by Emily Winters
During World War II, the Japanese used human experimentation to examine the consequences of biological and bacteriological warfare. An interrogation conducted by the General Headquarters of the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers (GHQ SCAP) with a Japanese veterinarian conducted in the year 1946 sheds light on what was going on behind the scenes within the Japanese Army during World War II. During this time period, many infamous Nazi doctors conducted medical experiments on prisoners, and this interview helps to expose what was occurring in other Axis Power countries. Japanese military doctors performed an immeasurable amount of medical experimentation on human beings, and the interviewee’s position with the military provided him a unique perspective on this situation.
Takeshi Kino, a Japanese veterinarian and professor, was interrogated over his time spent working in the Army Stables in Japanese-occupied Manchuria, China. He worked with horses and studied animal epidemics, but he was able to provide information on some of the circulated rumors at his place of work. Animal diseases and epidemics coincide with concepts such as biological and bacteriological warfare utilized by the Japanese during the first half of the twentieth century, so Kino and his studies targeted their suspicious subject matter.
He specifically stated that his area of expertise was horses, in the same Army Stables, but, due to the numerous animal diseases that were often deployed on humans as biological weapons, the General Headquarters of the SCAP still had reason to believe there was human experimentation being conducted. Kino was specifically asked about a disease mainly found in horses called “Glanders” because humans were also infected during the Second World War.
While Kino was never explicitly told about nor did he witness human experimentation, he was able to speak about dead bodies transported to and from the stables that he knew could not have been horses. When questioned about who these victims could have been, he seemed to believe that the human guinea pigs were Soviet Prisoners of War from the second World War. In this interrogation, Kino suggested that the POWs he believed to be the victims of human experimentation in the Army Stables came from the month-long Soviet-Japanese war, rather than World War II. This information is more relevant than Kino could know because it exposes the Japanese Army’s immoral exploitations during conflicts outside of major global disputes.
The GHQ SCAP interrogation of Takeshi Kino shows how valuable all participants and perspectives are to witnessing the surreptitious acts of their Army.
Contrary to popular belief, the Nazis were not the only military experimenting on humans and utilizing biological and bacteriological warfare.
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