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Japan WWII poison gas agents still scarring people today

27 Comments
By Tomoji Tatsumi

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27 Comments
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This is so messed up.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

So the story ends up with government doing nothing and family left on their own, just trying to endure all sorts of pain caused by total absence of action ?

No petition nor demonstration ?

No journalist to issue a warning, because as I read it, it could still happen nearly anywhere in Japan.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

The J-govt needs to do a full investigation into this as well as making an effort to determine other possible burial sites. Unfortunately all Imperial Japanese Army documentation is gone, but the real issue is who buried this way up in Ibaraki after 1993. That's quite far away from Hiroshima.

The U.S. needs to assist because my govt had much to do with such secret projects following Japan's defeat in 1945. There may be some archived information in that regard, assuming it has been declassified.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

During time of war, the morality and humanity of people is often ignored and that is when horrific things happen. Witness the goings on in Ukraine and new Russian threats to nuke Ukraine for liberating it's own territory. Sanity taking second place over ambition and greed.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Definitely not buying property in that area. Thanks JT for letting us know.

How about other locations ? Is there a list of known "Poisoned" sites ?

10 ( +12 / -2 )

How about other locations ? Is there a list of known "Poisoned" sites ?

as the article says, the JIA destroyed the documentation.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Same thing happened with arsenic in the late 1990s, when a foreign drug company built a factory in the Osaka/ Kyoto area. The locals tried to blame the company for polluting the ground, then discovered it was a former Imperial Army base, and the arsenic was used for the treatment of venereal disease!

Meanwhile in Northern China, chemical and biological weapons continue to be found, after the notorious Unit 731's activities in the area.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

The LDP knew the approximate of where abouts of dumping these toxic substances by the IJA. It was their wilful cover-up and wilful ignorance that made things became difficult. China has been protesting for those buried stockpiles for 20 plus years after diplomacy established since 1972. Not until mid 1990s, the Japanese government finally willing to do the clean up job.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

I'm confused. The article says, "...there was no evidence of it having been manufactured after World War II" and then, "A can found at the site, marked as produced in 1993, indicates that the burial did not take place before then."

Is it talking about the same substance that made Ryuji sick? This is so sad and worrying that it might occur again someplace.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I know arsenic since my early days working in a tin smelter in the UK. Deadly stuff. There are several places in the US with arsenic problems in drinking water.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

People in the world, open your eyes, not be blinded, sees things as they are.

War, must never happen, allow to happen. Major powers must never be allowed to start war, which quiet honestly, is unlikely to happen, because, they will suffer too, especially if it happens in their homeland. What usually happens is, they get others to do, IE, instigate, by proxy, sponsoring etc etc, usually with their secret organizations, to achieve their strategic agendas.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

This is a major current problem as well, in particular related to the immense amounts of chemical wastes generated by activities at military bases... they have to dispose of the wastes somewhere, and inevitably it has a severe environmental impact, which the wider public only learns about decades later.

From the military's point of view, it is a "shou ga nai" collateral damage situation.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

My Aunty lived where an old Ajinomoto plant had been in Kanagawa. They all started getting sick…finally after many years they got a sub standard offer that they had to take as opposed to zero… this stuff is rampant in Japan and I don’t think it will come as a surprise to anyone that the cronies in the LDP don’t give a damn and offer zero support!

0 ( +7 / -7 )

The agent orange problem in Okinawa is also of great concern but seems again the JGOV would rather sweep it under the carpet!

https://www.jonmitchellinjapan.com/agent-orange-on-okinawa.html

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

hooktrunk2Today  06:37 pm JST

I'm confused. The article says, "...there was no evidence of it having been manufactured after World War II" and then, "A can found at the site, marked as produced in 1993, indicates that the burial did not take place before then."

Is it talking about the same substance that made Ryuji sick?

It is. As the article explains later

Why the chemical agent was buried in Kamisu has not yet been clarified by government investigations. Some believe that during the chaotic years following the war, the substance was sold and eventually transported to the city.

If true, why would anyone buy that stuff?

