PLEASE DO NOT READ IF YOU ARE UNDER THE AGE OF 16
Few people in the world have ever heard of Unit 731 in Harbin China, but it should have the same connotations as Auschwitz. It was the sight of Biological and Chemical Warfare research for the Japanese Imperial Army during 1937 to 1945. It was officially known as The Epidemic Prevention and Water Purification Department of the Army of Kwantung.
The commander of Unit 731 was a man named Shiro Ishii, more than 10,000 Chinese had died at this facility. One room in Unit 731 housed thousands of rats which carried Bubonic Plague. The people taken here were infected with the plague and were not given painkillers; they were then cut open while still alive so doctors could see what the diseases were doing to them. They were not given painkillers in case it might affect the germs. 95% of the people who died there were Chinese and Korean, civilians and soldiers. The remaining 5% were Polynesians and Filipinos.
By the end of World War II, the retreating Japanese destroyed most of the evidence. But one soldier, Yoshiro Shinozuka has come out, telling anyone who'd listen the first hand horrors of Unit 731. He was recruited there at the age of 13 and was forced to conduct vivisections and experiments on Chinese captives. In the nearby villages of the facility, many people died from Cholera, Anthrax, Dysentary, Smallpox and Plague which was released by the Japanese soldiers all across China. One quarter of a million people died. One man, Junwang Jung, lost his whole family at the age of 15, and there were no more adults left in his village.
Japan has officially apologized for World War II in 1995 but it has said that Unit 731 has not now nor has ever existed. 180 Chinese families, led by Mrs. Wan Shian are suing the Japanese government for compensation and an apology for deaths. Wan Shian lost her uncle and 75% of her village to the germs. During a rally, Shinozuka appeared and had apologized for what he had done, it was the closest thing to a Japanese apology and many members of that rally were content. "I think he is a hero," Wan Shian said, "Japan should be proud of Shinozuka, he was drafted when he was just a child, he didn't know anything,"
A hero in China perhaps, but not in Japan, other members of Unit 731 consider Shinozuka a traitor. One man, Toshimi Mitsubushi, an outstanding member of Unit 731 was given the charge of destroying the evidence of the compound after WW2 and killed the surviving prisoners. He called Shinozuka a traitor and maintained that Unit 731 was a force for good and had little sympathy for the people he killed, he said, "I am proud of what I did, and if I were younger, I'd do it again! It was fun!".
Many of the former members of Unit 731 became big shots in Japan, they became doctors at top universities, some became corporate CEOs, and one even became the Chief Textbook Censor in Japan's Ministry of Education. One Japanese politician, Kahachurou Shinozu, says that Unit 731 was created by the Chinese and Americans to divide Japan and that the Japanese race is the "race of god" and would "never do horrible things".
But the reason why many people have not heard of Unit 731 was because American Soldiers wanted the germ research of that place and made a secret deal with Shiro Ishii to get it. Shinozuka wanted to travel to the United States to talk about Unit 731 but government administrations in the United States, Mexico and Canada denied his entry because he was a criminal. But immediately after WW2 ended the USA guaranteed members of Unit 731 immunity from prosecution in exchange for providing the results for their experiments.
Today, in almost all the schools in Japan, World War 2 has been taken completely out of the textbook and to even mention it can get you into really big trouble. None of the students have ever heard of Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, FDR, Auschwitz not even Unit 731 itself. But Chinese students are given very detailed history of what happened there, some of which is largely exaggerated. Any teacher in Japan, whether Japanese or not, if tries to even bring up World War II will be given a warning, or death threat as I like to put it from the Japanese Military itself.