Doc. Sparks Controversy

Unit 731 documentary from NHK sparks controversy in Japan

Japanese national broadcaster NHK recently released a documentary about the atrocities in Japan’s Unit 731 during World War II. Huge online protests among Japanese ensued. Unlike other WWII documentaries that often present Japan as a victim, NHK interviewed many old Japanese soldiers to tell the public the truth. Unit 731 was a top-secret biological and chemical warfare research base established in Harbin in 1933. According to data, at least 3,000 people were killed through human experiments. Most members of Unit 731 were arrested by the Soviet Army and later tried at the Khabarovsk War Crime Trials.

According to NHK, the unit destroyed evidence and former members were forbidden from discussing any details. The network uncovered a 20-plus-hour voice recording used in the trial, where former members of unit discussed how they conducted human experiments on Chinese and Soviets to develop biochemical weapons. Famous schools and scientists that were honored after the war were also said to have joined the research. Japanese politician Koike Akira tweeted that he felt very sorry and thinks Japanese researchers should tell the truth.

Category The Scene