Talk:Unit 731

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Sources Identified[edit]

I just wanted to mention that in an effort to identify primary sources for some of this information, I've identified the source for the Nobuo Kamada article. The link in the article goes to a webpage with no explanation for where the article came from, other than the author's generic name, and a mention of "US News". For anybody who is interested, here is the source:

U.S. News & World Report; 7/31/95, Vol. 119 Issue 5, p56, 2p, 2c, 1bw

If someone wants to update the article reference with this information, while maintaining the current link (I think it is the only publicly accessible copy at this point), that would be great. I believe this would address one of the comments left previously about finding sources other than the "Doctor's of Depravity" article, as that article seems to use material from this US News article. MaskedEditor 07:27, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Also, here is a NY Times article that is vaguely cited (but extensively used) in the Daily Mail article:

Japan Confronting Gruesome War Atrocity; Unmasking Horror A special report. After Half a Century, Japan Is Confronting a Gruesome Wartime Atrocity
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF. New York Times (1857-Current file). New York, N.Y.: Mar 17, 1995.  pg. A1, 2 pgs

MaskedEditor 08:14, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Old talk[edit]

Hello, The US Department of Defense has released declassified documents about Unit 731. If someone could find these and possibly link to them it would be a good primary source for more information. Astudent 08:22 Apr 24, 2003 (UTC)

Is it really Ishii Shiro or should it be Shiro Ishii? According to Google searches, it is referenced more as Shiro Ishii.

Japanese order is lastname firstname, hence Ishii Shiro. -- Jpatokal 08:08, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Could someone please post why this article is disputed?

-- Unit 731 existed -- Unit 731 engaged in biological warfare research using human experimentation

I added a link on the main page urging people to use the talk section.

clarka 26 Mar 2004

I cannot comment on this article per se, but the history of the Unit 731 is disputed for many reasons, most of which are political. The Chinese had much to gain by focussing the attention of the newly unified nation on an external enemy, while the Japanese would rather forget about a nasty piece of history. One element of the debate that is not mentioned here is that most of the diseases tested by the Unit already existed in the Manchurian region where modern medicine was virtually unavailable until the Japanese moved in. Infected villages were not even effectively quarantined until Japanese rule took hold. That coupled with poor documentation and missing records make it very difficult to accurately estimate the death toll that could be attributed to the experiments.

Oscar_O 24 Oct 2005

BULL!!! One has to question Oscar's own political agendas... Political or not, the atrocities of the unit are well documented, hence any question towards their existence is illegitimate. Further, even if modern medical facilities were lacking in the Chinese North, could one possibly claim that the Japanese invaders, who brought troves of army doctors to poison and vivisect the population, improved the medical situation at all? Oscar's comments make it seem that the Japanese medical presence in the Northeast was meant to help the Chinese population...highly illogical considering the overall Japanese approaches in the occupied territories. True, a precise death toll cannot be calculated; however, there are enough documents and witnesses so that a death toll range could be calculated... further, using the claim that "one could not calculate the precise death toll" to suggest an exaggeration of the atrocities is highly absurd; one has to question the intent of such an individual who would make this claim.

A discuttion was moved to Image talk:Autopsy of a Japanese victim killed in the Jinan Incident.jpg

I am surprised not to see an estimate of the number of victims. And when was the existance of this unit known to the "West". Its existance is being claimed as a justification for the U.S. considering using chemical weapons in the proposed invasion of the Home Islands. Did the U.S. actually know of this at that time? Rmhermen 22:36, Aug 16, 2004 (UTC)

That's a good question. Japan's chemical weapon research was heavily influenced by Germany's efforts; I'm sure ther was mutual help passed along. Another thing to consider is, a lot of this information may very well still be classified by the US government. I'm sure American intelligence services during World War II were aware of this unit, especially towards the end. I mean, the research facilities, material, and personnel were some of the first things McArthur secured when he took over as head of the Occupational command.

Hey. I heard that the reason they called the prisoners maruta was because the cover for the building was that it was a large lumber mill, so the scientists referred to the patients as maruta(logs).

Jim Bandlow (talk) 08:33, 28 September 2011 (UTC) If you study Nanking, Bataan, Burma ... there was a pattern.
Likewise with Pol Pot, Kim, Stalin, Hitler, Vlad, Pasha, Mao, Leopold, and so on.

Inappropriate header[edit]

Node_ue - you're coming to this two days after the last edit, and your very first edit here is to put back the NPOV dispute? May I ask why? There was only one person who had a problem with this before, and we have said it is not enough to put the blanket message up top. Fuzheado | Talk 23:45, 18 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Hmm. It's not fair that you serve as a referee because you are Chinese showing your bias. --Nanshu 02:06, 30 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I got the following on my talk page:

Hi Jiang,

I just wanted to make sure you know that my reasons for reverting your edits to Unit 731 are not that I disagree with your views on the dispute and the article, but rather that it is unacceptable to remove NPOV and Disputed Article notices from pages unless 1. you put them there yourself in the first place or 2. the issue has been resolved to the satisfaction of both parties.

