Archive for the Harbin Category

China museum amasses Japanese Unit 731 evidence [Xinhua]

Posted in China, Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, Japan, Russia, USA, USSR, World War II on April 14, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

HARBIN, April 7 (Xinhua) — More than 6,300 items have been collected in a drive to find evidence of the activities of Japan’s notorious Unit 731 during World War II in the northeastern Chinese city of Harbin, said local authorities on Monday.

The Unit 731 Crimes Exhibition Hall in Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, has gathered 1,740 new pieces of evidence in the nationwide efforts in the past two years, according to the exhibition hall.

Researchers expanded their search scope to all regions where the Unit 731 was active, adding to the amount and quality of the hall’s exhibits.

Unit 731 was a top-secret biological and chemical warfare research base established in Harbin in 1935, serving as the nerve center of Japan’s biological warfare in China and Southeast Asia during WWII.

The 6,300 items includes arms, ammunition, clothing, equipment and parts, implements, books, documents and chemical reagents.

These items represent the whole operation process of Unit 731 in research, experimentation, creation of biochemical weapons and germ warfare attacks, said the exhibition hall.

At least 3,000 people were killed in experiments on humans at Unit 731. Civilians and prisoners of war from China, the former Soviet Union, the Korean Peninsula and Mongolia all perished at the hands of the Japanese.

The retreating Japanese invaders blew up the base when the Soviet Union army took Harbin in 1945.

The exhibition hall receives more than 300,000 visitors, about 10 percent of whom are foreigners, each year.

A documentary entitled “731” started shooting in February. It will feature interviews with witnesses and academics and information from historical archives.

Shooting is due to take place in China, the United States, Russia and Japan, and the film is expected to be broadcast by the end of the year.

Editor: Yang Lina


“Xinhua Insight: Memorial for Korean who fought Japanese colonization” – Ahn Jung Geun, shooter of Hirobumi Ito, recognized in China’s Ha’erbin [Xinhua]

Posted in China, Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, Japan, south Korea on January 21, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

HARBIN, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) — A memorial opened on Sunday in Harbin, capital of northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province, to commemorate a Korean patriot who killed a top Japanese official over a century ago.

Ahn Jung Geun shot dead Hirobumi Ito, who had served as the prime minister of Japan four times before becoming resident-general of Korea in 1905, at Harbin railway station on Oct. 26, 1909. He was arrested at the scene of shooting and secretly executed in March 1910 by Japanese forces.

Covering an area of more than 100 square meters, the memorial hall consists of exhibition rooms telling the story of Ahn’s life, and shows the exact spot where the shooting took place.

Ahn, born in 1879, devoted himself to the education of the Korean people and later joined armed resistance in northeast China and Russia.

After Japan forced the Korean Empire to sign a protectorate treaty in 1905, Ito became the de facto ruler of Korea.

“People have cherished the memory of Ahn for the past century. Today we erect a memorial to him and call on peace loving people around the world to unite, resist invasions and oppose war,” said Sun Yao, vice governor of Heilongjiang at the opening ceremony.

The Republic of Korean (ROK) President Park Geun-hye asked for China’s help in setting up a commemorative stone at Harbin train station in honor of Ahn during her visit to China last year, according to reports from Yonhap News Agency.

Harbin put an exhibition of Ahn’s life on regular display at a local museum in 2006. The exhibition has now moved to the memorial hall. Some of the items on display were collected from Hong Kong and overseas. Most of the things left behind by Ahn are in the hands of the Japanese, according to staff at the hall.

Harbin railway station was built in 1899. It will serve an estimated 10 million passengers during the Spring Festival, which begins on Jan. 31 this year.

The memorial hall offers free admission to the general public…

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Sirens wail in NE China to mark historical 9.18 incident [People’s Daily]

Posted in China, Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, Japan, Jilin Province, Liaoning Province, Shenyang on September 19, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

HENYANG, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) — Sirens wailed Sunday morning in cities in northeast China’s Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces to observe the 80th anniversary of Japan’s invasion.

