Talk:Unit 731

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Most of the photos found online onvarious websites are unsourced or in fact taken from movies or other events. There are a few photographs documenting the experiments on gettyimages, submitted by xinhua. Are those sources reliable? [1] After much research I'm beginning to suspect there are no verifiable images of actual unit 731 atrocities (online). Any help would be appreciated.

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)

No witnesses except after/ during trials. Photos of no providence. Etc You sure this isn't a hoax? 2601:181:8301:4510:28BF:5355:AC92:C408 (talk) 23:17, 3 May 2018 (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 [2] 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 [3], but who wrote this? The author does not identified himself/herself. Can it be a credible source? Also the second source [4] 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 [5]. --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: [6]

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) [[7]]. 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:[8]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)

"They were not experimented on in the ways that are shown here" - the USA is certainly just as bad. We never punished anyone for the crimes they committed - an admission it was okay with us. 2601:181:8301:4510:28BF:5355:AC92:C408 (talk) 22:59, 3 May 2018 (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)

 : There is simply no german word for maruta, I searched the duden and every other source for the german language. The german version of this article just states: "eines Projekts namens Maruta (丸太; deutsch: „Holzklotz; runder, nur entrindeter Baumstamm“) vorgenommen." A project called Maruta ( german: Holzklotz ... ). The source in this article seems to be falsely interpteted. (talk) 12:50, 1 September 2015 (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)

Inadequate Treatment of Soviet and Chinese Reactions[edit]

This article focuses primarily on US and Japanese involvement. Most of Unit 731's activities took place in China in the area occupied first by the Soviet Union and then by the Communist Chinese. It would appear that most of the Japanese involved in Unit 731 activities were taken prisoner by the Soviets who captured the Kwantung army. It would seem that Red China and the Soviet Union bear the responsibility for prosecuting, or not, those who committed these crimes since they had access to the site and the majority of the witnesses, victims and perpetrators.

Moreover, the US prosecuted 5,700 people for Japanese war crimes, including 29 class A war criminals. 920 were executed, including Hideki Tojo who was commander of the Kwantung army and Unit 731 before becoming Army Minister in 1940. Undoubtedly the US tried and convicted other Japanese with connections to Unit 731. This article should be unbiased in that regard and not split hairs about what the Japanese war criminals were charged with. In all it appears that more than twice as many Japanese were tried for war crimes as Germans were. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:52, 23 October 2015 (UTC)

There was no "Red China" in 1945, hippy. And McArthur most certainly DID know what Unit 731 had been doing. In that area, McArthur was God, so he handed the guilty freedom and a pension instead of a noose. Nice man, Mr McArthur. (talk) 11:37, 16 April 2017 (UTC)

Image:Unit 731 victim.jpg[edit]

Unit 731 victim.jpg

This photograph is said in the article to show an unidentified victim of Unit 731 human experimentation, but is there any reliable source supporting the fact that it is indeed an image of a 731 Unit's human experimentation? The description page in the Commons says the photograph came from a website, but I am not able to find any explanation there as to who took the picture where and when. Besides, I am not really sure that the website qualifies as a reliable source in the first place. Is it appropriate that we have this picture in the article? --Dwy (talk) 14:25, 19 December 2015 (UTC)

I would say not. --Yaush (talk) 20:33, 21 December 2015 (UTC)

@STSC:: You have reinstated the image I removed and put it at the "Vivisection" section with a slightly modified caption. You seem to believe that the photograph shows Unit 731 engaging in some operation related to vivisection. Could you please tell us what exactly, in your opinion, this photograph depicts? And what reliable source support the attribution?--Dwy (talk) 11:42, 12 January 2016 (UTC)

