the Unit 731 to go out for battles was to conduct the germ warfare. However, if the Japanese army wanted to conduct the germ warfare, they must do well in their own epidemic prevention. The Unit 731 transported the germ weapons and the facilities for epidemic prevention and water supply to the Nomonhan battlefield in succession, and established the large-scale field operation site for water purification on the battlefield, in order to prepare for the germ warfare.
These photos show the circumstances where the Unit 731 explored the water source, dug the wells, filtered the water, and supplied the water at that time.
This water bucket was discovered and dug out in the sand pile of the Nomonhan battlefield by a shepherd in 2014.
These are the water buckets for epidemic prevention and water supply which are full of bullet holes, and the Ishii-type water filtration vehicle which was shot.
Since the Soviet and Mongolian Allied Forces had their own water supply system at that time, they weren’t infected with the bacteria. But since the drinking water supply wasn’t in time, many soldiers in the Japanese army drank the river water by mistake, which had caused that more than 1400 people were infected with the bacteria. And there were also more than 40 people of the Unit 731 died on the battlefield in this warfare. The Japanese army suffered from its own actions.
After the Nomonhan War, the commander of Kwantung Army and large numbers of high-ranking officers were dismissed and replaced because of the defeat of Japanese army. However, Shiro Ishii and the Unit 731 were given commendation. Even though the Nomonhan germ warfare had little effect, the supreme headquarters of the Japanese army saw the special function of the germ weapons in the wars and the possibility to make them into a kind of weapon of mass destruction. In the second year after the Nomonhan War, which was 1940, the Japanese army enlarged the establishment of Unit 731to more than 2,000 people, increased the military expenditure to more than ten million yen, and set up four detachments in the same year.
After receiving the order, the Unit 731 established the bacterial production team in order to produce the bacteria day and night, and transported large quantities of bacteria to the central China. Furthermore, the Unit 731 conducted the germ warfare with the coordination of the Unit 1644 in Nanjing.
The Journal of Imoto has made detailed records of the preparation, methods of fighting, purpose, issuance and implementation process of the orders, etc. of the germ warfare conducted in Zhejiang in 1940.
At the beginning, the scale of the germ warfare was relatively small. The Unit 731 dispatched the Plot Sabotage Squad to cast the plague bacillus, typhoid bacteria, anthrax bacteria and other bacteria in the residential area and the water sources in Ningbo.
The scale expanded later. On October 27, 1940, a large number of items infected with the bacteria were casted from the sky of Ningbo under the command of Shiro Ishii and with the coordination of the leader of Unit 1644, which had caused the outbreak of epidemic diseases in Ningbo. In this germ warfare, the Photography Squad of Unit 731 shot a documentary film, and showed it on various kinds of training classes as teaching materials of the germ warfare.
Since the strategic position of Quzhou was very important, the Japanese army focused on attacking Quzhou. Two large-scale germ wars were successively conducted in 1940 and 1942. The Japanese army casted the fleas and items infected with the plague bacillus for the first time, which had caused the outbreak of plague in Quzhou. And they casted the bacteria to the station of the Chinese army for the second time, which had infected many Chinese soldiers and civilians.
In November 1941, the expedition team of Unit 731travelled from Nanchang to Changde by plane which was flown by Miho Masuda, and casted the fleas, cloth, grains and other items infected with the plague from the sky. This germ warfare led to the large-scale plague in the Changde County, and large quantities of infected people died in succession.
Next, it is the last part of the exhibition, and we will introduce the extinction, destruction of the evidences of the crimes, fleeing in disorder, and the relevant postwar issues of the Unit 731.
At zero hour on August 9, 1945, the Soviet Union launched the comprehensive attack to the Kwantung Army. Since the defeat of the Japanese army was a foregone conclusion, the headquarters of Kwantung Army signed the order that the Unit 731 destroyed the evidences of the crimes and withdrew according to the instructions of the superior, in order to keep the secrets of the Unit 731; and in the next day, the Headquarters of Kwantung Army sent the specially-assigned person to convey the order of Tokyo to Shiro Ishii.
In the evening of August 10, the Unit 731 held an emergency meeting. The order to withdraw was given, and three requirements were put forward:
1. Burning down data and materials 2. Blowing up facilities 3. Poisoning witnesses
Since August 10, 1945, the entire military camps of the Unit 731 had enforced the martial law, all the officers and soldiers participated in the activities of destroying the evidences in secret. Large numbers of experimental data and various kinds of instruments had been put into the boiler for burning up.
