China vows to highlight WW II Japanese ‘atrocities’

BEIJING, Feb 1: Amid an escalating diplomatic standoff between China and Japan, Chinese researchers have vowed to come out with facts about Japanese “atrocities” during World War II.

Chinese researchers have said they will dig deep and are busy translating copies of declassified US archives on a World War II Japanese base where many were subjected to slavery.

They are also studying the oral testimony of 168 Chinese, forced into slavery at Unit 731, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Unit 731 was a top-secret biological and chemical warfare research base established in Harbin in 1935 and it was the nerve center of Japan’s biological warfare in China and Southeast Asia during World War II, the report said.

“Chinese researchers will dig deep this year as they endeavour to expose the atrocities of Japan’s notorious Unit 731 during WWII,” the report said.

The centre will leave no stone unturned, said Yang Yanjun, head of the International Research Centre for Unit 731 Issues in Harbin.

Only a comprehensive analysis of archives, both at home and abroad, will lay bare the facts about Unit 731, he said.

More than 10,000 people were killed at Unit 731. Civilians and prisoners of war from China, the former Soviet Union, the Korean Peninsula and Mongolia all perished at the hands of Japan’s scientists, the report said.

“The retreating Japanese invaders blew up the base when the Soviet Union army took Harbin in 1945,” it said.

Evidence of Japanese atrocities at Unit 731 has been given in testimonies of 168 Chinese workers forced into heavy labour there.

The recollections were painfully compiled by the research centre in the closing twenty years of the last century.

China and Japan are engaged in a tense standoff over disputed islands in the East China Sea. China calls the islets as Diaoyu islands while Japan refers them as Senkakus. (AGENCIES)