Japan to probe mass graves
Julian Ryall; 16/2/10
More than 60 years after the end of World War II, the mention of Unit 731 still has the power to generate shock, revulsion and denial in Japan. New details of the unit’s atrocities could be revealed after the authorities in Tokyo announced plans to open an investigation into human bones believed to have come from the unit. The bones of up to 100 people were discovered in a mass grave in 1989 during construction work in Tokyo. They bore the marks of saws and some of the skulls had drill holes and portions of the bone cut out. But the issue is so controversial in Japan that the remains have since been stored in a repository. The Imperial Japanese Army’s notorious medical research team carried out secret human experiments regarded as some of the worst war crimes in history. It subjected more than 10,000 people a year to grotesque tortures in the name of science. Russian soldiers and downed American aircrews were among the victims.