Thanks. Node 01:35, 23 Aug 2004 (UTC)

It is expected to have NPOV dispute notices removed when one fails to provide adequate foundation for dispute on the talk page. Nowhere here or anywhere else do I see Nanshu commenting that the text in the article is not NPOV. This is unless, of course, he claims the text he is inserting himself is POV and in that case the problem is with him and he shouldnt be complaining. The dispute goes if there is no basis for it. I am the one complaining about the text inserted by Nanshu, not the other way around. I am expecting a response by Node to Fuzheado's comments above. --Jiang 22:18, 23 Aug 2004 (UTC)


Folks, I've protected the page because of the continual debates over the dissection photo. I suggest both sides put forth their evidence as to the provenance and historical accuracy of this photo, including citations of books, experts and Internet links. This reversion has gone on for weeks now, so it's time to dialogue about this. Thanks. Fuzheado | Talk 01:55, 23 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Disputed text was:

File:Unidentified photo01.gif
Unidentified photo of unknown source

The Chinese claim that this photo is of Unit 731 or Unit 100, but actually this was an autopsy on a Japanese victim killed by the Chinese in 1928. Other than this, there are many photos shown under the caption of Unit 731 without adequate foundation.

Please discuss here below:

The claim that the photo is mislabelled is made by Nanshu exclusively, with only circumstantial evidence, as discussed at Image talk:Autopsy of a Japanese victim killed in the Jinan Incident.jpg. If Nanshu is correct on this matter, then this commentary is not only overgeneralized and written without reference (e.g. "there are many photos" is a vague statement; it doesn't mention who is disproving "the Chinese" - another overgeneralized statement), it is irrelevant. If it isn't Unit 731 then dont put it in the article. This is not an article on fake photos. --22:18, 23 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Still making farfetched claim that my proof is "with only circumstantial evidence"? I think that's all finished.

As a substitute for proper sampling, google! Chinese site like [1] are showing photos of unknown origins. --Nanshu 02:06, 30 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I've bolded my statement above. If you don't understand, then please stick with the Japanese wikipedia. The site you provided is American, not Chinese. It's not up to you to be making the deductions. --Jiang 03:14, 30 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Hmm. That site may not be Chinese, but photos were taken from Chinese sources as the captions suggest.

I don't try to put photos that Chinese associate with other events. They linked it with Unit 731. Thus it is on topic. --Nanshu 02:59, 1 Sep 2004 (UTC)

We're not lacking proof that the Chinese are using these photos, only proof that the photos are false. Again, if you can't explain sufficiently in the article how the position that these photos are false has any merit (and that the same claims you're making is made by so many other that it is a common phenomenon), then the text cannot belong. --Jiang 21:19, 11 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Again, don't kill the link to the on-topic photo. You don't provide sufficient reason to delete it.

Haven't I explained? The source of this propaganda seems 吉林省革命博物館.

This problem looks like we discuss Ptolemaic theory. It has already been settled, but was certainly claimed decades ago as I explained. --Nanshu 03:38, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)

The number of deaths[edit]

Thanks for putting another refernece on this matter. It seems to be much more credible than the first one. According to the references you linked in the article, the number of people killed by the Unit 731 lab experiments ranges from 3,000 to 10,000. I think this shows how controversial this matter is. Therefore I put the word controversial. Why you only quoted the larger number?

Remember, the deaths caused by Unit 731 weren't all in the Prison Camps. The site did state that many deaths were also caused by experimental weapons used in cities, villages and post-war incidents.--Secret Agent Man 21:41, 21 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I knew that, but where does the number 10,000 come from? It is only mentioned on [2], but who wrote this? The author does not identified himself/herself. Can it be a credible source? Also the second source [3] references to the unidentified person's page, so it can't be a credible source either. If you could provide an academic source to the total death number, it would be appreciated. --Tkh 16:17, Apr 9, 2005 (UTC)

To whoever wrote the following in the Death Toll section:

An estimated 200000 civilians and POWs most of whom were Chinese died as a result of human experimentation. An additional 500000 Chinese soldiers and civilians died as a result of the biological attacks. However, this number does not include the many who died in seasonal outbreaks following the immediate attack or even the war. The true number of deaths may exceed one million.

Please cite sources to these numbers. More specific numbers are welcome. --Tkh 13:08, Apr 16, 2005 (UTC)

To whoever wrote the following:

According to journalist and researcher Daniel Barenblatt, in Japanese germ warfare experiments during this time "more than 250,000 people were infected, and the vast majority died."