This is the relic of the newspaper with the head portrait of the technician Tanaka, which was discovered in the ruins. And it has become the evidence of the crime that the Unit 731 destroyed the evidences of the crimes.
When the Unit 731 burnt down the information, they killed more than 400 subjects locked up in the prison with the poison gas, and then put the dead bodies into a big hole for burning at the same time. Since there were too many dead bodies, they could not be burnt thoroughly for a while. Therefore, they put the dead bodies into the jute bags, and threw them into the Songhua River.
From August 13 to 14, the Unit 731 blew up the square building, special prison and other main buildings. Since the square building and the special prison were built with special steel and armored concrete which was nearly 50 cm thick, it was very hard to blow them up. At last, the sappers were sent to install the explosives at many places for blasting. After the detonation, the fire illumined the sky, the air was full of black smoke, the explosive sound was loud enough to wake the dead, and the square building was thoroughly blown up.
Shiro Ishii imposed sealing order to all Unit 731 members:
1. Prohibited all Unit 731 members to expose their identity;
2. Prohibited all Unit 731 members to hold any public post;
3. Prohibited all Unit 731 members to connect with each other.
He required all Unit 731 members to take the secret of Unit 731 into graves.
In order to ensure the evacuation of all members of Unit 731, the Kwantung Army gave special approval to a dozen special trains, and made sure that these trains had the priority to pass. In August 11, Unit 731 headquarters members fled Harbin by trains, passing through Tonghua, Dandong, Busan and returned to Japan by ship. In August 13, Shiro Ishii and other high-ranking officers took the special plane carrying the core information to come back to Japan. This is the only unit of Kwantung Army that evacuated with the entire organizational system back to Japan.
The team members of the Unit 731 attempted to get away from the trail of war by using the way of concealing their identities. Shiro Ishii even held a fake funeral for himself. In order to obtain the research achievements of the Unit 731, the United States sent many people to investigate the Japanese germ warfare in secret, secretly contacted and inquired at least 25 team members of the Unit 731, including Shiro Ishii, Masaji Kitano, etc., and eventually obtained the information related to the bacteria experiments and the germ warfare. The United States National Archives decoded a hundred thousand pages of the crime archives of the Japanese aggression against China in batches in 2001 and 2007, and three thousand pages are about the reports on the experiments on human bodies conducted by Unit 731. What you see on the wall is the report on the bacterial infection of the human bodies. These data have reconfirmed the war crimes that the Unit 731 conducted the experiments on human bodies and the germ warfare in China.
After getting these precious data, the American authorities concealed the crimes of Shiro Ishii and his subordinate war criminals of the germ warfare, and protected them from the trial of war from the standpoint of the security assurance of the United States.
Since the Japanese army developed and used the germ weapons in the aggression against China, the Soviet Union and China successively implemented the open trial to some Japanese germ warfare criminals in Bohori (Khabarovsk), Shenyang, etc.
At the end of 1949, 12 personnel related to the Unit 731 were submitted to the Bohori Military Court by the Soviet Union. After the trial, 12 people including Otozo Yamada were sentenced to imprisonment.
In 1956, 28 Japanese war criminals were brought to open trial in Shenyang, including the leader of the Linkou Detachment 162 Hideo Sakakibara who was the important member of the Unit 731. He was sentenced to 13 years’ imprisonment.
During the period of Japanese aggression against China, the Japanese Germ Warfare Unit in China centering on the Unit 731 had brought severe disasters to the Chinese people, and had caused endless trouble to future. In the meantime, it had brought double strike to the family dependants of the victims of the “Special Transfer” in mind and spirit.
What we see down here are the testimonies and videos of the family dependants of the victims of the “Special Transfer”. After their family members were specially transferred, they didn’t know where they had gone or whether they were alive. They only knew that they had already lost their
family members forever until the research scholars found out the archives of the “Special Transfer”. The experiments on human bodies against the humanity, which was conducted by the Unit 731, not only cruelly killed the victims, but also caused major mental injuries to the family dependants of the victims.
These victims that you see on the pictures had festers on their bodies because of the infection of the anthrax bacteria, and many people lost their lives because of it. While some people who lived by luck suffered from the festered wounds all their lives because these wounds cannot be cured, and what we see here are only a part of the numerous victims.
The members of the Unit 731 were once the executors and witnesses of the experiments on human bodies and the germ warfare. After avoiding and remaining silent for years, some veterans with conscience stood out bravely to tell their own personal experiences. And the testimonies and confessions from the inflictors have restored the historical truth more truly, and have revealed the crimes of Unit 731 more profoundly.
