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Operation Cherry blossoms at night

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Jacob Melville

on 12 May 2015

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Transcript of Operation Cherry blossoms at night

Operation Cherry Blossoms at Night
Unit 731 (Japanese: 731 部隊 Hepburn: Nana-san-ichi Butai) was a covert biological and chemical warfare research and development unit of the Imperial Japanese Army that undertook lethal human experimentation during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945) of World War II. It was responsible for some of the most notorious war crimes carried out by Japan. Unit 731 was based at the Pingfang district of Harbin, the largest city in the Japanese puppet state of Manchuria (now Northeast China).
History & Overview of
Shiro Ishii along with
Unit 731

Operation Cherry Blossoms at Night was a 1945 plan developed by Shirō Ishii to wage biological warfare upon civilian population centers in Southern California, United States, during the final months of World War II, using pathogens created by members of Ishii's Unit 731.
Brief overview
Summery
Formation
In 1932 General Shirō Ishii (a chief medical officer in the Japanese military) was placed in command of the " Army Epidemic Prevention Research Laboratory." Ishii organized a research group, the Togo unit for various chemical and biological experimentation. Ishii had proposed the creation of the unit, after his after a two-year study trip abroad, on the grounds that Western powers were developing their own programs. Such as Russia using chlorine gas as a weapon, causing 15,000 casualty. Over time the unit had became what it was during the war. Later mearging with another unit and changing the name to "Epidemic Prevention and Water Purification Department of the Kwantung Army"

Post World War II
In the beginning the japanese government had no involvement up until actually quite recently (around 2000). Before japanese involvement under the American occupation the members of Unit 731 and other experimental units were allowed to go free. Though one graduate continued his work, the same way until 1956. at this time journalist and many others where hard at work exposing what happened, and what may still be going on.
Japanese Government Involvement
Unlike other governments, Japan has produced no official history of its actions in World War II. There were a series of semi-official historical monographs produced by Japanese historians and officials shortly after the war in cooperation with the American military but these did not cover Unit 731. The Japanese government has previously acknowledged the unit's existence but refused to discuss its activities, despite testimony from former members and growing documentary evidence. In 2002 a Japanese court said Tokyo was under no obligation to compensate victims. Over all Japan's government is very touchy about the subject, and dislikes talking about it. Though the facility looks to actually be a modern day museum which is strange, with the japanese government having a sensitive view on the subject.
After WWII to modern day
General Shirō Ishii
June 25, 1892 – October 9, 1959
Background
before the
operation