Which page of the said book mentions this? I've been reading the book, but still haven't found this. Also this sentence is too vague and doesn't refer to the original source. --Tkh 16:02, Jun 9, 2005 (UTC)

I removed the above sentence from the Death Toll section since nobody had given the page number for the quote. --Tkh 11:13, July 11, 2005 (UTC)

You cannot average the death toll of Unit 731, in the start and during World War 2 they created underground island labs wich could take a considerable amount of POW's and workers, as soon as the prisoner was dead they would find a way of incinerating it to make it appear to slow down their death toll. Either way it is inpossible to count the death toll as not all prisoners were infected with a virus. DrHooty911 (talk) 07:28, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

Unit 731[edit]

Dear readers. To add an iteresting twist. I come from former Czechoslovakia. During my years there, I have accidentaly came accross a book 'Zvastni utvar 731' or Special Unit 731. This booklet was a translation of a diary of one Japanese soldier describing not only daily life but also the purpose of the unit and atrosities done there as well as the moments of liquidation of the unit at the end of the war. The descriptions were quite plain, no literary ambitions there. But the content was nerve wrecking. This soldier was working in POW section of the unit, no tests on Chinese were described. I attempted to locate the English version here in the States (I assumed that the translation came from English rather then from Japanese). But no trace of it. I will attempt to find it back in Czech. If I do, I will try my best to reverse translate it and post it. Milan

Just wanted to mention that I removed the Category: Genocide from this article. I had never heard of Unit 731 before, and if this is true, then the atrocities committed by the Japanese during the war were even more horrible than I previously thought. Nevertheless, I have never seen any source indicating that it was ever Japan's intention or goal to eliminate all Chinese from the face of the earth - that would have been attempted genocide, but this is not. A crime against humanity, yes, but genocide it is not.

I had heard that some american pow's were experimented on in unit 731 - should this be in the article?

Since American are included as Allied POWs, I think there is no need to edit the current article. --Tkh 05:08, Apr 21, 2005 (UTC)

This Site includes quotes from actual doctors, and has some death toll info --Fenixjr

Death toll[edit]

User:CranialNerve deleted this sentence, requesting confirmation (quotation).

To this day the effects of the biological attacks are still active as strains of the diseases unleashed are still present in parts of Northeast China.

Please respond. mikka (t) 18:25, 1 August 2005 (UTC)

New information?[edit]

Apparently there are new revelations from the US archives, see [4]. --Zero 02:32, 15 August 2005 (UTC)

Right you are... I put it in there already. Bruce2 14:16:03, 2005-08-16 (UTC)

Supplementary information[edit]

I have seen a couple of documentaries about Unit 731. If I recall, they were either aired on the CBC or History Television channels in Canada. I'll try to track them down. Cybergoth 17:17, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

Unit 731 Produced by BBC, 2002.
Reporter: Anita McNaught; Producer: Giselle Portenier
Unit 731 was the world's largest and most comprehensive biological warfare programme. :Inside :Unit 731 the Japanese conducted research and human experimentation on a scale unlike any in the history of humankind.
More than 10,000 Chinese, Korean and Russian POWs were slaughtered in these experimental facilities. They were used as human laboratory rats, to research, breed and refine biological weapons. They were treated as sub-human, and live vivisections were common. The products of the research were tested on Chinese civilians. It is estimated that biological weapons killed more than 300,000 between 1938-1945.
As the war came to an end, the Japanese surrendered and the US moved in to run the country's affairs, the officers and scientists responsible were never brought to trial. The US cut the Japanese officers a deal: Immunity from prosecution for war crimes in return for experimental data.
This documentary shows a group of 180 Chinese villagers including Wu Shi-Gen gave evidence against the Japanese government. Their demands are simple. They want the government first to admit to the extent of the biological warfare waged against the Chinese, and then to apologize and make a compensatory payment. Cybergoth 17:17, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

Here is an article from the CBC by Sylvia Yu Cybergoth 17:17, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

Oral History[edit]

I know a man whose father briefly worked as an assitant in the 731 complex. Since this is secondary oral history, you must consider it hearsay evidence. The complex was supplied with illegal combatants slated for the firing squad. They were used for experiments under the agreement that they will be set free in the event that they survived. If they disagreed to the terms, they were sent to execution as planned. Some illegal combatants (who were not protected by the Geneva convention or the Hague treaty at the time) were actually freed after they survived. The experiment that this man assissted was vivisection. They surgically removed large sections of the intestines to see how short an intestine a man could survive on. Such data were deemed important in era when battlefield surgery was considerablly more crude than they are today.

One element of the debate that is not mentioned here is that most of the diseases tested by the Unit already existed in the Manchurian region where modern medicine was virtually unavailable until the Japanese moved in. Infected villages were not even effectively quarantined until Japanese rule took hold. That coupled with poor documentation and missing records make it very difficult to accurately estimate the death toll that could be attributed to the experiments.

