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Wednesday, 24 January, 2001, 21:26 GMT
Chinese sue Japan over germ warfare

Chinese scientists have been telling a Tokyo court of the lethal effects of the biological warfare allegedly waged by Japan in the Second World War.

About one-hundred-and-eighty Chinese victims, or their relatives, say Japan's notorious Unit 731 bombarded parts of China with fleas contaminated with typhoid, anthrax and bubonic plague, killing fifty-thousand people.

A bacteriologist, Huang Ketai, told the court that fleas dropped by Japanese planes near Shanghai were infected with the sort of bubonic plague which could only be attributed to Unit 731.

Another scientist, Qiu Mingxuan, testified that some germs were still present in Chinese rats, and a deadly outbreak of disease could recur.

The plaintiffs want an apology and compensation, but the Japanese government has never admitted responsibility for the alleged attacks.

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