HARBIN, China, Aug. 6 (UPI) -- Chinese experts say they've uncovered items in the southwest Yunnan province that offer fresh evidence of Japanese germ warfare activities during World War II.
The items included protective clothing against biological chemicals, rat cages and injection syringes, said Yang Yanjun, a researcher with the Harbin Academy of Social Sciences who studies the history of Unit 731, a Japanese biological warfare unit.
Unit 731 was a secret biological and chemical weapons research and development unit of the Japanese army, Yang said.
"These items show that the Japanese army had taken protective measures to keep themselves immune from plague, anthrax and cholera," Yang told China's state-run Xinhua news agency.
Research confirms Japanese military forces launched biological attacks in Yunnan when they invaded the region in May 1942, Yang said, dropping cholera and pestilence germs into wells, ponds and ditches along a highway linking Yunnan and neighboring Myanmar.
Chen Zuliang, a germ warfare expert from Yunnan, said it is estimated some 200,000 local Chinese were killed in the Japanese germ attacks in the western part of Yunnan during their invasion.