INVESTIGATION OF CONFERMENT OF THE KYOTO UNIVERSITY MEDICAL DEGREE ON A MEMBER OF UNIT 731

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WE REQUEST A THOROUGH INVESTIGATION AND RE-EVALUATION OF THE APPROPRIATENESS OF CONFERMENT OF THE KYOTO UNIVERSITY MEDICAL DEGREE ON A MEDICAL OFFICER WHO WAS A MEMBER OF UNIT 731 IN FORMER MANCHURIA, CHINA  

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    There is significant evidence that the dissertation 1) of  a medical officer of Unit 731 in former Manchuria (hereafter given the name “H”) who was granted a degree by Kyoto University (Kyoto Imperial University then), contains fabricated sections and data collected in violation of medical ethics.  These facts cannot be ignored from a humanitarian point of view. 

   According to the record concerning the conferment of the medical degree 2) found in the Kyoto University Archives, H applied for the degree by submitting to your esteemed University an application form dated May 31, 1945 and the dissertation titled “On the Capacity of Dog Flea as Plague Vector. “ Your esteemed University accepted the application, after discussion at a faculty meeting, and then applied for approval from the Ministry of Education. After authorization by the Ministry on 9. 26 of the same year, conferment of the degree to H was carried out on the same day, and the diploma (diploma number: medicine 2556) was handed over to H’s agent.

    There is strong suspicion that the “experimental animals” employed for the collection of data mentioned in the section Ⅶ “Special Experiment 3)in the dissertation in question (purported to be experimental research of the capacity of the dog flea to act as a vector for the plague), might actually have been human beings, and not monkeys 4). If this is the case, it means that the research is a fabrication based on extremely unethical and inhumane experiments.

    As an academic institution which maintains high standards and adheres to ethical codes of conduct in experimental research, Your esteemed University has the obligation to thoroughly investigate and determine whether the “experimental animals” were monkeys or human beings.  We request that if those “experimental animals” prove to actually be human beings, the degree should be revoked promptly and permanently.

The Association Requesting Kyoto University to Investigate and Re-examine the Validity of the Degree Conferment to the Unit 731 Medical Officer

Address: c/o Kyoto branch of the Japan Scientists ‘Association, 95-3, Enoki-Cho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto City, 604-0931 Japan

・・・・・・・・・・・・・・

Notes regarding the written request

1) The existence of the dissertation by Masayasu Hirasawa, former medical officer at Unit 731 (hereafter H) mentioned in the written request, was disclosed by the report of Keiichi Tsuneishi in “Japan Army Medical School Communicative Disease Control Research Report” Project Team, the relevant facts were publicized and explained in “Japan Army Medical School Communicative Disease Control Report.  Explanation & a Table of Total Contents” (supplementary volume 23 to Collected Classified Materials During 15 Year War.)  A part of the dissertation was reprinted, quoted and discussed in Tsuneishi’s “Battlefield and Epidemiology” (pp. 205-207, Kaimeisya Publishing Company, 2005.) The copy and the reprint of the dissertation can be accessed at http://war-medicine-ethics.com/KU/Thesis.pdf and http://war-medicine-ethics.com/KU/ThesisRepublicated.pdf respectively. 

2)  Kyoto University Archives:“The Documents Related to Degree Conferment (Volume first) 39” (photocopy) can be accessed at http://war-medicine-ethics.com/KU/Vtm.pdf

    The document records the following facts.  The faculty meeting at the medical school was held on June 6, 1945.  The report was submitted to the president by the dean on 6.15. Degree conferment was requested by the president to the Minister of Education on 6.26.  This request was approved by the Minister of Education on 9.26.  The degree of medical doctor was received by H’s agent on 1May 4, 1946. 

3) The section Ⅶ“Special Experiment in the dissertation in question

・・・・Excerpt from the reprint of the dissertation・・・・

 Ⅶ Special  Experiment 

    Dog fleas were first infected with plague bacteria. On the third day after infection, three  dog fleas were placed on the thighs of each "monkey" in group 1, five fleas on each in group 2 and ten fleas on each in group 3.  (Refer the figure. Click here for the figure).  The outcome was as follows.

    The monkeys on the 6-8th days after infection complained of headache, high fever, loss of appetite and simultaneous appearance of typical symptoms of bubonic plague such as the swelling of lymph nodes in the genitals, pressure pain, furred tongues and hyperemia conjunctivae.

    The number of diseased animals:0 in group 1, 1 in group 2 and 2 in group 3among each group of ten. 

    A diseased monkey in group 3 had above 39℃ fever for five consecutive days and died on the sixth day from the disease (13th day from infection.)  Autopsy revealed conspicuous plague lesions in the spleen, the liver and the inguinal lymph nodes conspicuous plague lesions, and a considerable number of Yersinia pestis were found in those organs by means of smear culture.  Thus, there is evidence that the onset of disease and eventually death from plague, was caused by bacteria that were transmitted by the dog flea to the "monkeys", i.e. the dog flea can serve as a vector for plague.. 

・・・the end of the excerpt from the reprint of the dissertation・・・ 

4) On p. 207 of “Battlefield and Epidemiology” mentioned above, the author Tsuneishi wrote “Although there is a passage “The monkeys on the 6-8th days after infection complained of headache, high fever, the loss of appetite and simultaneous appearance of typical symptoms of bubonic plague such as the swelling of lymph nodes in genitals, pressure pain, furred tongues and hyperemia conjunctivae.,” it was possible to confirm whether the monkey had high fever or not, but how was it possible to ascertain that the monkey suffered from headache?” Furthermore, while body temperature of monkeys varies in accordance with the species and its diurnal fluctuation is considerable, there is no description of the species of those monkeys used in the experiment, no description of the time of measurement of body temperature and no description of the relationship between the degree of the usual fluctuation of body temperature of the monkey and its body temperatures observed.”  In his dissertation for agricultural science submitted to Tokyo University entitled “The Research on the Diurnal Fluctuation of Physiological ・Behavioral Indices of laboratory monkeys and Their Acclimatization to Restraint”(The Dissertation Number: Otsu 12200, the Conferment date: March 15, 1995) Tetsuo Suwa wrote “monkeys of all species showed an increase of body temperature when a light was turned on.  The body temperature of tree shrews, squirrel monkeys, and rhesus monkeys rose to 30℃, 37℃ and  38℃ respectively , and then remained so during the day, with small fluctuations. After a light was turned off, body temperature of the monkeys of all species dropped promptly, and in such a way that they maintained low body temperature states - such as 35-36℃ during the night , with diurnal fluctuating range of 3-4℃.”

 

Lecture “When Reserchers Cooperates with War: Experiments on Living Creatures by Unit 731”

Speaker: Keiichi, Tsuneishi, Professor Emeritus at Kanagawa University

Date: April 14, 2018 at 13:00, Conference Room 2, Kyoto University Clock Tower Centennial Hall 

 

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(Presiding Group) The Association Requesting Kyoto University to Investigate and Re-examine the Validity of the Degree Conferment to the Unit 731 Medical Officer