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Japanese World War II documentary wins public acclaim in China

(People's Daily Online)    17:01, January 22, 2018

A Japanese documentary on the country’s lethal human experimentation in China during WWII has won unanimous acclaim from the Chinese public, with many appreciating the documentary’s “truthful conception of history.”

The 110-minute documentary, which was created by NHK, Japan’s only public broadcaster, was aired on Sunday in Japan. Unearthing the military crimes conducted by Unit 731, a covert biological and chemical warfare research and development unit of the Imperial Japanese Army, the documentary has collected solid evidence and recorded confessions from multiple sources, including several Russian archives, as well as interviews with the relatives of former Unit 731 researchers.

“[731 Unit] used melons to breed typhi bacteria and forced Chinese people to eat them. All the victims were then infected with the lethal disease,” Koto Yoshio, a former soldier of 731 Unit, was quoted as saying by the documentary.

According to the documentary, even women and children were used for the notorious human experimentations. They were cured and then re-used in different experiments until the last day of their lives. The perpetrators, including Shiro Ishii, director of Unit 731, received war crime immunity by handing over research data to U.S. authorities and were even welcomed by Japanese authorities when they returned to Japan.

The documentary has received positive comments from the Chinese public, with many noting that “the recognition of war crimes is the first step toward solid Sino-Japanese relations.”

“731 Unit’s repulsive war crimes should not only be heard by Chinese people, but also by the Japanese public. Acknowledging the wrongdoings in the past, NHK has made a good example to those Japanese leaders who dare not even issue a proper apology to the victims, ” wrote a netizen on Sina Weibo.

This is not the first time that NHK has kept its independent voice and revealed the truth of Japan’s war crimes. The broadcaster released its first documentary on 731 Unit in August 2017, and has received great praise from both Chinese authorities and the public.

“We appreciate the courage of the insightful Japanese people who want to reveal the historical truth, and we hope the Japanese side will carefully listen to the call for justice at home and abroad, correctly understand and deeply reflect upon the history of aggression by Japanese militarism, and earnestly respect the feelings of the Chinese people and other victimized Asians,” said Hua Chunying, a spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Kou Jie, Bianji)

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