A friend built his house and a well a few years ago (about 50 km from Kamisu) and was told by the builder not to drink the water, even after boiling. I guess they found some nasty stuff around here too.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

The agent orange problem in Okinawa is also of great concern but seems again the JGOV would rather sweep it under the carpet!

https://www.jonmitchellinjapan.com/agent-orange-on-okinawa.html

And it's way bigger than agent orange and Okinawa, we're talking literally tons of all manner of chemicals at all the bases, both in Japan as well as worldwide at literally hundreds of locations... US military personnel are also affected as well.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"With Japan's defeat in the war in 1945, the military's top brass, fearing war crimes charges, kept silent and burned all related documents."

Don't they still deny it? We know they deny everything else unless it happened to them, but I think I've also heard it denied that there was any military base there.

"If only there had been no war, we wouldn't have had to go through this."

The woman has every right to be angry, even after she was likely offered ¥50,000 compensation for her son's life of pain and suffering, but to blame it solely on the war and not on the IJA and people who put it there is disingenuous at best.

But nothing will be done about it. We're talking about the land of Minamata and a whole slough of other examples of trying to pay people off and deny what happened, then deny the seriousness, then a company or what have you waiting until those directly responsible die so that they can admit the problem but say it was not of their doing and the people responsible are gone, etc.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

The Imperial Japanese Army: responsible for so much death and suffering during the war and afterwards.

Hiding the deadly substances and destroying documentation. Geez.

I feel so sorry for Ryuji and his family in this article.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The us military and government helped Japan to cover up and dispose of massive amounts of chemicals into the ocean after the war .

Also helped to cover up the experiments conducted at various locations around asia and the dumping and burying of chemical and biological munitions.

Recently it was discovered that the Japanese self defense forces have stockpile of Sarin gas munitions even after Japan had signed agreements not to use them.

Thier excuse was the Sarin gas was for defense purposes only

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Occasionally in the Nanjing area and also in korea and Mongolia and the Philippines they still accidentally dig up chemical munitions left by the JIA.

The US military is also notorious for burying hazardous chemical munitions and so is France also.

Agent orange, nuclear etc etc

The US military has lost nuclear bombs in the oceans numerous times and some remain undiscovered.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

No matter how hard the J-Government and the Japanese culture of denial tries, the legacy of WW2 will continue to surface for many years. In muy opinion the best thing that the J-Government can do is conduct a thorough open investigation into this, and other instances (for example, Sado Mines massacre), and only then can WW2 be finally put to bed.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

If you ever wonder why people don’t want to just “let it go” in regards to a war that was “over 70 years ago”, this is why. If the Japanese were willing to dump this poison in their own back yard, you can imagine how much of that stuff is buried all over the former “Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere”.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

This is outrageous, the scope of the coverup is huge, why is this the first time we're hearing about it?

There needs to be more articles about this issue until the extent and danger is better known.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is outrageous, the scope of the coverup is huge, why is this the first time we're hearing about it?

There needs to be more articles about this issue until the extent and danger is better known.

There's no cover-ups. IT is actually old news since 2003~2005, all media including NHK reported. Kamisu-city and Ministry of the environment still explaining about the issue and their efforts on their HP.

https://www.env.go.jp/chemi/gas_inform/

https://www.city.kamisu.ibaraki.jp/shisei/machi/1003712/1004458.html

39 residents in the city including this family sued Ibaraki-prefecture which was settled

https://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXNASDG06023_W2A600C1CC0000/

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It is unsafe to drink well water anywhere in Japan, in fact, even tap water here must be boiled and filtered before consumption.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Hmmm, nowhere in this article is there any clear proof that it is a poison gas weapon, it’s all speculation, I’ve read the EDCC report and they only pointed to chemical weapon residue as one of the possibilities. That's because the arsenic mentioned in the article is also found in many pesticides and rat poison, and it is not uncommon for it to get into groundwater during heavy rains.

Currently in Japan, there are strict reporting requirements regarding drinking well water, and they must first ask the local government to investigate the quality of that water. Why didn't they do that?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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