Unit 8604

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Unit 8604 (Chinese: 広州第8604部隊; pinyin: Guǎngzhōu Dì 8604 Bùduì) was the Epidemic Prevention and Water Purification Department unit of the Japanese Southern China Area Army. It allegedly secretly researched biological warfare and other topics through human experimentation during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945) and World War II era. It was formed in Canton (Guangzhou), a city in southern China, and headquartered at Sun Yat-sen University of Medical Sciences (Hal Gold, Unit 731 Testimony, 2003, p. 50).

The unit was commanded by Major General Sato Shunji, a physician.[1] It was staffed by a total of 800 personnel: 100 commissioned officers (many with medical or scientific backgrounds), 200 medical and scientific researchers, and 500 soldiers and noncommissioned officers.[2]

Base camp of Unit 8604, now the library of Sun Yat-sen University north campus.

In 1994, the "Japan's China Invasion Factual Investigation Record China Entourage"[3] confirmed the existence of the unit and collected testimony from former members and victims. Shigeru Maruyama, a former member of the unit said that one experiment involved starving prisoners to death and talked of seeing victims being operated on almost every day.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Yamada (山田乙三), Otozō, ed. (1950), Materials on the Trial of Former Servicemen of the Japanese Army Charged with Manufacturing and Employing Bacteriological Weapons / Documents relatifs au procès des anciens Militaires de l'Armée Japonaise accusés d'avoir préparé et employé l'Arme Bactériologique / 細菌戦用兵器ノ準備及ビ使用ノ廉デ起訴サレタ元日本軍軍人ノ事件ニ関スル公判書類 / 前日本陸軍軍人因準備和使用細菌武器被控案審判材料, Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, p. 524, OCLC 24964936 
  2. ^ Beam, Thomas E.; Sparacino, Linette R., eds. (2003), Military Medical Ethics, 2, Falls Church, Virginia: United States Army Office of the Surgeon General, p. 481, ISBN 978-1-4289-1066-9, OCLC 52553758 
  3. ^ 森 正孝 (編集), 糟川 良谷 (編集)。「中国侵略と七三一部隊の細菌戦」 ISBN 4750307122
  4. ^ http://www.royalsociety.org.nz/1994/11/06/new-evidence-claimed-of-japan-biological-warfare/[permanent dead link]