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any people feel sentimental about Japan in the wake of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. The atomic explosion ended the lives of numerous thousands. Hospitals, schools, police stations, businesses, and government agencies worth a fortune were dusted into bits. We feel sad each time we encounter this story in documentaries. It’s fine to say that Japan was one of the most affected parties in the Second World War, but have you ever questioned the atrocities committed by its empire?

Japanese Imperial soldiers behead native civilians. | Source

Japan, like a few other countries in Europe and Asia, is well known for its power thirst. In 1910, the empire completed the annexation of Korea. Even though this colonization was allegedly said to be legal, not even the two ends of Korea can support that. Japanese war crimes in Korea largely took place within this period of annexation. These abominations weren’t always attached to Japanese only. To get more men on their side, Japan compelled many Koreans to join their quest and carry the identity of the Japanese Imperial Army or they joined willingly due to economic breakdown. Some Chinese, Taiwanese, and Manchus may have also followed suit.

Geneva Convention on Prisoners of War (1929)

The Geneva Convention was signed by all power-thirsty nations in 1929. It was an agreement that focused on maintaining the rights of all war prisoners. A paragraph in the article says that prisoners should give their names and ranks when captured but are never compelled to give out any more information. In another paragraph, prisoners of war must be moved away from the battle zones to camps similar to the victors’ own fighters in all regards. Without a doubt, a prisoner should be treated like a regular inmate whose only right being deprived is the freedom of movement. Notwithstanding, the Japanese Imperial Army, in one documentary, used its prisoners as body shields against the enemy’s firepower. In conclusion, Japan never ratified that agreement.

The Geneva Convention of 1929. Source

Two years before Emperor Hirohito decided to surrender, and allow peace to reign, following the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the international agreement on the treatment of war prisoners was removed in Japan. As a result, officers of the Imperial Japanese Navy were ordered to end the lives of all enemy fighters captured at sea. Following the order, more than 20, 000 British and Australian seamen were murdered in cold blood.

Wherever this well-taught, blood-ridden seamen find solid ground they brutalize native civilians. They killed males in the most sadistic ways ever known. Many were fed to sharks, stabbed, drowned, beheaded, or have their heads bashed in with sledgehammers. Females were exceptionally kept for days as sex slaves after which they faced the same fate.

The Rape Of Nanking

A Japanese soldier standing beside a pile of Chinese bodies after the invasion of Nanking. | Source

1937 marked the year Japan began a full-scale ground invasion in China. Chinese troops fought bravely to repel the outsiders from taking the capital. Eventually, heavy casualties were recorded on both sides, but Chinese fighters were overpowered and had to surrender. Subsequently, Prince Asaka was sent over from Tokyo to manage the affairs of the captured city. And it was him (allegedly) who gave the order. The message was clear: Japanese soldiers were instructed to kill things off. There is no perfect word to describe the terror that follows. 60,000 plus Chinese soldiers who were captured were used to train Japanese military men on how to not have mercy on fallen enemies. As if 60, 000 men were not enough to quench their blood thirst, they descended upon regular civilians. More than 300,000 people, regardless of age and condition, were raped, beheaded, stabbed, buried alive or set ablaze. This was nothing short of a genocide.

Chinese soldiers facing execution. | Source

Biological Weapons On Civilians

Japan began its biological warfare and human experimentation in the 1930s. It was a sadistic program to weaponize some of the most deadly diseases and plagues of the century. These included Cholera, Small Pox, and Anthrax, to name a few. The Japanese government built a few biological warfare research facilities, and the most popular one, Unit 731, was erected at Manchuria, China. They needed as many subjects as possible to guarantee the success of their programs and Chinese, at the time, were readily available.

Experimentation at Unit 731. Source

Vivisection is the scientific procedure of opening the inside of a living organism simply to conduct experiments on its internal organs. However, this infamous medical procedure, in recent times, is often done on animals. Notwithstanding, this was one of the many inhumane, sadistic procedures Japanese scientists used on thousands of war prisoners and civilians, including pregnant women and children. Now, imagine the pain of cutting through flesh without anesthesia. This would be done days after these innocent people were stabbed with syringes of plagues, so as to determine, without any doubt, the exact ways their internal organs reacted to the biological invasion. In addition, Wikipedia has it that Japanese style vivisection also included amputation (often aimed at studying the rate at which blood gush away from the body), body modifications such as attaching the esophagus to the intestine or switching limbs.

This unit was also tasked with the production of biological weapons in form of plague-ridden fleas, and liquids, which were dropped on Chinese by low-flying planes. Moreover, water from wells and rivers used by civilians was contaminated. Bullets and missiles can kill a lot, but a plague can kill tens of thousands more in an extended period. Other heart-wrenching war crimes occurred, such as weapon testing, but I’m afraid we’ll have to stop here.

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