Germ War Site Opens to Public

The world's largest germ warfare experimental base, which was built by Japanese troops in northeast China's Harbin during World War II, opened to the public recently after a year of cleanup.

The cleaning of the site of Unit 731 of Japan's Kwantung Army in Heilongjiang Province got started last August and more than 100 households and about 10 factories were moved away from the site.

The project is estimated to have cost nearly 100 million yuan (US$12 million). Some Japanese non-governmental organizations and civilians have made donations in support of the project.

Chinese researchers found more than 1,200 items which are strong evidence of Japanese war crimes, including syringes, high-pressure boilers used to destroy germs, and the remains of germ bombs.

Unit 731 was part of Japan's Kwantung Army with its headquarters in Harbin, capital of Heilongjiang Province, in 1932. It is notorious for its manufacturing of materials for germ warfare. The Kwantung Army headquarters burned and buried its records of Unit 731 in an attempt to get rid of evidence just before Japan surrendered on August 15, 1945.

But according to historical records that survive, Unit 731 experimented on more than 10,000 prisoners of war and civilians from China, the Korean Peninsula, and other countries.

Chinese researchers are trying to have this historical reminder put on the World Heritage List.

(Xinhua 06/15/2001)

In This Series

Japan's Germ Warfare Effort Unmasked

1,900 Villagers Sued Japanese Government

China Slams Japan Over History Textbook

Japanese Textbooks—Facts Distorted



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