A plaintiff and defense group formed of related Japanese and Chinese victims and their relatives will hold talks by this weekend to prepare for the September and November's hearings in Japan.
Carrying out germ warfare was among the cruelest atrocities committed by Japanese military during World War II in China. In 1997, more than 100 Chinese who had survived from Japan's bacterial war and relatives of other victims went to Japanese court, demanding the Japanese government admit the truth about then Japanese imperial army's germ warfare carried out in China, apologize to the Chinese people, and compensate for the victims. But this lawsuit has not got any verdict after 24 times of hearings.
Related sources predict that the Japanese court may make judgment of first instance coming spring.
"Germ weapons were banned by international law during World War II, but Japanese military had defied international law, prepared bacterial warfare and cultivated plague and other germs to conduct experiment on human bodies and used such weapons in China," Japanese lawyer Koken Tsuchiya, head of the defense group told. "As a Japanese, I have the responsibility to let the world people including the Japanese people know the truth and let the Japanese government admit the truth, the Japanese government should bear the war responsibility" he said.
Yoshio Shinozuka, a former Unit 731 soldier who ever participated in Japan's germ warfare in person told that "it is a great honor in my life that I can bear witness on behalf of Chinese victims. I will spare no efforts to offer evidence for those innocent victims in order to give history a truth and I will bear witness on behalf of them till the end of my life."
Two Japanese doctors said that Japan's germ warfare carried out in China in World War II can in no way be denied. As members of Japanese germ war research committee, they will try their best to take up the responsibility. They said that without such efforts genuine China-Japan friendship would not be realized.
(People's Daily 08/07/2001)