Oscar 24 Oct 2005

I realize that you are not an apologist. Here are a couple of my thoughts regarding your source/info. That some of the prisoners were illegal combatants does not justify their treatment and use in inhumane experiments. Even if they agreed to them, it was obviously under duress. The purpose and usefulness of the data does not justify the experiments (the end does not justify the means). There is considerable debate about the ethics of using such data and I refer the reader to the use of data abtained by Nazi scientists experimenting on Holocaust victims, such as testing the human limits of hypothermia.

That some of the diseases tested were in the environment (anthrax is ubiquitous) also does not justify their use in human experimentation, particularly to develop a bioweapon with the the goal of genocide. The bioweapons were probably not developed for use against military targets, but to wipe out the native Chinese population. As for medical treatment in Manchuraia, I am not sure that the Japanese quarentined villages where natural outbreaks of disease occurred, and I really doubt that they provided any medical assistance.
Cybergoth 22:20, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Wait, you're saying the Japanese attempted to wipe out the Chinese population? You're going to have some serious sources to back up that claim. I understand the Japanes Imperial Army's war strategy was insane during that era, but at the time of Unit 731's operation, Japan was reeling on the ropes. Not saying it wasn't possible, but given the era and situation, I think the focus was definitely elsewhere that genocide. Gibson Cowboy 05:33, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

Actually the Japanese and Chinese had a long vendetta before the war and think of what the Nazis did in Europe the closer they came to losing the war as the allies approached they began to kill as many people as possible and there arent many more efficient ways to do that than the use of bioweapons which would serve a dual purpose of slowing down any invasion into territory that had been contaminated. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:45, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

Reeling on the ropes? The unit was first created in 1931 when defeat was almost 15 YEARS away. Eliminating the Chinese through biological warfare seems a perfectly reasonable goal to me.

Nick Fury and Ishii[edit]

Nick Fury tracked down Ishii just after the end of WWII in Nick Fury volume 3#38. A later story showed that Ishii created a new version of his virus and was killed, perhaps by the malcontent Crossfire. (The writer of the later story, Scott Lobdell, may not have known that Ishii was real.)

I love comics as much as anyone, but I don't think it's really relevant to the article on the real Unit 731. Besides, in the modern Marvel continuity, would Nick Fury have even been alive in WWII? :) (If you want to add this information somewhere outside of a comics article, it could be in a trivia section for Ishii himself.) RobertM525 02:11, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

Actually it was revealed (although it may have been retconned) in an early Hick Fury: Agent of Shield, that Nick took a miracle drug that prevents him from aging thus Sgt. Fury of the Howling Commandos is the same Fury as today. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:10, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

About Barone Ottavio[edit]

It's written that a member of this group is Barone Ottavio. Barone Ottavio is an Italian name. I give a look around on internet but I didn't find anything about him (except copies of this article). I think that this is a fake name. I think that in a so secret unit was impossible for a foreigner to take part. Correct me if I made a mistake or please correct the article (removing that name) Thank you,

Riccardo Mattiuzzo

IMTF handling of Unit 731[edit]

I find the motivation of the various countries at the IMTF for keeping silent on the 731 issue facinating. It seems that for each of them, self interest prevailed over justice, or perhaps that's just called being realistic. I've read that there's some dispute over William Webb's response to David Sutton's reference. Anyone know more about this? - Ziomek

Other references[edit]

A Plague upon Humanity, by Daniel Barenblatt, but I do not have the ISBN #. Chris 23:58, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Murray Sanders[edit]

Does anyone known anything about a Colonel Murray Sanders, who apparantly was the first U.S. interviewer of Lt. Colonel Naito? There was also a Colonel Murray Sanders who had some connection to Anthrax experiments at Camp Detrick during WWII, and a Dr. Murray Sanders who was engaged in polio research at Columbia before the war and at the University of Miami after the war. I was wondering it its all the same person. -- Donald Albury(Talk) 23:22, 4 April 2006 (UTC) Certainly ! cf Patrick Berche "L'histoire secrète des guerres biologiques- Mensonges et crimes d'Etat" Robert Laffont 2009 , p 112 and p 315 .--Trente7cinq (talk) 11:58, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

I wrote ja:マレー·サンダース--四葉亭四迷 (talk) 05:10, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

Name format[edit]

As an earlier poster pointed out, his name is Shiro Ishii, not Ishii Shiro. Post-Meiji-Restoration names get listed as "first-name last-name" on Wikipedia, as you can see here: [5]

I have taken the liberty of changing all the names to meet the accepted standard. Bueller 007 04:17, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

Recent News Story[edit]

I found this by accident; perhaps someone will want to incorporate some information from it into the article' Hi There 05:15, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

Check this article in the Japan Time as well:

You will need to sign up if you have not. This man recently confessed to actions occurring in the Phillippines, not China.(Gokarosama 14:38, 12 December 2006 (UTC))

Citations needed?[edit]

