In war crimes. After the war, however, U.S.

In World War II, Japan was desperately trying to win. They shared a common interest with Germany and other European countries, which was to expand their land. Japan wanted to take over parts of China, and other surrounding areas. Dr. Ishii was appointed by Japan’s government to lead the clandestine Unit 731 to supposedly study biological and chemical methods that could give the Japanese a military advantage that could help Japan to win the war. “A small rat can beat a cat. Fleas and germs can defeat bombers and guns. This is the basic theory behind Unit 731. It is also my philosophy,”said Dr. Shiro Ishii, the head of Unit 731. He meant that Unit 731 was used to find a way to kill enemies of Japan with germs, fleas, and diseases. Ironically, Unit 731 was given a name that would hide its true intention: The Epidemic Prevention and Water Purification Department. In the mid 1930’s to early 1940’s, which was during World War II, Dr. Shiro Ishii and other Japanese doctors of Unit 731 added to the conflict of the war by torturing prisoners of war and random local civilians by conducting brutal experiments on them, supposedly to research biological warfare. Eventually, Unit 731 was uncovered. The public was horrified. The experiments of Dr. Ishii were considered war crimes. After the war, however, U.S. General Douglas MacArthur compromised with Ishii and granted him and the others doctors immunity if in exchange for information collected from research and experiments. As a result, the war criminals got away with mass murder and rape. There were many horrific experiments done by Unit 731. The vast majority experiments conducted by Unit 731 were deadly, but some of the human guinea pigs would survive. The researchers realized that once the prisoners were subjected to experimentation, they could not be released or word would get out; so if the subjects survived one experiment, they were experimented on until they didn’t survive. The most common experiment of Unit 731 was vivisection. The experimenters cut the victims, known as “logs,” and examine their organs. The victims were awake and had no anesthetic or drugs, so they were being strapped down and dissected alive. Sometimes before the vivisections, the doctors would infect the prisoners with deadly ailments such as plague, typhus, and even syphilis, among other diseases. The doctors would wait for the sickness to develop in the victim, and then they would vivisect the subject to examine the effects of the disease on the various organs. The doctors would also occasionally stitch organs together in crude ways, like attaching the esophagus to a stomach. The doctors performed a wide range of cruel and bizarre experiments, some less often but still horrific. Unit 731 tried to develop a new technology called “flea bombs.”  Doctors tied some prisoners to stakes and bombarded them with projectiles infested with plague-carrying fleas. Then, the victims would soon be infected by the plague, the vector for which is fleas. With the results from this experiment, an attack was planned. It was known as Cherry Blossoms at Night. This was where kamikaze pilots would fly planes loaded with flea bombs into California, and infect the residents with whatever disease the fleas were carrying. This plan was ultimately not carried out. At least once, doctors put the urine of a horse into a victim’s kidneys. Doctors raped female prisoners in order to impregnate them, then purposely gave the women diseases like syphilis to see how these illnesses would  transfer from a mother to the child. Some other victims were even subjected to  a high-pressure chamber until their eyes literally burst out of their heads. Unit 731 also had some experiments where experimenters would cut off various body parts to study the effects of blood loss and how long it would take for someone to die from bleeding out. Many victims were purposefully starved and the lengths of their agonizing survival recorded. But reattaching organs, injecting animal urine into people’s kidneys, raping women to impregnate them by force, among other experiments, are simply war crimes. One experiment was actually very helpful for medical knowledge, although it was torturous nonetheless. Victims were exposed to -20 degrees Celcius, or -4 degrees Fahrenheit until they got frostbite. Different treatments for frostbite were tested, and a working treatment was found.What in the world were the Japanese trying to find out? Some of these experiments could oddly make sense in wartime. For example, cutting off an opposing army’s food supply would eventually starve enemy soldiers. The Japanese  wanted to know how long it would take to die of starvation. Also, at least theoretically, in hand-to-hand combat, the Japanese could simply cut off certain limbs of enemy soldiers and let them die rather than waste time or energy with a different method of slaughter. They might need to see how the blood loss would affect them. In a time of war, when almost all methods are considered fair, these few experiments are justifiable. The rest simply are not. Japan was most likely not planning to give enemy soldiers sexually transmitted diseases, or inject them with horse urine. These types of experiments seem to be conducted for a sick form of pleasure or satisfaction and not to gain an edge in WWII. One experiment the unit did was actually helpful, although torturous. This experiment was frostbite testing. The doctors would put subjects into rooms of about -20 degrees celsius until the victims got frostbite, usually on their arms. The doctors tried a number of remedies for the frostbite and studied the effects of frostbite. They eventually found a treatment, although the cure may not have been much of a comfort to the prisoners who suffered from this awful test.However, other than that one experiment, none of the other experiments actually gained much knowledge for war. Some of the vivisections did boast results on how organs function together, but that is all. And it seems hard to justify most of the experiments were for war research. The flea bombs are an exception, because they seemed to be for war. There is one report where one of the workers of the unit heard another doctor say that he had time to kill, so the doctor opened the door where a female Chinese prisoner was. He had one person hold the woman down, and the doctor raped her. Clearly rape was a disgustingly common thing that happened in Unit 731 and so was murder. Different sources have different statistics on how many people were killed in these experiments of Unit 731. The numbers vary from three thousand to four hundred thousand, which includes prisoners of war and random citizens. Some of the doctors evidently didn’t even show remorse, and just excused the torture, saying that it was a part of war: “In Japan we say: the victor is always right, the defeated are always wrong. The things I witnessed were simply a fact of war,” said Nobuyuki Abe, a worker from Unit 731. He joined Unit 731 at just thirteen years old. After the war was coming to an end, Unit 731 was discovered and disbanded. The torturous experiments were considered war crimes. However, the doctors and workers of Unit 731 weren’t tried and faced no consequences. The United States decided to make a compromise. Unit 731 handed over all of the research and data they had collected from their tests and experiments to the United States, and the U.S. would give the doctors immunity from getting punished for their crimes. This data probably includes a little about how human organs function. As Unit 731 did a lot of research on frostbite and its remedies, that would be some other information the United States received from this deal. That is most likely the full extent of the research obtained by the U.S., because those are the few experiments that boasted real results.After the immunity deal with the United States, Japan still denied that Unit 731 happened. Word eventually got out, and one man took several trips to Japan to interview the doctors that were still alive, which at the time were in their 80s. Dr. Shiro Ishii was not among these people, as he died of throat cancer when he was sixty-seven years old. The interviewees all confirmed that Unit 731 did exist and that human experimentation did happen. One Japanese doctor who claims he wasn’t associated with Unit 731 was interviewed by New York Times and said that human vivisection was common as practice for surgeons in Japan at the time, even outside the experiments of Unit 731. The experiments of Unit 731 show gross parallels to that of Nazi scientists during the same periods, too. However, even the Nazis were not given immunity deals. Some of the Nazis were tried, while none of the doctors of Unit 731 were. The conflict of Unit 731 alone left thousands dead, including small children. But the compromise of the U.S.A. and Unit 731 allowed the doctors to face no consequences.