The image is from an article on human vivisections in Crime Magazine, so I put it in the 'Vivisection section'. STSC (talk) 16:43, 12 January 2016 (UTC)
The Crime Magazine article you are referring to seems to concerns the human vivisection of American POW at Kyushu imperial University. Do you mean that the photograph is showing some activity related to the human vivisection of the American crewmen from a shot-downB-29?--Dwy (talk) 22:34, 12 January 2016 (UTC)
"Japanese POW vivisections on U.S. airmen during WWII were part of a larger atrocity conducted by the rogue empire against thousands of men, women and children interred at prisoner of war camps... It is now believed that more than 10,000 prisoners died from these inhumane experimentations at the notorious Unit 731 facility alone, the majority of whom were Chinese and Russian." The victim in the image could be a child from the war camp. STSC (talk) 00:57, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
The key phrase in your reply is "could be". Unless it can be verified using a reliable source that the image was taken at Unit 731, it should not appear in this article at all, much less captioned as "An unidentified victim of Unit 731". General Ization Talk 02:28, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
I said the victim "could be a child from the war camp" because it's "unidentified" but it's a victim of Unit 731; the image is from the reliable source Crime Magazine. STSC (talk) 06:56, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
May I ask you what made you believe that what is in the picture is a child vivisected by Unit 731? I do not see anything to that effect in the Crime Magazine article.
It's not what I believe; because the image is part of the textual content. STSC (talk) 13:48, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
But the "textual content" does not give any explanation on what is shown in the photograph, and the biggest problem here is that what is in the picture does not look like a victim of human vivisection at all.--Dwy (talk) 20:30, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
Also, could you please tell us why you think the Crime Magazine article is a reliable source? It doesn't seem to me any better than the China Underground website initially referred to.--Dwy (talk) 13:11, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
I have provided the source, what it seems to you is irrelevant, please tell us the reasons why you think it's not reliable? STSC (talk) 13:48, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
There're plenty of reliable sources on Google with this image. If you're really disputing the image that illustrates a victim of Unit 731, I suggest you take the issue to the Wikimedia Commons that holds the image. STSC (talk) 13:48, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
I do not know if the Crime Magazine has a reputation for fact-checking, but I definitely do not think that they did proper fact-checking in the particular article in question. We know from the record of the Allied war crime tribunal and other sources that eight US airmen, not nine, were transferred to Kyushu Imperial University (Aircraft Commander Captain Marvin Watkins was sent to Tokyo for interogation), and Unit 731 was not found involved in the vivisections conducted there.
Of the "plenty of reliable sources on Google with this image", you picked the Crime Magazine, presumably because it was the best of all sources you checked. I doubt that I have to look further into other sources.--Dwy (talk) 20:30, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
There appears to be no reliable source verifying what is in the image so I removed the photograph.--Dwy (talk) 21:35, 20 January 2016 (UTC)
Take your issue about the image to the Wikimedia Commons. STSC (talk) 07:31, 21 January 2016 (UTC)
Whether the caption to the photograph has reliable sources to support it is definitely an issue here, but not at Commons. And do you really think the Crime Magazine article, with such fundamental errors in its contents, is a reliable source?--Dwy (talk) 08:22, 21 January 2016 (UTC)
I've hesitated to jump in here, but: No, I don't think Crime Magazine is a reliable source, particularly when there is nothing at all at the site to identify the authors, editorial board, and so on. It would be nice to verify the photograph; until we do, I don't think it should be in the article. --Yaush (talk) 16:11, 21 January 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────For those who are not familiar with the subject of the Crime Magazine article, here are some newspaper articles available online[9] [10] [11], and if you read this paper[12] by a researcher of Osaka University of Economics and Law, you will note that the war criminal trial found nine military men from the Seibu District Army and fourteen staff members of Kyushu Imperial University responsible for the vivisection , but none from Unit 731. (Unit 731 belonged to the Kwantung Army, different branch of army from the Seibu District Army.--Dwy (talk) 17:45, 21 January 2016 (UTC)

