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New Evidence of Japanese Germ Warfare Found
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A Japanese historian has just found more evidence of the Japanese germ warfare after his four-day investigation from last Thursday to Sunday in Yiwu of east China's Zhejiang Province.

"The Japanese germ warfare has damaged the social structure in Chinese countryside and even family ties," said Makoto Ueda, a 49-year-old professor of history with the Rikkyo University in Tokyo, who planned to write a book based on his newly discovered 47 books of family tree from the Chongshan Village.

According to the family tree, 404 villagers, or one third of the village's population then, were killed by plague in the autumn of 1942. Twenty-three families were even extinguished from the village.

"The society of China composed of clans," said Ueda, who notes that most people in a village always share a same ancestor and surname. The germ warfare had almost wiped out four generations from the 1,000-year-old family tree, said the professor.

The germ warfare also affected the confidence and kinship among family members, according to Ueda. "Some of the Wang escaped to other places and lost the family ties."

Studies by Chinese and foreign scholars have shown that between1931 and 1945, some 270,000 Chinese people fell victims of Japanese germ warfare.

Makoto Ueda, who has spent over 20 years studying history of Chinese rural areas, plans to name his new book as Plague and Village and publish it in the first half of next year.

He hopes that the book could help more Japanese know Chinese culture and boost mutual understanding and friendship between the two nations.

Ueda's last story in 1998 about germ warfare based on a visit to the Chongshan Village has been included in the Japanese textbook for middle school students.

On Nov. 15, 2000, Makoto Ueda testified before the grand jury for the Chinese germ warfare victims and relatives of deceased ones.

(Xinhua News Agency August 21, 2006)

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