Two Recently Revealed Japanese Documents on Japanese WWII Atrocities

Two sets of recently released Japanese documents should remove any doubts that people may still have on the veracity of the massive and inhumane atrocities committed by the Japanese military in Asia during WWII.  One is the “Exhibition of the 27th General Assembly of the Japan Medical Congress:  WAR & Medicine” that was held in Osaka in 2007.  The other is a massive collection of 89 documents written by Japanese officers and soldiers discovered underground in 1953 and recently released by the Jiling Provincial Archives in Changchun, capital of Jilin Province in China’s northeast.

 

WAR AND MEDICINE:  Exhibition panel brochure

From March 31 to April 8, 2007, a group of righteous Japanese physicians organized a large exhibit [1] at the 27th General Assembly of the Japan Medical Congress held in Osaka, Japan. This exhibit, based mostly on Japanese documents, contained a very large amount of information describing the many atrocities committed by the Japanese military in China as well as in other parts of Asia during WWII.  These physicians were especially concerned about the participation by Japanese physicians and Japanese medical organizations such as the Japan Medical Association (JMA) and the Japanese Association of Medical Sciences (JAMS).

This group organized an “Executive Committee of the 27th General Assembly of the Japan Medical Congress” to put on this exhibition.  After the exhibition they prepared a booklet containing all the display posters.  This 122-page booklet “WAR AND MEDICINE:  Exhibition panel brochure” is now available in the web free to anyone to read:   http://war-medicine-ethics.com/War_and_Medicine/WarandMedicine_Doc/Exhibition_brochure.pdf.

After reading this booklet that was prepared by Japanese and based on Japanese documentation, any unbiased person should have no doubt that the massive and inhumane atrocities committed by the Japanese military in Asia during WWII did in fact occur.  Below are excerpts from selected pages in this booklet:

  • Page 92 has the heading “Immunity to Medical Crimes in the Fifteen Years’ War” [2] with the first paragraph:  “During the Japanese invasion into China, Unit 731 developed, produced, and used biological and chemical weapons.  In the course of such development, the Unit also performed experiments and vivisectons on many Asian people.  Its members should have been convicted as war criminals as the Nazis were.  However, all of the Unit, including Commander Sihiro Ishii, was granted immunity from prosecution for war crimes.
  • Page 93 has the heading “Immunity Granted by the U.S.A.” with the  first paragraph:  “Every step, interrogation, or contact … The utmost secrecy is essential in order to protect the interest of the United States and to guard against embarrassment.  …  make no effort toward prosecution or ‘any form of publicity of this case without G-2 (Army Intelligence) concurrence.”  (Sheldon H. Harris, Factories of Death:  Japan’s Biological Warfare 1932-45 and the American Cover-up.  Routledge, 1994, p. 208).  A couple pages later on p. 95, it contains the following paragraph:  “However, Japan, in exchange for the presentation of the research data to the U.S.A., had already been promised by GHQ [3] immunity from prosecution for bacteriological warfare personnel.  In the Cold War, the monopoly of such data suited American global and national interests.  On August 1, 1947, immunity for the war criminals was confirmed by the U.S. government.”
  • Page 94 has the heading “War Participation Not Mentioned at all in the 12th General Assembly of the Japan Medical Congress Just after the War (1947)” containing the following paragraph:  “During the whole session, however, the Japanese medical establishment did not examine and repent its participation in the war.”
  • Page 17 has the heading “Medical Crimes Committed by Other Units” containing the following paragraph:  “The mass murder by Unit 731 in human experiments is only a part of Japan’s medical crimes during this period.  Many witnesses testified that lethal human experiments were also performed in Unit 1644 in Nanjing and Unit 1855 in Beijing.  In addition, the research data of the U.S. and Australian fores reveal that Surgeon Captain Einosuke Hirano of the 24th Field Epidemic Prevention and Water Supply Department conducted human experiments on POWs from America, Australia, and New Zealand, in Rabaul (now in New Guinea).”
  • Page 109 has the heading “To look away from the Unit 731 issue is to degrade yourselves,” a quote from Dr. Michael J. Franzblau, an American dermatologist who had studied the behavior of German and Japanese physicians during WWII.  Unfortunately, the Japan Medical Association has consistently looked away.
  • Page 120 has the heading “Request to the Japanese Association of Medical Sciences for Official Examination into and  Repentance on the War Participation by Medical Scientists and Doctors — Declaration of the “War and Medicine” Exhibition in Osaka, 2007″ containing the following paragraph:  “Regrettably, however, our appeal was rejected.  We had to hold the “War and Medicine” Exhibition independently in Osaka during the Congress’ (Japan Medical Congress’) session.”
  • Page 122 lists the different groups forming this Executive Committee, as well as the names of some of the leaders.

We applaud the hard work and courage of this Executive Committee.  Their effort will not be in vain, because the truth will always win out in the long run.

 

Japanese Occupation Documents Released

In April 2014, the Jilin Provincial Archives in Changchun, captitol of Jilin Province, released a set of 89 documents written by the Japanese Army when it occupied China during WWII.  These documents, written by Japanese officers and soldiers, were found underground in 1953.

As large as this particular discovery of 89 documents, it is only a small portion of the nearly 100,000 wartime Japanese files that have been retrieved underground during construction work in the early 1950s.  Most of these files were found in the area of the former headquarters of the Japanese Kwantung military police which worked under the command of the Japanese Kwantung Army.  These secret files are invaluable to unveiling details of the Japanese invasion and colonization of Northeast China.

Some of the files made publicly available by the Jilian Provincial Archives provide evidence of the brutality of the Japanese Army.  They covered the Nanking Massacre, sex slaves, and Unit 731 and their germ warfare..  Some of the files are letters to home by Japanese soldiers in China, which were intercepted by the Japanese Kwantung Army.  According to records kept by the Japanese military police, millions of mail could be checked in a month, so that crimes committed by their soldiers were kept secret from their family members, the media, and the public.  Here are just a couple of excerpts from such letters:

  • “We caught a man and a woman stealing coal  We stripped them naked, and inserted wooden sticks into their anuses.  That was very fun.”
  • “I killed one Chinese.  I don’t feel too good.  These scenes of killing would definitely frighten women back home  Stabbing people with a bayonet, it’s like cutting a beancurd.  My hands started to shake after one or two stabs.”

Unfortunately, after repeatedly engaging in such brutal acts, they became the norm and the Japanese soldiers got used to it, and executed the actions like machines.

For more information about this recently released find, including a 6.5-minute video in English, click on this link:  http://www.china.org.cn/video/2014-04/28/content_32228480.htm.

 

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[1] This exhibit is known to the public since 2007, although I did not become aware of it until recently.

[2] The Japanese referred to the Second Sino-Japanese War that occurred in 1931-1945 as the “Fifteen Years’ War.”

[3] GHQ refers both to General Douglas MacArthur as the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (SCAP) or to the SCAP office.

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