Unit 731 was the code name of an Imperial Japanese Army unit officially known as the Kempeitai Political Department and Epidemic Prevention Research Laboratory. It was initially set up under the Kempeitai military police of the Empire of Japan to develop weapons of mass destruction for potential use against Chinese, and possibly Soviet forces. Unit 731 was based at the Pingfang district of Harbin, the largest city in the Japanese occupied state of Manchukuo (now Northeast China).
More than 95 percent of the victims who died in the camp based in Pingfang were Chinese and Korean, including both civilian and military. The remaining 5 percent were South East Asians and Pacific Islanders, at the time colonies of the Empire of Japan, and a small number of the prisoners of war from the Allies of World War II.
According to the 2002 International Symposium on the Crimes of Bacteriological Warfare, the number of people killed by the Imperial Japanese Army germ warfare and human experiments is around 580,000.
In the gruesome world of Unit 731 the unthinkable was done on a daily basis. Prisoners, were subjected to unimaginable horrors. They were infected with diseases such as anthrax, cholera and even bubonic plague. To gauge the effect of these diseases on their subjects whom they dehumanized by calling them "logs". Un-anesthetized vivisection was performed in many cases the subjects would be consciousness while the dissection was taking place.
Whole towns and villages were decimated by the ghoulish doctors and researchers of Unit 731 and the effects of their horrible crimes still resonate there to this day. Parts of the Unit 731 complex still remain. there are buildings where frostbite experiments were performed, courtyards and open areas where prisoners were subjected to live bombs detonated at close range to enable researchers to evaluate the effect of explosives of the sort that Japanese soldiers were encountering in the fields. Other buildings where the live human vivisections took place overlook the prisoner holding area and the long-unused railway station where the prisoners were offloaded for their horrible fate.
The Chinese government sanctioned the Unit and the surrounding area as a learning centre for future generations of Chinese, and just recently visitors from the West have been allowed access to the killing fields at Harbin. But for many years there have been reports of paranormal activity associated with the old charnel houses: ghost lights and apparitions are frequently seen, including a ghostly figure that walks the empty precincts surrounding the frostbite units.
Ghostly voices have been heard and anomalies frequently appear in photographs taken in the area. Recently, during the filming of a BBC television documentary, the English film crew experienced unexplainable problems with their lights and batteries often a sign of ghostly activity. Many speculate that as the story of Unit 731 is more widely told, the ghosts of those tragically tormented and murdered there are becoming more and more active.