Whatever sites that include this image is not the actual issue here. I would point out again, any issue about the image should be directed to the Wikimedia Commons. STSC (talk) 03:42, 22 January 2016 (UTC)
Wikimedia Commons does not deal with the question of whether a given photograph should be included in a specific article in Wikipedia; that question is dealt with here, by consensus. Consensus is not unanimity, and a consensus has been established (counting Dwy, Yaush and myself as opposed to the image's inclusion). I have removed the photo from the article; please do not add it again unless you can establish beyond any doubt that it depicts a victim of Unit 731. General Ization Talk 04:40, 22 January 2016 (UTC)
The file name 'Unit 731 victim' provided by the sources clearly states that the image is a victim of Unit 731, we would accept it in good faith in Wikipedia. If you have doubt about the image itself, then you must provide your evidence that it is fake to Wikimedia Commons and let them deal with it there. STSC (talk) 13:08, 22 January 2016 (UTC)
A file name can be changed by anyone at any point during the history of the file. It is evidence of absolutely nothing, and not a reliable source concerning the content of the image. I could rename the file Jimmy Hoffa burial.jpg, but that would not mean that the image depicts the burial of Jimmy Hoffa. The question is not whether it is fake (though it could be); the question is whether it depicts a victim of Unit 731. As I explained above, Commons has nothing to do with editorial decisions about article content here. General Ization Talk 13:28, 22 January 2016 (UTC)
By the way, Assume good faith pertains to other editors, not to sources. Wikipedia editors are in fact encouraged to exercise a high degree of skepticism regarding sources, and to always consider carefully whether or not they are reliable for a particular kind of content; when there is reasonable doubt, as here, we should not use them. General Ization Talk 13:35, 22 January 2016 (UTC)
When I downloaded the image from the sources, the file name is the original file name as provided by them. In Wikipedia, we build an encyclopaedia from sources in good faith. STSC (talk) 06:39, 23 January 2016 (UTC)
Please point out any policy page on Wikipedia where it says that we "build an encyclopaedia from sources in good faith", if by that you mean that we do not exercise skepticism about our sources, blindly accept their claims as valid, and/or that we err on the side of using a given source where its reliability is in question. You also may want to inform the many dedicated folks who work at the Reliable sources noticeboard of this new policy clarification of yours, as I think they also have misunderstood it (for many years now). Concerning the fact that the file name for the image is the one used at Crime Library, see the second paragraph above your reply. General Ization Talk 18:45, 23 January 2016 (UTC)
Wikipedia editors write articles based on information from outside sources, and we don't investigate how and where the reliable sources get their information; that's what I called 'in good faith'. You don't go on to remove any piece of information just because you personally have doubt on what the reliable source says. You may of course challenge the reliability of a source; the RS Noticeboard is the channel for that. STSC (talk) 03:50, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Expanding a little on General Ization's explanation. The Web site from which the image comes does not tell us where it got the image. This makes it impossible to independently verify the provenance of the image. We are being asked to trust the Web site that the image is what it is claimed to be.
I would have a hard time trusting even a normally reliable source for an image like this if the source failed to give us the reasons why it believes the image to be genuine. But in this case the source is not even a reliable one. The author of the piece uses a pseudonym -- an immediate red flag. The "About" tag tells us the founders of the site are J.J. Maloney and J. Patrick O'Connor. We are further told that J.J. Maloney passed away in 1999; the article is dated 2015, so that leaves either J. Patrick O'Connor or a completely unknown, and therefore untrustworthy, author. But suppose the author is actually J. Patrick O'Connor. We find from the About page J. Patrick O'Connor has written a book promulgating the conspiracy theory that Mumia-Abul Jabal was framed for murder and that he met J.J. Maloney as a reporter for an alternative newspaper. These are not biographical details that build any confidence in his reporting; certainly not to the level of accepting on his word that an controversial and ambiguous image is what it claims to be.
The image itself is, in fact, problematic. It shows two persons in smocks with gauze masks and a small person curled up on a tarp on the ground. The persons in smocks appear to be pouring some fluid through a hose on the small person. That's it. This could be evil doctors committing some atrocity on a child, though it's not clear what the atrocity is. These could also be honest doctors decontaminating a small person who has been exposed to some toxic substance. There is nothing in the image to indicate which it is. So, barring a reliable explanation of the image, it doesn't actually tell us anything useful about Unit 731.
So General Ization has removed the image, and rightly so. If it is put back, I will as promptly remove it, if someone else doesn't first. If you can find a reliable source that gives the image's provenance, then you can put it back and have it stay. You can always start by contacting Crime Magazine directly; they have a "contact" tab at their site. Maybe they can give you some reason to pass along to us why we should believe this image is what it is claimed to be. But, you know? As they say: Good luck with that. --Yaush (talk) 18:05, 22 January 2016 (UTC)
Your argument is fundamentally wrong. Wikipedia is based on sources, and the image is part of the content from the sources; I have already provided the sources as required by Wikipedia policies, and the sources say the image is a victim of Unit 731. If you wish to challenge it then you must provide the evidence as to why it is not the victim of Unit 731 through the Wikimedia Commons' dispute resolution channels because the image is hosted there. Likewise, the reliability of a source on Wikipedia can be challenged through its proper channels. I want to resolve this but just whinging here is getting us nowhere. STSC (talk) 05:17, 23 January 2016 (UTC)
The WP:BURDEN is on you, not us, and the WP:CONSENSUS is against you. But please answer two questions, if you are going to insist on pushing this further: What atrocity does the image depict? And, what did you learn when you contacted Crime Magazine to ask about the provenance of the image? --Yaush (talk) 17:37, 23 January 2016 (UTC)
The demonstrating of verifiability "is satisfied by providing a citation to a reliable source" as per WP:BURDEN. Now, the burden of proof is on you as you're challenging the reliability of the source. As I suggested, go to the proper channels to air your challenge to the Wikipedia community. STSC (talk) 00:01, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Unit 731/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

