Biological Weapons Development Programs Essay

Biological Weapons Development Programs Essay

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Following the wide spread use of chemical weaponry, the Geneva Convention took place in 1925 to set forth the rules of war. One of the regulations was the discontinued use of chemical and biological warfare. Unfortunately, many countries would violate this document in order to gain an advantage over their adversaries. The Japanese, Soviet Union, and United States biological weapon programs are merely a few within the world, each committed to their own purpose. These are the countries that will have the history of their weapons programs told within this paper.
The Japanese would begin their main biological weapons experimentations in 1935 after the Japanese invasion of China. It was there that Unit 731 was founded in the forests of Pingfang. The program was run by General Shirō Ishii after he had shown promise in his preliminary experiments a few years prior. A few of the experiments included injecting diseases into Chinese such as cholera and typhoid into subjects and studying their reactions. The “logs,” as the doctors called them, would be dissected while still living. Diseases were also spread by the Japanese through rice and wheat that was filled with fleas infected with the bubonic plague (Watts). This practice was the cause of the plague outbreak near Ningbo in 1940. However, the death toll was not extraordinarily high at 106 casualties.
There was a repeat of this attack on Jinhua. The difference with this attack was that the Chinese were prepared for it. Pellets dropped from the planes were swept off the streets and collected for study in local hospitals. It was in these hospitals that it was discovered what was being dropped down upon the people. Death counts on this attack were kept in the single digits (Keiichi).
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...came to a close, so did the War Reserve Service. The War Reserve Service would be shut down in 1946; this would not be the end of the United States biological weapons program.
With the close of the war came the trials of Axis war criminals, it was then that the United States would begin its next stage in biological weapon engineering. The Americans were able to reach a deal with Ishii, leader of Unit 731, in which he and his team would be given immunity for the forfeiture of his years of work testing biological weapons on human subjects. This move, as previously stated, has been heavily criticized by every country that was victimized by Ishii’s cruel and unusual testing procedures. With the onset of the Korean War the United States government was faced with a tricky subject. They were fearful of the communist biological program becoming involved within the turmoil.

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