Unit 731 was specifically for researching biological and chemical warfare by the Japanese military in Harbin. And countless unethical, vulgar, disturbing, etc. acts and experiments. During later Japanese war, and later WWI, the Japanese had encased bubonic plague,cholera, smallpox, botulism, anthrax, and other diseases into bombs where they were routinely dropped on Chinese soldiers and others not involved in this conflict, such as civilians. This is not the only incident of events like occurring. The Imperial Japanese Army has used biological warfare in its history numerous times, with many unsettling statics and reports following . This is not the first time for this to be conceived.
During the Battle of Iwo Jima, another biological attack was considered against the invading Americans. Pilot Shoichi Matsumoto later recounted how two gliders carrying pathogens were supposed to be towed over the battle and released, but the gliders that were supposed to take off from mainland Japan to Matsumoto's airfield in Pingfang District in preparation for the attack never reached their destination.
During the first few months at war with the United States following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Japan also had previously planned to use biological weapons against Americans. During the Battle of Bataan in March 1942, the Japanese considered releasing 200 pounds of plague-carrying fleas—about 150 million insects—in each of ten separate attacks. However, the surrender of American forces rendered the plan unnecessary.
In early July 1944 during the Battle of Saipan, when the war was going against Japan, plague-infested fleas were again intended to be used against American soldiers. However, the Japanese submarine carrying the fleas was sunk by the American submarine "
Swordfish"
off Chichi Jima.
Around November 1944, Japan succeeded in launching a total of 9,300 incendiary and antipersonnel bombs carried by balloons which was designed to rise to 30,000 feet, swept eastward by the jet stream to the continental United States. These killed six American civilians near Bly, Oregon, crashed into a farm in Medford, Oregon, and caused a short circuit in the power lines supplying electricity for the nuclear reactor cooling pumps in Manhattan Project's production facility at the Hanford Site in Washington (but backup safety devices restored power almost immediately).
Japan's Biological/Chemical warfare situation during World War II
Battle of Bataan
Battle of Saipan
Attempted attacks on American land
Battle of Iwo Jima
During the last months of the war, Ishii was preparing for a long-distance attack on the United States. This operation, codenamed "Cherry Blossoms at Night", called for the use of airplanes to spread plague over Southern California at night.
The plan was scheduled to begin on September 22, 1945, but was not realized because the Imperial Japanese Navy was committed to defense of the home islands, did not see the mission as practical, and they did not want to risk any of the new I-400-class submarines, of which only three had been built. In any case, the Japanese surrender on August 15, 1945, made the operation moot.
The plan was finalized on March 26, 1945. Five of the new I-400-class long-range submarines were to be sent across the Pacific Ocean, each carrying three Aichi M6A Seiran aircraft loaded with plague-infected fleas.
The submarines were to surface near San Diego and launch the aircraft towards the target, either to drop the plague via balloon bombs, or to crash in enemy territory.
Either way, the plague would then infect people in the area and kill perhaps tens of thousands. The mission was extremely risky for the pilots and submariners, likely a one-way kamikaze mission
Operation
A pilot under the command of Ishii, Ishio Kobata, recalled the plan in 1998:
Quote
"I was told directly by Shiro Ishii of the kamikaze mission "Cherry Blossoms at Night", which was named by Ishii himself. I was a leader of a squad of seventeen. I understood that the mission was to spread contaminated fleas in the enemy's base and contaminate them with plague."
-Ishio Kobata
The operation in action
Aftermath
After Japan had surrendered, it had brought on the Allies occupation and reconstruction of the country (mainly the United States). This was the reconstruction of countless things government, economics, civilizations, trade, education, etc. As well as ending the war crimes committed, such as the war crimes ageist unit 731 (thoughts who weren't granted immunity like Shiro Ishii). As well as defending the country from soviet influence and advancements Pretty much us helping and reconstruction Japan, resulting us two developing a really close bond/friendship leading in to today.
(Note that nothing about this operation was ever further developed (or relating to it) after Japan had surrendered.)
Thank you!
Presentation by: Jacob Melville
Operation
&
Aftermath

The United States declares war on Japan
Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Japan surrenders
-Scheduled plan-
August 15, 1945
September 22, 1945
Operation Cherry Blossoms at Night
August 6 and August 9, 1945
December 8, 1941
Shiro Ishii's early life
In 1925, Ishii was promoted to army surgeon, first class (surgeon captain) and by 1927 he was advocating the creation of a bio-weapons program. Beginning in 1928, he took a two-year tour of the West. In his travels, he did extensive research on the effects of biological warfare and chemical warfare developments from World War I onwards. It was a highly successful mission and helped win him the patronage of Sadao Araki, Minister of the Army. He received promotion to senior army surgeon, third class (surgeon major), in January 1931
Ishii was born in the former Shibayama Village of Sanbu District in Chiba Prefecture, and studied medicine at Kyoto Imperial University. He was commissioned into the Imperial Japanese Army in 1921 as an army surgeon, second class (surgeon lieutenant). In 1922 he was assigned to the 1st Army Hospital and Army Medical School in Tokyo.
There his work impressed his superiors enough to gain him, two years later, post-graduate medical schooling back at the Kyoto Imperial University. During his study at the Kyoto Imperial University, Ishii would often grow bacteria "pets" in multiple petri dishes. His odd practice of raising bacteria as companions rather than as research subjects made Ishii notable to the staff of the university.
Furthermore
Finally
Sadao Araki, Minister
of the
Army
May 26, 1877 – November 2, 1966
(86)
Shibayama, Chiba
Full transcript