Last year a wizened old man with white hair stood at the district desk getting a report from a young officer. I started a conversation with the man and it turned out he'd served in the Navy during WWII. I asked him if he'd seen action and he said, "Hell yes. Fought on Iwo Jima, and saw what those japs did to our boys. They were animals. I still hate them for what they did." I thanked him for his service and wondered if the old guy was just spooked against the Japs by all the WWII propaganda.
I could see that 60 years later he was still overwhelmed with emotion about the whole thing. Bitterness riled him.
Not until I did some digging on the Sino-Japanese war and Japan's treatment of prisoners did I realize that Japan's Imperialist impulse propelled a long history of blood-letting, torture and conquest.
Japan's Unit 731 was a natural off-shoot of that side of the Japanese. Its been getting alot of press lately, and ror good reason - it is Japan's homegrown version of Auschwitz.
Unit 731 was a Japanese military unit put together in order to test their vilest forms of cruelty.
They did a multitude of experiments on prisoners. For example, they staked prisoners out in a yard and detonated explosives near them. Those that survived were brought in and operated on without anasthesia. They weren't operated on in order to save their lives, they were operated on in order to determine the extent of their injuries.
Some of the more atrocious inhumanities include:
• Dissected live humans without anesthesia
• Poisoned food and water to spread disease
• Used female prisoners for studies on syphilis
• Injected animal blood into the human body for vivo physiological effects
• Hung prisoners upside-down until death to test for pressure resistance
• Exposed humans to extremely high and low pressures
• Exposed humans to extreme cold
• Surgically removed live human stomachs and reattached the esophagus and intestines
• Amputated and reattached human arms to the opposite side
• Committed biochemical warfare in labs and battlefields over 2,700 times, causing countless deaths, and intentionally flouted the Treaty of Geneva
• Laced food with poison for the civilians to consume
• Dropped bacteria-infected fleas on civilians
• Contaminated water and food with germs of severe intestinal diseases, such as typhus, paratyphoid, cholera, dysentery, and bacillus
• Used poisonous gases numerous times to suppress resistance
Check out the whole article. It's fascinating stuff.