The former team member Naokata Ishibashi was responsible for the management of the prison, he saw the vivisection in person, and participated in the Ningbo germ warfare. After remaining silent for years, he resolutely stood out to reveal the crimes of the Unit 731. In June 1987, he specially paid a visit to our exhibition hall, painted the structural drawings of the special prison in the Unit 731 with hand, and left a letter of remorse.
Masakuni Kurumizawa was the technician of human anatomy in the Unit 731, and once dissected many Maruta in person. He showed his surgical instruments used in those years as the evidence.
Sadao Koshi was the driver of Shiro Ishii. According to his verification, the Unit 731 transported the “Maruta” from the interface location at the Jilin Street almost every day. Each “special prison van” was equipped with ten license plates. In order to deceive the public, the license plate was replaced to a different one every time when they came in and went out. And this is the master drawing of the “special prison van” painted by Sadao Koshi.
When the Unit 731 escaped in disorder, the dead bodies of the “Maruta” were thrown into the Songhua River. As the team member of the Transportation Squad, Susumu Suzuki undertook the task of transportation. In 1985, Susumu Suzuki specially paid a visit to the place where he threw the dead bodies for confession.
The person in this photo on the exhibition board was the team member of the Aviation Squad Kesaharu Okishima, and this is his freehand sketch map of filling the bacteria in the airplane.
After the Unit 731 withdrew back to Japan, Shiro Ishii organized the “Association of the Friends in the Unit” for the purpose of restraining the team members to maintain strict secrecy. Many team members secretly lived in seclusion under the pressure of Shiro Ishii. Like most of the team members, the former team member of the Insects Squad Minoru Kamitani lived the rest of his life in silence. However, he spoke freely of his anxiety before passing away, and revealed a part of the truth of Unit 731, which was made known to the world by his son Noriaki Kamitani. This is the photo of Minoru Kamitani when he was in the Unit 731.
Some veterans participating in the germ warfare not only stood out to reveal the crimes of developing the germ weapons, the experiments on human bodies conducted by Unit 731 and the “Special Transfer” implemented by the Japanese military police, but also apologized for the crimes to the Chinese people and the family members of the victims of the “Special Transfer”.
This is the photo of a few former team members of the Unit 731 apologizing for the crimes to the Chinese people.
This was the team member of the Teenager Squad of Unit 731 Yoshio Tamura, who was also known as Yoshio Shinotsuka. He once conducted the human anatomy as well as the bacterial production, and also participated in the Nomonhan War. He was the veteran who stood out earlier to reveal the crimes of the Unit 731, came to the relics of the Unit 731 many times for identification, and apologized for the crimes to the Chinese people.
This was the team member of the Aviation Squad of Unit 731 Masakazu Matusmoto, he once participated in the experiments on human bodies conducted in the Anda special site, drove the plane to participate in the Southern germ warfare many times, and casted the bacteria. And he apologized for the crimes to the Chinese people many times.
In October 1943, Yotaka Mio transported Wang Yaoxuan, Wang Dongsheng, Li Zhongshan and Shen Delong, who were the members of the International Information Organization, to the Unit 731 in Dalian, and these four people were used as the materials for the experiments on human bodies and were killed afterwards. After the war, he apologized for the crimes to Wang Yibing, the son of Wang Yaoxuan.
A symposium was held in Harbin in 1995, which was 20 years ago. Wang Yibing, the son of Wang Yaoxuan, participated in the symposium on invitation, and Yotaka Mio also came all the way from Japan to take part in this meeting. He apologized for the crimes to Wang Yibing face to face. And he said, “When I served as staff sergeant of Dalian Military Police, I went to Tianjin in person to arrest your father and cousin. Because of my crimes, your two families have suffered from major disasters. I am guilty. I apologize for the crimes to you and all of your family members. I not only cruelly tortured your father during the interrogation, but what more serious is that I sent them to the Unit 731. The crimes that I have committed are unforgivable, and my sin is as grave as that of the devil of the Japanese germ warfare Shiro Ishii. I apologize for the crimes to you and all of the family members of the Chinese victims again. I will maintain the consciousness to apologize for the crimes all my life. I am willing to reveal the crimes in the history of the Japanese aggression against China in Japan, and am willing to serve as a witness at court for the lawsuit of Mr. Wang.” Later, Yotaka Mio really appeared in court as a witness when Wang Yibing brought a lawsuit to Japan.