China / Politics

Officer confesses Japanese army used bacteria on civilians in WWII

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-07-16 16:13

BEIJING - A written confession from a Japanese officer in World War II, made public Wednesday, confirmed that the Japanese army used typhoid and cholera bacteria on civilians during their invasion of China.

The confession from Giichi Sumioka, who served in the Japanese army in China from 1939 to 1945, was posted on the website of the State Archives Administration (SAA).

In mid-February 1942, Sumioka and his platoon escorted about ten military surgeons from the Headquarters Dispensary of the Battalion to spread typhoid and cholera bacteria in five or six villages in north China's Shanxi Province, according to the document.

"We covered the medical staff as they smeared bacteria on bowls, chopsticks, kitchen knives, rolling pins, cutting boards and tables in villagers' houses and threw bacteria into their water vats, wells and rivers nearby," Sumioka wrote in the document in May 1955.

Sumioka, born in Osaka, Japan in 1917, joined the army and invaded east China's Anhui Province in 1939. He was stationed in China until Japan's defeat in 1945. He then took refuge among the troops of a Chinese warlord named Yan Xishan in north China's Shanxi Province and was arrested in 1948.

He also confessed to stabbing Chinese captives to death, using captives as training targets, rape, and conniving in his inferior officers' gang rape of Chinese women.

This is the latest in a series of 45 Japanese war criminal confessions the SAA plans to publish. The SAA has been issuing one a day since July 3.

The move follows denials of war crimes in China by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and right-wing politicians.

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