One off the most closely guarded secrets of World War II, Japan has long denied the vile experiments conducted by the army's biological warfare division on prisoners used as guinea pigs. Many of the prisoners, who were murdered in the name of research were tortured in hideous vivisection experiments, including barbaric trials to determine the effect of frostbite on the human body.To ease the conscience of those involved the prisoners were referred to as "Maruta" or wooden logs.
Shortly before Japan's surrender, Unit 731 was destroyed and 400 hundred "wooden logs" were shot, and the employees sworn to secrecy. Mice used in laboratory experiments were released. Infected with bubonic plague they had the potential to spread the disease to 30, 000 people.
Few of those involved have admitted their guilt. Some caught in China at the end of the war were arrested, but only a handful were prosecuted for war crimes. In Japan no one was brought to justice. In a secret deal, the post war American administration gave them immunity in return for details of the experiments. Some of the worst criminals went on to occupy key medical posts.
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