Is there a reason this article is littered with so many "citation needed" tags? It's really distracting. Especially on the list and main photo caption. Put one at the beginning of the list if you don't believe it, but don't tag every single item on the list. One source could, after all, be easily cited for the whole thing. (I'm working on that, BTW.) RobertM525 02:06, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

The tags are asking for citations for specific statements in the article. Placing the tags has nothing to do whether the placer believes the statements. Please note that Wikipedia policy requires that all content in articles be verifiable from published reliable sources. Please also note that statements in an article for which verifiable sources are not cited may be removed by any editor. If you don't like seeing all those tags, help by tracking down reliable sources and citing them in the article. -- Donald Albury 20:24, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

Yes, I'm aware of the principle behind it. But the way this article has been so heavily tagged with demands for citations, you'd think this whole topic was a conspiracy theory. In practice, I find demands for citation are called for on Wikipedia only when an editor doesn't believe the claim being made. And it seems clear to me that whoever tagged this article wasn't doing it because they thought the article needed to specify which of its sources was used on a given statement, but rather because they wanted to make the article seem less credible. Since references are provided at the bottom of the article (unlike all too many on Wikipedia), a global "references needed" tag would've sufficed if it was basically a copy-editing concern. I could be wrong, but the vibe the article's giving off at the moment suggests that someone wanted to make this article look like a bunch of BS. RobertM525 22:49, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

May I remind you of Wikipedia:Assume good faith. Please do not attribute nefarious motives to other editors. -- Donald Albury 03:32, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
I agree. I've read the Factories of Death book and I find most of the claims can be referenced to that single book, and from that book you can derive primary or secondary sources from the reference section. I too have a feeling that the numerous tags were done simply to discredit the article. BlueShirts 21:41, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
I will also remind you of Wikipedia:Assume good faith. You have no way of knowing what the motive was for placing the requests. As I believe I have placed some of the tags myself, I can tell veru defintely that I am not trying to discredit this article. I am trying to make all of Wikipedia more creditable by having assertions in it be sourced from reliable sources. It is the lack of cited reliable sources which discredits an article. If you have found sources for the facts in the article, please add the citations, including page numbers from books and longer articles. -- Donald Albury 02:24, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

I don't think it's conducive to remove entire sections. There is a unsourced tag in place already. Information in the removed section is rather specific and I'd imagine it's not too hard to find sources to back up the statements. Removing the entire section means that editors will have trouble to even begin relevant material because "template" from which they can find citations is eliminated. BlueShirts 21:52, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

What are you talking about? I moved the entire section back here so that it would be easy to refer to. The 'unsourced' template had been in place for 2½ months. That was plenty of time for interested editors to supply citations. If you want the section back in the article, find reliable sources to cite. Article 3 of the verifiability policy says, The obligation to provide a reliable source lies with the editors wishing to include the material, not on those seeking to remove it. I invite you to read the Burden of evidence section of the policy. -- Donald Albury 02:13, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

removed section[edit]

Politicization of history

Unit 731 activities are denied by nationalist Japanese historians, who say they are fabrications by Chinese propaganda. Left-wing organizations have published histories of Unit 731 that detail the cover-up by the U.S. government (in exchange for the data). As with many WWII topics (and the subsequent political debate) references to Unit 731 are omitted from many Japanese history textbooks. Some see this as evidence that in modern Japan, revisionist history is part of the mainstream, which contributes to the perception that Japan has yet to accept full responsibility for the crimes of its past.

In late 1982, the Government of the People's Republic of China opened the Unit 731 War Crime Exhibition Museum in Harbin.

In 1997, 180 Chinese people, either victims or the families of victims of Unit 731, sued the Japanese government for disclosure, apology and compensation.

In 2000, the United States Congress passed the Japanese Imperial Government Disclosure Act to declassify most classified U.S. Government records about war criminals and crimes committed by the Japanese during World War II. As of 2003, this will be done through the Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Interagency Working Group (IWG).

In August 2002, the Tokyo District Court acknowledged the existence of Unit 731 and its biological warfare activities but ruled that all compensation issues were settled by the Joint Communique of the Government of Japan and the Government of the People's Republic of China of September 29, 1972. However that document only mentions the renunciation of reparations claims by the Chinese Government not private individuals.

In 2005, Professor Keiichi Tsuneishi of Kanagawa University found declassified documents in the U.S. National Archives showing that the U.S. Government had purchased information regarding Unit 731's experiments.

The officers in charge of Unit 731 were persuaded to provide their results for money, gifts, entertainment and a waiver of war crimes charges. The motivation for the purchase was the enhancement of the U.S.'s biological warfare program, part of the arms race with the Soviet Union.

