Unit 731 - A Documentary

#1
A heads-up for those with Sky HD.

A 50 minute documentary on Unit 731: Elite Doctors and Human Experimentation, is being shown this weekend.

What might be a surprise for those who believe that Japan is completely in denial about its past is that it's
being shown on the world service arm (NHK World) of Japan's public service television equivalent of our BBC.

Quote;
Unit 731 of the Japanese Imperial Army secretly developed and tested bacteriological weapons on human subjects in Manchuria during the Sino-Japanese War. At the end of the war, evidence was destroyed, and personnel kept silent, concealing the truth for decades. However, NHK recently found more than 20 hours of audio recordings from a 1949 war-crimes tribunal. The tapes contain former Unit 731 members' testimony about how, for example, typhoid and plague pathogens were tested on scores of Chinese and Manchurian prisoners. It is estimated that more than 3,000 people lost their lives after being used as living subjects. The human experiments were directed by medical scientists, who were recruited from more than 10 elite universities and research institutes. What was the nature of their experiments, and why did these doctors violate their commitment to preserving human life?
Unquote.

NHK World is on Sky Channel 507 and it is being shown tomorrow (13th) at 15:10 and 21:10
and on Sunday (14th) at 03:10 and 09:10
 
#2
What might be a surprise for those who believe that Japan is completely in denial about its past is that it's
being shown on the world service arm (NHK World) of Japan's public service television equivalent of our BBC.
Is it being watched? How many Japanese watch the World Service arm?
 
#3
If you are interested in this unit, I recommend the following:

Williams, P & Wallace, D. (1989): Unit 731, Hodder & Stoughton, London.

It makes disturbing reading, especially regarding the live vivisection of allied POWs.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#4
Normally I'd ask if this is available on UK TV, however its not as if we don't know about the scumbags over here, its their homeland that seems to deny their existence!
No time for those who support the Nipponese denials!
 

MrBane

LE
Moderator
Kit Reviewer
Reviews Editor
#5
It's one of those catch-22 scenarios isn't it? To truly understand medical implications of anything on humans, you can only be 100% certain by using human subjects.

Unlike the Nazis own experimental rs though, I don't know how much of the Japanese effort went on to benefit medical science in generally - white papers produced at the time, etc. Considering the denials, probably very little.
 
#6
If you are interested in this unit, I recommend the following:

Williams, P & Wallace, D. (1989): Unit 731, Hodder & Stoughton, London.

It makes disturbing reading, especially regarding the live vivisection of allied POWs.
I read that a while back. I recall that most if not all of the doctors went on to successful careers in Japan's top hospitals and medical research fields after the war.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#7
I read that a while back. I recall that most if not all of the doctors went on to successful careers in Japan's top hospitals and medical research fields after the war.
That can have had serious implications for all of us health wise, sadly it definitely had serious impacts on those experimented upon!
I suppose the ethical dilemma is use the research or not?
 

MrBane

LE
Moderator
Kit Reviewer
Reviews Editor
#8
That can have had serious implications for all of us health wise, sadly it definitely had serious impacts on those experimented upon!
I suppose the ethical dilemma is use the research or not?
I'd suggest there's no dilemma there. Either use the research dozens may have died to obtain and gain some future benefit from their suffering or bin it and they suffered for nothing.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#9
I'd suggest there's no dilemma there. Either use the research dozens may have died to obtain and gain some future benefit from their suffering or bin it and they suffered for nothing.
I suppose the dilemma would be if the research was to prove racial purity or advantage in surviving various ailments. Then would the research be trusted and not just a political tool for ethnic cleansing, I seem to recall from "Knights of the Bushido" maybe about nerve agents being developed to work specifically against certain races by this "Unit"!
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#11
No love lost between the Chinese and the Japanese, I often wonder if the Chinese allow the Koreans to mess around with scary stuff just to wind up the Japanese!
 
#12
I read that a while back. I recall that most if not all of the doctors went on to successful careers in Japan's top hospitals and medical research fields after the war.
Ditto. IIRC a lot of information within the book was found in paperwork that was picked up from a bric a bac or second hand book stall in a market over in China or Japan, I forget which back in the 70's. And more recently several thousand pages of Unit 731 documents were found in the U.S. National Archive.
 

MrBane

LE
Moderator
Kit Reviewer
Reviews Editor
#14
The Chinese made a film about unit 731 in 1988 ,Very hard to watch very graphic scenes,
First scene I jumped to was pretty graphic, hard to take when you know it's based on true facts. Will be watching that later. Good shout.
 
#15
That can have had serious implications for all of us health wise, sadly it definitely had serious impacts on those experimented upon!
I suppose the ethical dilemma is use the research or not?
Explored in a Hugh Lawrie film where some doctor zstarted hacking up tramps.

Extreme Measures?
 
#17
The Americans captured the so called researchers from the unit but gave them immunity from prosecution on the condition that all the research information which had been hidden was handed over to them.
 
#18
It's immaterial to ask how many Japanese watch their world service,

It was aired domestically in August of last year.
What were the ratings domestically? Did it receive much attention from either public or denial groups?
 
#20
of Unit 731 Max Hastings wrote in his book Nemesis,
‘At Unit 731, the Japanese biological warefare research centre in Manchuria, there was a rush to destroy evidence. Lethal injections were given to all surviving Chinese human guinea pigs and site labourers. No Japanese was ever held to account or tried for the monstrous crimes committed there. Though the Americans quickly became privy to the hideous nature of Unit 731’s operations, they concluded it was more profitable to secrete its files and sheild its commanders and scientists for the possible military advantage of the US.’

So similar to the Nazi V weapons lot under Werner Von Braun then. The moral of the story is... if you want to commit outrageous war crimes, make sure you do it in a clever and imaginative way.
 

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