Sirens began wailing at 9:18 a.m. and lasted for three minutes in Shenyang, capital city of Liaoning Province, while more than 1,000 people from the central and local governments, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and all walks of life gathered as part of the routine activities.

In Harbin, capital city of Heilongjiang Province, sirens wailed 10 minutes starting from 9 a.m. to remind people of the Japanese invasion into China’s northeastern region 80 years ago.

On Sept. 18, 1931, Japanese forces attacked the barracks of Chinese troops in Shenyang. The move marked the beginning of the Japanese invasion and occupation that lasted 14 years.

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Harbin gov’t to protect notorious Japanese germ warfare site [People’s Daily]

Posted in China, Fascism, Harbin, Hiroshima, Japan, Nazism, Tokyo, UNESCO heritage sites / intangible heritage, World War II on February 24, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

February 24, 2011

Zhu Yufen, 70, visits the former site of Unit 731, where her father Zhu Yuntong and uncle Zhu Yunxiu were killed. This file photo was taken in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, on Sept 18, 2010. [Photo/Xinhua]

The Harbin city government is pushing for new regulations to protect the former site of Unit 731, a base for germ and biological experiments by the Japanese army during World War II.

The city passed a draft on protection of the Unit 731 site at a recent executive meeting, and will submit it to the standing committee of the city’s people’s congress for review.

In the draft, the protected zone was expanded from the Pingfang district, in the southern suburbs of Harbin, to some downtown areas in the Nangang district.  All the occupied heritage buildings will have to be vacated.

"For historical reasons, parts of the former sites of Unit 731 were occupied by institutions in the postwar period, for example by some State-owned plants.  The Unit 731 headquarters was the only site protected well," said an official of the legislative affairs office of the city government, who refused to be named.

Earlier reports showed that even the original site of the office of Shiro Ishii, the lieutenant-general of Unit 731, was demolished due to lack of protection.

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Japan unearths site linked to human experiments [Guardian]

Posted in China, DPR Korea, Fascism, Harbin, Japan, south Korea, Tokyo, Torture, US imperialism, USA, World War II on February 24, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

~ Former Tokyo medical school site is linked to Unit 731, branch of imperial army which used prisoners in germ warfare programme ~

Justin McCurry

February 21, 2011


Authorities in Japan have begun excavating the former site of a medical school that may contain the remains of victims of the country’s wartime biological warfare programme.

The school has links to Unit 731, a branch of the imperial Japanese army that conducted lethal experiments on prisoners as part of efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction.

The Japanese government has previously acknowledged the unit’s existence but refused to discuss its activities, despite testimony from former members and growing documentary evidence.  In 2002 a Japanese court said Tokyo was under no obligation to compensate victims…

…Unit 731, based in Harbin in northern China, conducted experiments on tens of thousands of mostly Chinese and Korean prisoners, and a small number of Allied prisoners of war.  Some historians estimate up to 250,000 people were subjected to experiments.  The remains of some are thought to have been transported from China to Tokyo for analysis.

According to historical accounts, male and female prisoners, named "logs" by their torturers, were subjected to vivisection without anaesthesia after they had been deliberately infected with diseases such as typhus and cholera.  Some had limbs amputated or organs removed.

Leading members of the unit were secretly granted immunity from prosecution in return for giving US occupation forces access to years of biological warfare research.  Some went on to occupy prestigious positions in the pharmaceutical industry, health ministry and academia…

…Unit 731 began conducting germ warfare experiments from its headquarters in Harbin, north-east China, in the mid-1930s, using human guinea pigs to develop biological weapons to assist Japan’s push into regions in the south-east.

In 2004, a Chinese survivor described to the Guardian how his home on Zhejiang province, south-east China, had been attacked by plague-inflected fleas dropped by Japanese occupation forces.  Records show that hundreds of thousands of Chinese civilians were infected with the plague and other diseases…

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Father of China’s Great Firewall speaks out [People’s Daily]

Posted in China, Deng Xiaoping, DPR Korea, Germany, Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, Hillary Clinton, Intenet control policy / "Great Firewall", Obama, Shanghai, south Korea, USA on February 18, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

February 18, 2011

Fan Bingxing

The father of the Great Firewall of China (GFW) has signed up to six virtual private networks (VPNs) that he uses to access some of the websites he had originally helped block.

