Justice in an Age of Global Politics: The case of Unit 731 Medical Atrocities

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Friday, September 20th, 2019

Friday, September 20, 201910:00AM - 12:00PMRobarts Library, Blackburn Room (4th floor), 130 St. George Street
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Unit 731 was the codename for the Japanese Imperial Army’s biochemical warfare experimentation center located in China during the Asia-Pacific War. As a part of the forgotten history of WWII in Asia, and often characterized as the “Auschwitz of the East,” Unit 731 was the site of countless medical atrocities including human experimentation and field experimentation of biochemical weapons. Unlike in postwar Germany, perpetrators escaped legal punishment in post-war trials. This panel will discuss crucial issues surrounding the history of Unit 731, the American government’s cover-up of Unit 731 war crimes after the war, and how politics and justice interacted to shape war memory during the Cold War and beyond.


1. Historical Overview of Unit 731: History and the Human Experience
Professor Yang Yanjun, Harbin Academy of Social Sciences, Unit 731 Research Center

2. The Tokyo Trials and Medical Atrocities: Unit 731’s Postwar (In)Justice
Professor Gong Zhiwei, Shanghai Jiaotong University, War Trials and World Peace Research Center

3. Verification in Japan on “War and Medical Ethics”: Aiming for No More Unit 731
Professor Nishiyama, Shiga University of Medicine, Japan

4. Politics of Memory: Unit 731 at the Margins of Historical Memory
Professor Takashi Fujitani, Asian Institute, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy

Q & A session moderated by Sachiyo Tsukamoto

Closing Remarks
Looking to the Future: The Role of Education
Gen-Ling Chang, ALPHA Education


Professor Rachel Silvey
Opening Remarks
Richard Charles Lee Director, Asian Institute

Professor Takashi Fujitani
Asian Institute, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, University of Toronto

Professor Yang Yanjun
Director, Unit 731 Research Center in Harbin, China

Dr. Gong Zhiwei
Shanghai Jiaotong University, China

Professor Katsuo Nishiyama
Professor Emeritus, Shiga University of Medical Science, Japan


ALPHA Education

Harbin Academy of Social Sciences, Unit 731 Research Center

Robarts Library, University of Toronto


Asian Institute

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