Some possible sources for this section include:
-- Donald Albury 11:32, 9 November 2006 (UTC)


I have merged this page with 'Kempeitai Political Department and Epidemic Prevention Research Laboratory' in accordance with wikipedia merge policy. I have not attempted to reconcile differences or introduce references. I see that as the job of the editors of this page. DrKiernan 14:50, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Trouble shooters?[edit]

In the "Special Mobile Teams" section, the phrase "trouble shooters" is used. I think this should be one word "troubleshooters" -- when I first read this, it immediately reminded me of the troubleshooters in "Paranoia (role-playing game)", i.e. find trouble and shoot it. Is this what is meant, or does it mean troubleshooting in the traditional sense? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 16:39, 1 March 2007 (UTC).

Contradiction on cover-up[edit]

The first part of the article says that the official cover-up story was "water purification unit", but when discussing maruta (logs) further down, that it was a "lumber mill". It is probably not both. The article on Shiro Ishii states that they called them logs because they were considered inanimate and expendable. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 21:56, 8 March 2007 (UTC).

The information is coming from here AFAICT: Epidemic_Prevention_and_Water_Purification_Department Im not sure why both could not have been used in separate contexts (e.g. one story for transportation records, another for locals). Jay Dubya (talk) 03:29, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

Cleaner ref links?[edit]

It seems there are too many duplicate ref links pointing to the same article "Doctors of Depravity." And for a historical topic like this how reliable is a recent newspaper article (which includes no references to other sources, as far as I have read) as a source?

I hope someone can help me??? I am trying to find articles about my Uncle Howard and Hayne Doan both of them were in the army.Prvt Howard Doan was shipped to France in 1944 and shortly after landing there was killed. Prvt. Hayne Doan went in the army in Feb 1943 and went missing in Okinawa on April 21. I would like to know if anyone might have known them or can tell me the best place to find out more information Thanks Brandy


I hope someone can help me??? I am trying to find articles about my Uncle Howard and Hayne Doan both of them were in the army.Prvt Howard Doan was shipped to France in 1944 and shortly after landing there was killed. Prvt. Hayne Doan went in the army in Feb 1943 and went missing in Okinawa on April 21. I would like to know if anyone might have known them or can tell me the best place to find out more information Thanks Brandy

If you have their complete regiment information, their number their army contry, where they where first based , the precise date they joined, their rank , some photos ( not needed butt they help ) and some info on what they did in the army ( Radio operator, Sailor, Infantry Commando... ) you might be able to find an army site telling you the details. Oh and for Hayne Doan, he is probably dead. ( 75 % chance dead, 10 % chance POW, 2,5 % chance is or was being experimented on and 2,5 % chance of trying to get home ) —Preceding unsigned comment added by DrHooty911 (talkcontribs) 07:38, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

Please ignore the comments from the insensitive troll above (the chance Hayne, a US Soldier, was "experimented on" is 0%). While this isn't the best place for answers, here is his info from the 1940 census: If the Army never provided your family with a death notice, I would reach out to the Records Management and Declassification Agency Provided they weren't part of intelligence the likelihood of them helping you is pretty good, but they take a long time to do anything. If they refuse to respond, file a Freedom of Information Act request through the same agency. If it gets to that point, spend $100 or so to talk to a lawyer thats done it before. Jay Dubya (talk) 03:41, 29 March 2014 (UTC)


It seems like there is a lot of redundant information in the description of the various experiments that Unit 731 undertook. For example, it seems like the experiments involving diseased fleas is mentioned several times, and the experiments involving the freezing and subsequent thawing of appendages is listed at least twice almost verbatim. I feel like it would really tighten up the article to have these redundancies straighted out. Warhorus 18:08, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Search Problem[edit]

I don't know how to fix this, but a search for "Unit 731" doesn't make this page even show up in the first page of listings. I only found it through links from other pages.

It works now. Prottos007 (talk) 22:09, 7 December 2007 (UTC)


If there were any survivors...what happened to them? Avnas Ishtaroth drop me a line 09:40, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

The only known survivors are those who escaped from the Zhongma Fortress in 1934 (or 1936 according to Gold) during the tsukimi. They joined the communist resistance.--Flying tiger (talk) 14:41, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

What happened to them? Have they been entervieved? There testemonies would be unique and vital.-- (talk) 23:07, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

References in Blade of the Immortal[edit]

It should have a citation in "Cultural depictions and representations" about Blade of the Immortal. In this comic, the last story arc so far is about a doctor trying to make people immortal using the body of an immortal man. He does his work in a dungeon, hidden in the castle. He uses prisioners as test subjects (and later other people). He opens the immortal man to see how his body works. He amputes limbs and reattaches them. It's pretty much what they did in Unit 731.


