Unit 731: The Epidemic Prevention and Water Purification Department of Kwantany Army in Japan

Decent Essays

August 1940, a year from the beginning of World War II and the date of which marks the beginning of Unit 731, a shorten name for Epidemic Prevention and Water Purification Department of the Kwantung army. Unit 731 was part of a Japanese biological and chemical warfare research department with the goal of developing biological and chemical weapons for use by the Japanese Kwantung army. It was given the nickname Asian Auschwitz for its cruel human experimentations that they have conducted toward their prisoners. Unit 731 did not spare anyone from its experiments and had a wide range of subjects, including infants, elderly, pregnant women, and prisoners. Some of the experiments included amputating limbs, vivisection without anesthesia, and …show more content…

All of that were part of the human experiments that were done by the Unit 731 members. As Staub explained, a person will advance the good of the in-group at the expense of the out-group. Just like how the members of the Nazi party believed that it is their duty to kill Jews, Unit 731 members believed that it is their duty as a Japanese citizen to help out the country even if it means that it will cause the deaths of other. To many people, what they did during their human experiments was horrifying and morally wrong, but to the members there, they believe that their actions are morally right because they were merely trying to aid their country by attempting to create and research new weapons. Ken Yuasa, a Japanese army surgeon, openly testified to the newspaper, Japan Times, regarding his experience of vivisection," The first time was nerve-racking; the second time was easy; by the third time I was willing." Yuasa's actions are justified by Staub's concept of cognitive dissonance, which basically states that the more time a person do an unsettling action, the more willing he is to doing that action. In Yuasa's case, he was unsettled with prompted to do the vivisection, but the more times he did it, the more

Get Access