Japanese WWII Veteran
Admits Unit 731 Germ Tests
By Yao Lan

SHANGHAI - A former Japanese officer has admitted he and his unit dissected live Chinese people and created deadly bacteria to harm enemies during World War II.
Yoshio Shinozuka, 78, said yesterday he is anguished over the cruelty his division, Unit 731, perpetrated on Chinese victims in Pingfang, a city in Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, during the war.
"Together with another Unit 731 veteran, Shinozuka is the first veteran to have given testimony exposing Japan's atrocities," said Wang Xuan, chairwoman of a group that filed a lawsuit on behalf of Chinese survivors and the families of victims of Japanese germ warfare in World War II.
The veteran, a standing member of the Association of Japanese Veteran Returnees From China, said he raised fleas intended to spread deadly diseases and participated in the production of bacteria such as cholera, typhoid, dysentery and anthrax. He also said he dissected dying Chinese people, who they called "logs."
Shinozuka took part in five live human anatomies within two months during the war.
This is a wicked and cruel sin that Japanese militarism did to the Chinese, he said.
Founded by veterans in 1957, the association now has 270 members. Their average age is over 80.
"It is our responsibility to make this hidden history known to the whole world," Shinozuka said.
The veteran regrets that the Japanese Government now still wants to cover up the brutality, and he strongly opposes Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's plan to visit the Yasukuni Shrine next week.
The lawsuit, filed by 108 Chinese in 1997, demands an apology and compensation for the deaths of plaintiffs' relatives. Thousands of civilians in China were killed by biological weapons and other acts of brutality carried out by Japan's notorious Unit 731 and another section, Unit 164, the lawsuit asserts. The total number, including Chinese soldiers, could be 270,000, one research report has said.
The court case began in February 1998, and the plaintiffs' group has grown from 108 people to 180. The 25th hearings will be held in Tokyo District Court in September, and the case is expected to be decided this spring.


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