The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 13, Issue. 44, No. 3, November 16, 2015
Didi Kirsten Tatlow
Joy Chen is sitting on a bench outside a new museum in Harbin devoted to the medical
atrocities committed by Japan’s Unit 731 in Manchuria during World War II trying to
absorb what she learned inside: After the war the United States covered up
Japan’s biological warfare research on humans allowing the perpetrators to escape
punishment and to prosper.
That is detailed prominently in exhibition notes and an audio guide in the black marble
building that lies like a split box here in Pinging on the edge of Harbin in northeast China:
“Out of considerations of its national security the U.S. decided not to prosecute the leader
of Unit 731 and the criminals under him. They all escaped trial for war crimes.” Led by Dr.
Ishii Shiro Unit 731 bred plague microbes and deliberately infected thousands of men
women and children. It conducted vivisection and frostbite and air pressure experiments,
transfused prisoners with horse blood and studied the effect of weapons on of weapons on
the body, among many things.