This is a very interesting story from the BBC.
A former doctor in Japan’s World War II navy says he was ordered to perform medical experiments on Filipino prisoners before they were executed.
Akira Makino, 84, told Kyodo news agency he performed surgery and amputations on condemned prisoners, including women and children.
I wonder why he chose to tell him story now. It will be interesting to see what the reaction to this is and if any other soldiers or medical staff come forward now that the ice has been broken.
Mr Makino’s testimony is believed to be the first account from a Japanese veteran of the war in south-east Asia describing medical experiments on prisoners.
I think the Philipine government and media will make a lot less noise about this than the Chinese press would have if the doctor had been stationed there.
Mr Makino was stationed on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines during World War II.
He told the Kyodo news agency he had operated on some 30 prisoners between December 1944 and February 1945.
The operations – which included amputations and abdominal surgery – were regarded as part of his medical training, he said.
“I would have been killed if I had disobeyed the order,” Mr Makino said. “That was the case in those days.”
He also said he was disgusted by orders to practise surgery on two Filipino men, rendered unconscious after being captured on suspicion of being US spies.
“I thought, ‘What a horrible thing I’m doing to innocent people even though I’m ordered to do it’,” he said.
I had a quick look to see how the Philipine press reported it. I didn’t expect them to pull out a headline like this:
A lot of their press don’t seem to have it at all. Maybe it will be there tomorrow.