This article barely makes B class. The structure is there, but a lot of expansion needs to be done. --Danaman5 21:49, 12 January 2007 (UTC) the form is inconsistant throughout, there's tons of uncited stuff and a lot of facts are repeated two or three times in different sections, I really wouldn't rate this a B class article.

Last edited at 16:58, 14 March 2009 (UTC). Substituted at 09:34, 30 April 2016 (UTC)

Amount of detail on activity is exceeding the "least astonishment" principle[edit]

Hi all,

To start, I commend you for your excellently researched and cited article. The issue I am seeing is actually an overabundance of cited and verified quotes and materials.

This page is an extremely hard read, and I feel that some of the information is unnecessarily detailed. For example, the quote that consists of a list of descriptions of individual prisoners that were suffering from horrible torture is unnecessary and only puts a "face" on the atrocities, making it harder to read without proving much informational data.

The details of the activities are extremely thoroughly (some might say exhaustively) detailed, and much of this information would be better placed in the "see also" section or otherwise linked to for those who wish for a more detailed account.

Looking at the page on nazi concentration camps for comparison, there is a simple sentence list of many of the ways in which Jewish prisoners were killed, and when genital mutilation is mentioned, it is not described with as much detail as I see here, and there are no quotes expressing the viewpoints of the guards and their disdain or inside jokes about the expendability of their charges.

The purpose of wikipedia is to provide factual summaries of information, this article is far too emotionally charged to accomplish that goal succinctly. The rule of thumb on objectionable content is that it should be kept in only if removing it would detract from a full understanding of the topic. I feel that objectively there is a large amount of content that does not hold up to that standard.

I've not put the time and effort into this article that you all have, so I will leave the decision of what to do up to you, as well as which content should be cut or kept, but I urge you to act upon this.

Thank you. Ignus.flamebringer (talk) 07:42, 26 May 2017 (UTC)

With a consensus that these experiments were so valuable for science, I find it hard to believe we didn't do the same thing - as a matter of fact I doubt it.. 2601:181:8301:4510:28BF:5355:AC92:C408 (talk) 23:05, 3 May 2018 (UTC)

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Revert of my edit[edit]

Seems someone's trying to delay the inevitable here. The source listed for 'Chinese and Korean collaborators' doesn't mentioning anything in their available pages, and a google search of 'Factories of Death Japanese Biological Warfare Chinese Korean (collaborators)' and 'Unit 731 Chinese Korean collaborators' yields nothing. Even if there happened to be one dubiously reliable source out of the many, it would need in-text attribution and may not even qualify for due weight. Oh, and for the source I listed, you got me, but just a bit of research shows that the victims included a good number of civilians and PoWs. I also googled 'Unit 731 mostly communist(s) criminals' and only found the NYTimes article using that wording, so that's quite likely undue weight as well. Anyway if you have nothing to add, I'll be implementing those changes soon.

As a side-note, I'm also tempted to change the wording from 'notorious' to 'infamous' since it better reflects the majority of the sources and is more appropriate. Donkey Hot-day (talk) 22:36, 9 May 2019 (UTC)