I know that Shiro Ishii had some interesting quotes about why they kept bioweapons but cant remember them in particular there was one that said something like if a weapon is devastating enough to be banned then it is worth having in your arsenal. PW —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:34, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

Source 11, Daily Mail article[edit]

Referring to the "Doctors of Depravity" article by Christopher Hudson. This article is heavily used to source the "activities" section, which isn't particularly beneficial to making a factual account of what happened. It is written in a style that starts off with using first-hand quotes and then focuses on lurid details of experimentation without referring to any texts. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:07, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

No Survivors? What about the rebels of 1934?[edit]

It is said that no victims (not meaning the victims of plague-bombings) of Unit 731 survived. But several sources on the net cites information about a rebellion within the unit 731 building at Beiyinhe, the predecessor of Ping fan, in c. 1934. This rebellion is cited in Factories of death: Japanese biological warfare, 1932-45 (Sheldon H. Harris) [[6]]. The rebellion, led by a man known as Li, was successfull, and several prisoners of the Unit 731 eskaped and joined the partisans. According to this, these victims, at least, survived. Have they never been identified, never given their testemony? At least, this means that they were actually survivors, unless I have misunderstood the story? I hav eonly read about it here, so perhaps some facts are missing - were they perhaps captured later?-- (talk) 17:12, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

Yes, the judgement that they were no survivors should be altered because of the above mentioned. -- (talk) 14:41, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

Image:Unit 731.jpg[edit]

Image:Unit 731.jpg "Body disposal at Unit 731." is from the 1910 Manchurian plague, and has nothing to do with Unit 731. The following link has numerous photos from the 1910 epidemic:[7]Thomas H. Hahn Docu-Images»Historical photographs of China 中国摄影史图片库»The Manchurian Plague 1910-11 (2) --MChew (talk) 00:51, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

Overlap in culture sections[edit]

"Cultural depictions and representations" and "In popular culture" sections have overlap, and I can't really see why we need both here. Also possibly too much information for instance in the case of heavy metal guitarists' other songs and so on, can we simply cite and link instead? RomaC (talk) 04:03, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

Jinan incident photo in this article.[edit]

There is that photo of the dead Japanese soldier postmortem, and not a vivisection. It is from the Jinan incident from May 1928.

It has been uploaded under another name already, "Autopsy of a Japanese victim killed in the Jinan Incident.jpg".

Autopsy of a Japanese victim killed in the Jinan Incident.jpg

This has nothing to do with Unit 731, so why is it on here? talk

The image used in this article has been nominated for delation. Please join the discussion here. Oda Mari (talk) 18:53, 16 March 2010 (UTC)


Numerous editors have added the Slayer song, it keeps getting reverted (I revert it as well), maybe we should discuss this, I'm open-minded, rock music is culture after all. RomaC (talk) 14:58, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

I don't object to its inclusion in the Popular Culture section, though I do see how adding every popular culture reference would clutter the article with trivia. My stance is that nothing more should be added there, unless someone can make a really good case for its tangible impact on pop culture. And until I or anyone else can think of a better way to organize that section, I'd leave the warning tag as well. Enderandpeter (talk) 23:21, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
Then why have a pop culture section at all? If you don't want people to add relevant popular culture references, the whole section should simply be deleted. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:14, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

On the US conducting experiments on its own citizens[edit]

Contrary to the beliefs expressed by the user at IP, the US has notoriously conducted unethical experiments on its own citizens. There is a famous case in Tuskegee, Alabama where several African-American men with syphilis were given placebos and medicine their clinicians knew were ineffective, under the guise of helpful medical treatment, so that researchers could study the way the disease consumes people. There are numerous other incidents discussed in the Wikipedia article on Human Experimentation in the US. These are the incidents that the user who added "They had conducted small-scale human experimentation on their citizens but not on such a large scale, and not with prisoners of war" in the Disbanding and the end of World War II section was referring to. Given that the article linked to in that sentence indeed referrs to such events, it was inappropriate for to remove that sentence. If there are any questions or comments about what I've reverted, please voice them here or on my talk page. If you have objections to the sources used in the Human Experimentation in the US article, please explicitly detail them. Enderandpeter (talk) 20:23, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

The Tuskegee men were already infected. They were not experimented on in the ways that are shown here. You are trying to draw a thin moral comparison in an attempt to say "See! See! The US is just as bad as these guys." But the US isn't. And after reading what these guys did, I don't think anyone is. (talk) 01:39, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

Did Unit 731 cause any advancements?[edit]

While this type of human research is horrible, terrible, and immoral, much of what we know about the process of human freezing, as well as most of what we know about salt-water consumption, comes from the activities of the Nazi human research conducted during WW2. There is, of course, much debate about the morality of even using this information, but, as horrible as it was, this type of torture can advance medicine. This article does not mention any advancements that was derived from the atrocities of Unit 731. --Acewolf359 (talk) 17:37, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

It should be remembered that many of the researchers who were part of Unit 731 proceeded to have long and eminent careers after WWII both in the universities, the private sector and even back in new biowarfare units. They took their data and their experience with them when they return to work either in the Japan, or the United States. These people trained an entire generation of postwar researchers. So yes, the work of Unit 731 certainly did cause a great many advancements in medical science. We just do not want to remember where the data came from or how the development team or your supervisor is so very skilled.

