WW2 Japanese medical experiments in Mindanao

October 19, 2006 at 5:58 pm Leave a comment

There is a disturbing report out of Japan of a old case of a war crime – that had it happened anywhere else like in Europe it would have led to possible arrests even 60 years on for crimes versus humanity.

But, for the most part – the attrocities of the past and horror of war have been put into the dust bin of hisory and forgotten. It deals with Japanese Military doctors disecting Philippine resistance fighters on Mindanao in World War Two.

Many of those who took part or were old enough or still living now seem to want to forget many of these things. Too painful – and – post war the retribution brought on the enemy of the time thought enough considering the destruction Japan suffered.

[] ..” Ex-Japanese wartime medic admits vivisecting victims in
Mainichi Daily News, Japan - old former high-ranking Japanese military medic has revealed that he vivisected the bodies of living people on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines ..”[]

Defined the medical procedure described in the article deals with disecting a living human being so defined as by wikipedia;

Human experimentation

Vivisection has long been practiced on human beings. Herophilos, the “father of anatomy” and founder of the first medical school in Alexandria, was described by the church leader Tertullian as having vivisected at least 600 live prisoners. In recent times, the wartime programs of Nazi Dr. Josef Mengele and the Japanese military (Unit 731 and Dr. Fukujiro Ishiyama at Kyushu Imperial University Hospital) conducted human vivisections on concentration camp prisoners in their respective countries during WWII. In response to these atrocities, the medical profession internationally adopted the Nuremberg Code as a code of ethics.

But in a historical sence – I wonder why more stories are not told and retold if only to pass on to new generations in Japan and elsewhere – the evils of a total war – if only to educate and thus avoid a repeat of history that often happens when the lessons of the past of those who came before.

One lesson to balance the violence mentioned above was taught to me from a tender age to remember that instructions not properly translated can also be tragic in time of war.

I remember a story, my Mom, tells that she witnessed as little girl on Basilan Island, where they lived out the war – of how US forces on liberating the island placed ‘bounty’ or ‘reward’ signs up for Japanese ‘straglers’ or mssing in action solders hidding out in the jungles of the island.

The signs offered a cash reward ‘per head’ of each Japanese soldier caught – the horrified US military police officers who turned up a week later for captives were confronted with sacks of heads. Some were evn being kicked around as footballs by angry natives in the small school compound.

Hurridly the signs were torn down and the new ones had the words ‘alive’ or ‘dead’ were put in its place. the next week the US army officers were confonted by toros of the beheaded and some others with thier heads still attacbed.

The new signs lastly placed – and put the words ‘alive’ and ‘well’ which led to on the last trip of the MP’s they found out why the sacks and headless bodies were brought in. It seems quite a few alive men had surrendered to guerrillas- a few were alive – but when they saw signs first came out that a reward paid only for heads – you can guess what happened next.

In wartime there are tragic things some on all sides want to forget – but lessons that need to be learned just the same by all sides in a horrible tragedy that is war.

However on the part of the US and the allies – abuse and reports of such actions are often brought ought and the guillty punished. Yet, for Japan it is rare to here of these things. They even teach a version of history that does not clearly explain to the young people of that country that they started world war two in the pacific.

 

More such admissions and reports and information is needed – more atonement required as the Germans have learned to accept things like the Nazi era crimes, and Russians the excesses of the purges and abuse of those years. Japan needs to re-examine itself and its history and reveal more. otherwise considering some sentiments that Japan going nuclear considering north korea’s recent actions could have disasterous results.

This statement below from Japan’s ambassador at last fridays anniversary rites for the Leyte landing:

POSTSCRIPT: [] ‘…. “I would like to reiterate my heartfelt apology and deep sense of remorse and reflection over the tragic fate of all those who fought to defend this country against Japanese military aggression and the atrocities committed by (its army),” Ambassador Ryuichiro Yamazaki …”[]

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