"I have six VPNs on my home computer," says Fang Binxing, 50, president of the Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications. "But I only try them to test which side wins:  the GFW or the VPN.

"I’m not interested in reading messy information like some of that anti-government stuff."

There’s a popular joke circulating the Chinesemainland about Mark Zuckerberg’s surprise visit to Beijing around Christmas last year:  The frustrated Facebook president is said to have pleaded with local Chinese entrepreneurs to show him how to beat the Great Firewall.

"Ever since I landed here in China I can’t log onto my Facebook account!" he tells them.

The joke might not be real, but the Great Firewall of China is very much alive, blocking the world’s most popular websites including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and WikiLeaks.

Fang’s handiwork brought down on him an intense barrage of online criticism in December when he opened a microblog on

Within three hours, nearly 10,000 Web users left messages for the father of the Great Firewall. Few were complimentary.

Sacrifice for the country

As a self-described "scholar," Fang says he was only doing the right thing, and anyway, sticks and stones.

He confirms he was head designer for key parts of the Great Firewall reportedly launched in 1998 that came online about 2003.

Fang shut down his microblog account after a few days and has kept mum about the incident until now.

"I regard the dirty abuse as a sacrifice for my country," Fang says. "They can’t get what they want so they need to blame someone emotionally:  like if you fail to get a US visa and you slag off the US visa official afterwards."

This massive accumulation of sarcastic and ugly abuse of Fang all stemmed from his role in creating a technology that filters controversial keywords and blocks access to websites deemed sensitive.

Fang refuses to reveal how the Great Firewall works. Crossing hands over chest, he says, "It’s confidential."

As to the future of his creation, that’s not up to him, Fang says.

"My design was chosen in the end because my project was the most excellent," he says with a big, tight smile, then pauses.  "The country urgently needed such a system at that time."

The year 1998 was a turning point for the development of the Internet in China, says Zhang Zhi’an, associate professor of the journalism school at Fudan University in Shanghai.

It was when portals Sina. com and first appeared and the number of Chinese mainland Web users hit 1 million. It was also when the government began paying serious attention to the Internet, he says.

"Building the Great Firewall was a natural reaction to something newborn and unknown," Zhang says. Continue reading

1st High Speed Railway in NE China to Open in 2011 [Liaoning Gateway]

Posted in China, Dalian, Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, Liaoning Province, Transportation on January 12, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

December 29, 2010

A high speed railway linking two major cities in northeast China is expected to open in late 2011 as part of the nation’s aggressive efforts to build a fast rail network across the country.

Engineers of the Harbin-Dalian high speed railway said Tuesday workers completed most of the infrastructure and laying tracks on the 904-km-long high speed railway after six months’ efforts starting June 28.

Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang Province, and Dalian, a port city in Liaoning Province, are two industrial hubs in the country’s rust belt.

“For next step, our work will shift to focus on tasks such as installing works for power supply, telecommunications, signaling, as well as constructing stops and related facilities, trying our best to get all things ready for a general testing on the whole railway,” said the engineers.

It is expected the Harbin-Dalian high speed railway will be completed and begin service by the end of next year.

The railway, with a budget of 98 billion yuan (about 14.63 billion U.S. dollars) and the first of its kind to span China’s northeast, is designed to allow trains to run at a maximum speed of 350 kilometers per hour.

Upon completion, the high speed railway will have a well defined division of passenger and cargo transport with the existing railroad between the two cities, so that an extra 50 to 60 million tonnes of cargo can be transported annually, according to the engineers.

China aims to build 13,000 kilometers of high speed railways by 2012. Travel time from Beijing to most provincial capital cities will be reduced to within eight hours by then, according to targets set by the Ministry of Railways.


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