Japan's Wartime Medical Atrocities: Comparative Inquiries in Science, History, and Ethics

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Jing Bao Nie, Nanyan Guo, Mark Selden, Arthur Kleinman
Taylor & Francis, Jul 9, 2010 - Medical - 254 pages
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Prior to and during the Second World War, the Japanese Army established programs of biological warfare throughout China and elsewhere. In these “factories of death,” including the now-infamous Unit 731, Japanese doctors and scientists conducted large numbers of vivisections and experiments on human beings, mostly Chinese nationals. However, as a result of complex historical factors including an American cover-up of the atrocities, Japanese denials, and inadequate responses from successive Chinese governments, justice has never been fully served. This volume brings together the contributions of a group of scholars from different countries and various academic disciplines. It examines Japan’s wartime medical atrocities and their postwar aftermath from a comparative perspective and inquires into perennial issues of historical memory, science, politics, society and ethics elicited by these rebarbative events. The volume’s central ethical claim is that the failure to bring justice to bear on the systematic abuse of medical research by Japanese military medical personnel more than six decades ago has had a profoundly retarding influence on the development and practice of medical and social ethics in all of East Asia. The book also includes an extensive annotated bibliography selected from relevant publications in Japanese, Chinese and English.

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About the author (2010)

Jing-Bao Nie is an Associate Professor at the Bioethics Centre, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, New Zealand, and honorary adjunct professor at Hunan Normal and Peking Universities, China.

Nanyan Guo is an Associate Professor at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies, Kyoto, Japan.

Mark Selden is a Research Associate in the East Asia Program at Cornell University, USA and a coordinator of The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus.

Arthur Kleinman is the Esther and Sidney Rabb Professor of Anthropology, Department of Anthropology, Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Medical Anthropology and Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, USA.

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