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

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

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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 injecting diseases into the body. Unit 371 members did cruel experiments, but their actions can be explained through the views of Staub and Doris.
The situation and pressure of being in a war against more powerful countries, such as the United States and the Soviet Union, affected the mindset of the Japanese people. During the war, the Japan government, in Staub's words, was ruling with an "authoritarian" parenting style toward its citizens: an order given was to be enforced with violence and the citizens needed to obey the order even when it does not make sense or was against their beliefs. At the same time, Japanese nationalism was extremely high; to the Japanese citizens, loyally and patriotism to the country were more important than their own lives. Members assigned into Unit 371 were tasked with the goal of creating weapons that will increase the Japanese military power by any means possible even if it means that deadly experiments needed to be done on humans. They would have had the minds...


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... close and closer to invading Japan, Unit 731 has the pressure of not wanting to lose the war and having to develop a weapon that will match the superior destructive weapons of the Allies. The actions of the Unit 731 members during the human experiments can be justified differently by psychologists and philosophers with different ideals. Staub would claim that at first the Unit 731 members were conducting the human experiments because of their national pride and of their duty to the nation, but as time passed, the members developed cognitive dissonance and started to think of the subjects as more of an object than a human to the point of calling them "logs". Doris would state that the situational pressure of being at a disadvantage when fighting against other countries with superior arsenals and troops was the force which pushed Japan into establishing Unit 731.



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