But if you want specifics, data and researchers from Unit 731 when on to aid the development for frostbite treatment, the development of typhus and whoophing cough vaccines, a detail understanding of gonorrhea and many other STDs, malaria, plague and smallpox, how communicable diseases spreads in a city and how to control said diseases, and finally the weaponisation and delivery of biologicals to the enemy .

I would go so far as to say that Unit 731's work is a foundation stone of our understanding of communicable disease. Much of their data is unique and could never have been replicated by studying patients in a civilized manner.

The best model to study a human disease is another human. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:05, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

That's delightful. And if you want to add it and source it, it is a welcomed addition. But until then, this isn't a forum. I encourage you to add and source these statements and add them as a new section. It would add an additional comprehensive angle to the article.Luminum (talk) 04:32, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

I thought there were more Russian victims from these atrocious acts by these Japanese doctors.[edit]

Just curious, I remember reading that many Russians (Red Russians) were taken away and many civilians were murdered by these Japanese doctors. Does anybody have actual numbers? Very curious. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:38, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

The amount death section should be seperate the number of people killed in the field experiments from the experiments in the Unit-731 buildings.[edit]

I've been doing a bit of research and I may be wrong, but 've found that the number of people experimented on in the buildings and was nothing compaired to the experiments the intentionally used on villages.

I've heard the they the experiments done in the buildings was 10,000 people year while the amount of total people killed by field experiments was 400,000.

Her is some of the links i've found. Feel free to comment: — Preceding unsigned comment added by Graylandertagger (talkcontribs) 00:27, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

I don't see any body opposed to the suggested change so(changes the number of people killed to match the posted sources). There! Anyone who thinks otherwise of the change please comment. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Graylandertagger (talkcontribs) 23:23, 28 May 2011 (UTC)

Daily Mail?[edit]

Are we seriously citing the Daily Mail for all these facts? This newspaper is appallingly unreliable. Can we please find a better reference. Oli Filth(talk|contribs) 20:30, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

We hear about Jews dying in concentration camps in the American media. How about Unit 731?[edit]

The Jewish media executives only are interested in what happened to their own kind in concentration camps. Naturally, Jewish concentration camps are the only thing bounced around in the American media. It's a shame that this Unit 731 is never brought up to the American public. There's not enough Chinese media executives who have a chip their shoulder, as there are Jewish ones. Nazi Germans were evil, as equally were the Imperial Japanese. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kwakkles (talkcontribs) 05:16, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

While I agree that here in the United States we do not teach about atrocities committed by Japan, not just as much as Nazis but not EVEN AT ALL really, I do not like your obvious anti-semitism at all. You're just another Jew hater. Of course, you try to cover it up by so conveniently saying how evil Nazism was; then again, who ever said a Jew hater had to be a Nazi anyway? Go away please. Jersey John (talk) 09:53, 31 May 2013 (UTC)

Elaboration of rape in Unit 731?[edit]

Apart from the articles mentioning of research regarding diseases ("Vivisections were performed on prisoners after infecting them with various diseases",) I'm personally appalled that rape within Unit 731 isn't more vividly explained anywhere in this article. As some are already aware, male prisoners were sometimes deliberately infected with diseases, then forced to rape women for the purpose of researching sexually transmitted diseases. I feel this information needs to be elaborated upon in this article.LLLookAtYouHacker (talk) 03:17, 19 January 2013 (UTC)

All we need is a reliable source to cite for this allegation. If you have one, go ahead and add the information. --Yaush (talk) 19:24, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

Maruta is not a german word[edit]

as the title states, this word doen't exists in the german language.

Medical experiment is called "medizinisches Experiment" and the translation into german from maruta seems to be "holzkopf" which means head out of wood. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:48, 1 November 2014 (UTC)

You failed to give any explanation for the removal in your edit summary, so I reverted the edit before I saw this discussion. That said, your argument here for removing the material seems to infringe on WP:NOR. The correct approach to removing material you find implausible is to find a reliable published source that refutes it. --Yaush (talk) 15:15, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

"Notorious war crimes carried out by Japanese personnel."[edit]

This line in the first paragraph of the article should be rephrased. It seems to be violating WP:NPOV (specifically WP:EDITORIAL) by using "notorious" to describe Unit 731. Implying something was bad/an atrocity is biased. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Replaceinkcartridges (talkcontribs) 01:41, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

I've changed the term "notorious" to "significant", which confers the same denotative noteworthiness of the war crimes, while removing the negative connotation.Luminum (talk) 09:31, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
We follow the reliable sources, which are unanimous in calling the behavior "notorious." But whether not they were significant is more doubtful-- they did not have a significant impact on the course of the war, wrong postwar activities, except to the extent they were notorious and degraded Japan's moral reputation.Rjensen (talk) 11:35, 27 February 2015 (UTC)