Students visit the Exhibition Hall of Evidences of Crime Committed by Unit 731 of the Japanese Imperial Army in Harbin, northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, Sept. 18, 2021. (Xinhua/Wang Jianwei)
HARBIN, July 6 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese research team, funded by the National Social Science Foundation, said it has completed the translation and compilation of the recordings of the Khabarovsk War Crimes Trials ahead of the 85th anniversary of the "July 7 Incident."
In 1949, 12 members of the Japanese Kwantung Army were tried as war criminals in the Russian Far Eastern city of Khabarovsk for manufacturing and using biological weapons and carrying out inhuman medical experiments during WWII.
The trial recordings, lasting 22 hours, 5 minutes and 57 seconds, contain contents concerning the transformation and organization of Unit 731, a covert biological and chemical warfare research and development unit of the Japanese Imperial Army, as well as the live human experiments, field toxicity tests, preparation and implementation of germ warfare by Unit 731.
From 1946 to November 1948, during the Tokyo Trial, the United States and Japan reached a secret deal, in which the United States obtained data on human experiments, bacteria experiments, germ warfare and gas experiments conducted by Unit 731 on the condition that the unit members were exempted from their war responsibilities. As a result, the Japanese germ war criminals escaped the Tokyo Trial.
According to Jiao Hongshuang, chief expert of the research team, the Soviet Union repeatedly demanded the extradition of Japanese germ war criminals before December 1949, but it proved futile. As a result, it conducted the Khabarovsk War Crimes Trials from Dec. 25-30, 1949.
"The trials revealed for the first time the crimes of human experimentation and germ warfare committed by the Japan army in northeast China during its invasion," Jiao said, adding that the recordings also confirmed the establishment of the germ warfare system centered on Unit 731 was a top-down organized war crime committed by the Japanese state.
On July 7, 1937, Japanese soldiers attacked Chinese forces at the Lugou Bridge, marking the beginning of Japan's full-scale invasion of China. It was known as the "July 7 Incident." ■