Start Date

9-4-2021 10:45 AM

End Date

9-4-2021 12:00 PM

Disciplines

Military History | United States History

Subjects

Japan -- Military history -- 1868-1945 -- Moral and ethical aspects, Biological weapons -- Japan -- History -- 20th century, Chemical weapons -- Japan -- 20th century -- History, International courts -- History -- 20th century

Description

Abstract: The Japanese Imperial Army maintained chemical and biological testing facilities during the Asian Pacific War where unwilling civilians and prisoners of war were subjected to human experiments regarding frostbite, germ warfare, syphilis, weapons testing, and human anatomy. As American forces began occupying Japan and restructuring the country, the Allied Powers established an international tribunal to prosecute Japanese leaders deemed responsible for the war. During this time period, American policymakers would classify the Japanese bio warfare program, essentially protecting Japanese participants in the warfare program from facing trial. My research analyzes why American policymakers would classify Japan’s Biochemical Warfare Program and subsequently limit public awareness of Japanese wartime atrocities. I argue humanitarian influences were a minor influence in U.S. foreign policy. Through incentivizing Japanese participants in the BW program, the United States was able to gain and limit access to new information. The paper integrates past American research and the 2014 archive of newly declassified government documents regarding U.S.-Japan relations during the 1930s-1950s. Further research with Japanese, Chinese, and Russian primary documents will contribute to assessing postwar society and the legacy of wartime atrocities.

PART OF SESSION 2B: UNCONVENTIONAL WEAPONS

Comment: Dane J. Cash, Carroll College
Chair: Tom Taylor, Seattle University

Sophia Johnson, Whitworth University, undergraduate student
“From Counterinsurgency to Chemical Warfare: Technology Dependence and Agent Orange”

Dawson M. Neely, Gonzaga University, undergraduate student
“Project MKULTRA: How the CIA Used the Cold War to Commit Horrors on US Citizens”

Linda R. Zhang, University of Washington, undergraduate student
“The Blood Logs: Factors in the U.S. Decision to Classify the Japanese Biological and Chemical Warfare Program”

Rights

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Persistent Identifier

https://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/35285

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Apr 9th, 10:45 AM Apr 9th, 12:00 PM

The Blood Logs: Factors in the U.S. Decision to Classify the Japanese Biological and Chemical Warfare Program

Abstract: The Japanese Imperial Army maintained chemical and biological testing facilities during the Asian Pacific War where unwilling civilians and prisoners of war were subjected to human experiments regarding frostbite, germ warfare, syphilis, weapons testing, and human anatomy. As American forces began occupying Japan and restructuring the country, the Allied Powers established an international tribunal to prosecute Japanese leaders deemed responsible for the war. During this time period, American policymakers would classify the Japanese bio warfare program, essentially protecting Japanese participants in the warfare program from facing trial. My research analyzes why American policymakers would classify Japan’s Biochemical Warfare Program and subsequently limit public awareness of Japanese wartime atrocities. I argue humanitarian influences were a minor influence in U.S. foreign policy. Through incentivizing Japanese participants in the BW program, the United States was able to gain and limit access to new information. The paper integrates past American research and the 2014 archive of newly declassified government documents regarding U.S.-Japan relations during the 1930s-1950s. Further research with Japanese, Chinese, and Russian primary documents will contribute to assessing postwar society and the legacy of wartime atrocities.

PART OF SESSION 2B: UNCONVENTIONAL WEAPONS

Comment: Dane J. Cash, Carroll College
Chair: Tom Taylor, Seattle University

Sophia Johnson, Whitworth University, undergraduate student
“From Counterinsurgency to Chemical Warfare: Technology Dependence and Agent Orange”

Dawson M. Neely, Gonzaga University, undergraduate student
“Project MKULTRA: How the CIA Used the Cold War to Commit Horrors on US Citizens”

Linda R. Zhang, University of Washington, undergraduate student
“The Blood Logs: Factors in the U.S. Decision to Classify the Japanese Biological and Chemical Warfare Program”