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    Introducing the Japanese Chemical Warfare Unit

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    HARBIN, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) — A roll of a Japanese chemical warfare unit was first revealed in China on Monday.

    The document contains the real names and personal information of 414 members of the unit 516, which was established by the Japanese military in May 1939 in Qiqihar city, northeast China‘s Heilongjiang province, according to the unit’s crime evidence showroom 731 of the Imperial Japanese Army in Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang.As a Japanese chemical warfare base camp, Unit 516 developed a range of toxic agents and used them during the war . The document was originally held by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare of Japan, then collected by the National Archives of Japan. A photocopy was obtained by a research team from the Imperial Japanese Army Unit 731 Crime Evidence Showroom in April 2021.”The 237-page file was formed circa 1945, recording in detail the names, dates of birth, household registration, types of services, etc. of the 414 members, as well as the residences, relations and other information of their relatives, setting out the overall size, composition of the staff, the ranks and other basic historical facts of Unit 516,” said Jin Chengmin, curator of the exhibit hall. “Like germ warfare, Japan’s chemical warfare was a premeditated, organized, and systematic, which violated international morality and human conscience,” Jin said, adding that the core members of the unit were senior military officers and the professionals came from medical schools and military hospitals. .The relevant file shows that there was close cooperation between Unit 516 and Unit 731. “The file is an extremely important basic record for the study of chemical and bacteriological warfare carried out by Japan during World War II, as well as hard evidence of crimes committed by the Japanese. the army during its invasion of China,” Jin said.Unit 731 was a top-secret biological and chemical warfare research base established in Harbin as a biological warfare nerve center in China and Southeast Asia during World War II.At least 3,000 people were used for human experiments by Unit 731, and more than 300,000 people in China were killed by Japan’s biological weapons.

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