Khabarovsk War Crime Trials

Khabarovsk War Crime Trials

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Khabarovsk War Crime Trials were a series of hearings held between December 25 - 31st, 1949 in the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

's industrial city of Khabarovsk
Khabarovsk
Khabarovsk is the largest city and the administrative center of Khabarovsk Krai, Russia. It is located some from the Chinese border. It is the second largest city in the Russian Far East, after Vladivostok. The city became the administrative center of the Far Eastern Federal District of Russia...

 (Хабáровск) situated on the Russian Far East
Russian Far East
Russian Far East is a term that refers to the Russian part of the Far East, i.e., extreme east parts of Russia, between Lake Baikal in Eastern Siberia and the Pacific Ocean...

 (Дáльний Востóк). There, twelve members of the Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

ese Kwantung Army were tried as war criminals for manufacturing and using biological weapons during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

.

During the trials, the accused, such as Major General Kiyashi Kawashima, testified that, as early as 1941, some 40 members of unit 731 air-dropped plague-contaminated fleas on Changde
Changde
Changde is a city in the north of Hunan Province, China, with a population of 5,717,218 inhabitants at the 2010 census whom 1,232,182 in the built up area made of 2 urban districts .-History:...

. These operations caused epidemic plague outbreaks.

All twelve accused war criminals were found guilty, and sentenced to terms ranging between two and twenty-five years in a labour camp. All were repatriated to Japan in 1956.

Accused and their sentences

  • General Otozō Yamada, former Commander-in-Chief of the Kwantung Army • 25 years
  • Lt-General Kajitsuka Ryuji, former Chief of Medical Administration • 25 years
  • Lt-General Takahashi Takaatsu, former Chief of the Veterinary Service • 25 years
  • Major General Kawashima Kiyoshi, former Chief of Unit 731
    Unit 731
    was a covert biological and chemical warfare research and development unit of the Imperial Japanese Army that undertook lethal human experimentation during the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II. It was responsible for some of the most notorious war crimes carried out by Japanese...

     • 25 years
  • Major Karasawa Tomio, former Chief of a section of Unit 731
    Unit 731
    was a covert biological and chemical warfare research and development unit of the Imperial Japanese Army that undertook lethal human experimentation during the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II. It was responsible for some of the most notorious war crimes carried out by Japanese...

     • 18 years
  • Lt-Colonel Nishi Toshihide, former Chief of a division of Unit 731
    Unit 731
    was a covert biological and chemical warfare research and development unit of the Imperial Japanese Army that undertook lethal human experimentation during the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II. It was responsible for some of the most notorious war crimes carried out by Japanese...

     • 20 years
  • Major Onoue Masao, former Chief of a branch of Unit 731
    Unit 731
    was a covert biological and chemical warfare research and development unit of the Imperial Japanese Army that undertook lethal human experimentation during the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II. It was responsible for some of the most notorious war crimes carried out by Japanese...

     • 12 years
  • Major General Sato Shunji
    Sato Shunji
    was a Japanese physician during the first half of the 20th century and a commander in the Imperial Japanese Army. From 1941 to 1943 he was chief of Unit 8604, a biological warfare unit that operated in Southern China...

    , former Chief of Medical Service, 5th Army • 20 years
  • Lt. Hirazakura Zensaku, former researcher of Unit 100
    Unit 100
    Unit 100 was a secret Imperial Japanese Army facility that focused on the development of biological weapons during World War II. It was operated by the Kempeitai, the Japanese military police...

     • 10 years
  • Senior Sergeant Mitomo Kazuo, former member of Unit 100
    Unit 100
    Unit 100 was a secret Imperial Japanese Army facility that focused on the development of biological weapons during World War II. It was operated by the Kempeitai, the Japanese military police...

     • 15 years
  • Corporal Kikuchi Norimitsu, former medical orderly of Branch 643 of Unit 731
    Unit 731
    was a covert biological and chemical warfare research and development unit of the Imperial Japanese Army that undertook lethal human experimentation during the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II. It was responsible for some of the most notorious war crimes carried out by Japanese...

     • 2 years
  • Kurushima Yuji, former lab orderly of Branch 162 of Unit 731
    Unit 731
    was a covert biological and chemical warfare research and development unit of the Imperial Japanese Army that undertook lethal human experimentation during the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II. It was responsible for some of the most notorious war crimes carried out by Japanese...

     • 3 years

See also

  • Japanese war crimes
    Japanese war crimes
    Japanese war crimes occurred during the period of Japanese imperialism, primarily during the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II. Some of the incidents have also been described as an Asian Holocaust and Japanese war atrocities...

  • International Military Tribunal for the Far East
    International Military Tribunal for the Far East
    The International Military Tribunal for the Far East , also known as the Tokyo Trials, the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal, or simply the Tribunal, was convened on April 29, 1946, to try the leaders of the Empire of Japan for three types of crimes: "Class A" crimes were reserved for those who...

  • Military history of the Soviet Union
    Military history of the Soviet Union
    The military history of the Soviet Union began in the days following the 1917 October Revolution that brought the Bolsheviks to power. The new government formed the Red Army to fight various enemies in the Russian Civil War. The years 1918-1921 saw Red Army's defeats in Polish-Soviet war and...

  • Soviet biological weapons program