Probe of Japan's Germ Warfare Sought

By Keyser, Jason | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), July 5, 1998 | Go to article overview

Probe of Japan's Germ Warfare Sought


Keyser, Jason, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


Two repentant Japanese war criminals want to come to the United States to testify before Congress about their role in World War II atrocities, but the U.S. government has barred them because of their criminal past.

Activists seeking their admission hope to learn whether U.S. soldiers were used in Japanese biological and germ warfare experiments.

A former investigator for Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV, West Virginia Democrat, when he was chairman of the Veterans Committee, also wants the U.S. government to release documents that could shed light on possible abuses committed on U.S. soldiers.

Former congressional investigator Diana Zuckerman, now director of the Institute for Women's Policy Research, a feminist think tank, said the Pentagon is reluctant to acknowledge that any American soldiers were subject to experimentation.

"It is already very clear that these atrocities happened," she told a news conference Wednesday.

"The controversy now is to what extent Americans were subject to these experiments."

Requests by activists for congressional hearings have been denied for nearly a decade, she said.

A Japanese group of former soldiers, doctors, lawyers and scientists is visiting the United States seeking support for the victims of Japan's biological warfare Unit 731, which it said conducted experiments on Chinese, Russian and American prisoners.

The tests included injections of plague bacteria.

Members of the group appeared at the news conference with Mrs. Zuckerman.

The Japanese lawyers have filed suits in Tokyo on behalf of 108 Chinese and Korean victims of Japanese war crimes. But in the past three years, all but one case was thrown out, they said.

The two repentant war criminals were identified as Yoshio Shinozuka, a former Unit 731 soldier, and Shiro Azuma, a former soldier.

They were to have accompanied the group but could not because they are on a Justice Department list of war criminals barred from entering the country, said Ao Wang, Washington representative of the Global Alliance for Preserving the True History of World War II in Asia. …

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