December 29, 2018



Sequence number:s3141
Date of letter:1999-07-22
Address of author:Dehong Prefecture, Yunnan Province
Date of event:1944
Location of event:Dehong Prefecture, Yunnan Province
Name of author:Yunnan Dehong Prefecture Civilian Japanese Compensation Preparation Team
Name(s) of victim(s):Common people in Dehong Prefecture

Type of atrocity:Others, Biological/Chemical Warfare(OT, BC)
Other details:After investigation, Yunnan Dehong Prefecture Civilian Japanese Claim Preparation Team mailed a “Crimes of Invading Japanese Army in Killing Innocent Residents with Plague Bacteria in West Yunnan”. It recorded detailed evidences of killing the civilians with cruel means by the Japanese Army during the occupation period.


Using Plague Bacteria in West Yunnan to Kill Innocent Residents
Vicious Crime of The Japanese Invasion Army

China•Yunnan Dehong Prefecture Civilian Compensation Preparation Team for Claim against Japan

Using Plague Bacteria in West Yunnan to Kill Innocent Residents
Vicious Crime of the Japanese Invasion Army


  In May 1942, more than 20000 soldiers of the Japanese Invasion Army mainly consisting of the 56th Regiment occupied the west bank of Nujiang River in West Yunnan, they tried to adopt genocide thought to let the invading army to barbarically and inhumanly ravage and trample our innocent residents. Kiyoo NAGAI, Chief of Staff of the 56th Regiment, once said: “To understand the spirit of ‘Japan and China supporting each other, co-existence and co-prosperity’, that is to mercilessly remove all original old relics in our occupied zone, burn them to ashes, meanwhile it is also necessary to relentlessly remove burden of the earth——Chinese population which is harmful for the thriving prospects of our offspring”! “Create no man’s land in the places occupied by the Imperialist Royal Army in an entertaining way, become a model for the Great East Asia Holy War.” Guided by this thought, during the occupation of the west bank of Nujiang River of West Yunnan, the Japanese Invasion Army first implemented “Burn All, Kill All, Loot All” brutal policy, they burned, killed, looted, raped, and robbed, committed numerous crimes, which already brought extremely disastrous damage to both life and property of all ethnic groups in West Yunnan. While keeping running around to evade pursuit, having wasted land, overcoming the difficulty of getting clothing and food, resisting hunger, suffering from illness, and tolerating the hardship of daily living, they were also levied with numerous taxes, various hard jobs, which defied enumeration.

  During the Japanese Army’s occupation period, on the Chinese side, the Longlu Anti-Japanese Guerrilla led by Zhu Jiaxi relied on local residents and often harassed the occupying Japanese Army, so that the occupying Japanese Army never had peace; on the other hand, with two years of active preparation, Wei Lihuang, Song Xilian, Huo Kuizhang of the China Expeditionary Force led 100,000 troops, and crossed Nujiang River to stage counterattack in May 1944. The Japanese Army which occupied the western bank of Nujiang River in West Yunnan were aware that defeat was imminent, but they were perverse, finally even cultivated, bred and released plague bacteria, which spread widely for several years, the result was that several thousand innocent people of all ethnic groups died of plague created by the Japanese Army. According to incomplete statistics from 1944 to 1955, in Dehong Prefecture alone 8981 cases of plagued were discovered in over 200 villages, in which 4149 people died. Wherein during the four years from 1944 to 1947, there were 7229 cases, accounting for 80.5%, 3619 people died, accounting for 87.2%. Some areas in Longling and Tengchong also discovered plague, and many people died.


  According to our investigation, in 1944 the Japanese Army cultivated, bred and released plague bacteria in Dengxiang Village in Luxi. According to Fengpajiayexiang (now 88 years old) who was then Laoxing (village cadre) in Dengxiang: In the summer and autumn of 1944, the Japanese Army forced us to use steel plate to encircle Dengxiang Village, and assigned guards in four directions, no one was allowed to enter or exit freely, out-of-town villagers were not allowed to contact Dengxiang villagers, several persons who were allowed to approach the village border were injected vaccine, with finger tainted a red spot, through the then grassroots administrative personnel Laotiankang (rural administrative unit in old time), and Laoxing etc, they instructed villagers of nearby villages to submit living rats, chieftain administration officer Fang Hualong verified that they had received instructions of submission and trading of living rats from the Japanese Army. Though it’s trading, every living rat could be exchanged with salt about the size of a match box. The nearby villages handed over living rats to He Yongqing, who was Manghe Laotiankang (rural administration unit in old times), then dispatched Guren Haoyan to send to Dengxiang Villages side to give the Japanese Army. The Japanese Army also built a temporary shed in the bamboo grove opposite the Dengxiang Village side river, used steel plate to encircle a small area, and sent Dengxiang villagers who contracted plague into there. Dengxiang Village back then had more than 200 people in 40 households, over 30 persons had been sent to the temporary shed, only 3 persons returned alive after lymph pus (including Yaye Sanbao, Ye Yangen, now Manghezhaizi and Yan Genbao), the remaining all died. Ye Yangen who retuned alive said: The Japanese Army put the living rats in a big iron barrel; the Japanese Army cut off a little of the heart and liver (actually it’s liver and spleen. Because liver and spleen are parts of body with concentrated bacteria) of three persons including Mieyan Tunhai, Mieyan Hanao who died of plague, and put it in a glass bottle for safekeeping. After that when people died, villagers would quietly bury the body, fearing that they would cut out heart and liver, in order to prevent the Japanese Army from discovery, there was even no grave mound. People infected with plague all had high fever, and died within two to three days. Because the Japanese Army cultivated and released plague bacteria, it aggravated the spreading and infection of Luxi Plague, in 1944 11 villages had 117 cases of plague, 60 people died, in 1945 there were 762 cases of plagues in 29 villages, 381 people died. Cadre Jiang Xingzhi also accompanied Japanese scholars for many times to go to Dengxiang Village for inspection.

  Lianghe County. According to Teng Jiaxing, who was the Director of the Anti-epidemic Station at Lianghe County during the early days of the liberation period: In the summer of 1944, the Japanese Army stationed at Hehua, Tengchong County, went to the nearby Jiubao area in Lianghe County to organize residents to submit and sell living rats, each living rate was given one bankai silver dollar , Cao Yixiu and others in Jiubao back then were desperate to earn money to make a living, so they went to Hehua to sell a number of living rats to the Japanese Army, and saw the Japanese Army injected living rats before releasing them, let rats spread plague bacteria. Later Lianghe County was plunged into plague epidemic, in 1944 11 villages developed 338 cases of plague, of which 240 persons died, in 1945 18 villages developed 2488 cases of plague, of which 1359 persons died. Cao Yixiu’s husband later contracted plague before death.

  Yingjiang County. According to Dao Anlu (octogenarian) of Xincheng Dai ethnic minority before he died: Japanese invaders released plague to poison the people. They cheated children at about the age of ten, and asked them to catch living rats to sell, each living rat was given 5 to 10 yuan of Japanese Army Voucher. Japanese invaders captured living rats and gave them injection before releasing them, let rats spread the plague. According to Yingjiang County Anti-Japanese War Cultural and Historical Material Selections, the “Towering Crimes of Japanese Invaders committed in Yingjiang” recorded and sorted out by Dao Anlu said: Before the Japanese invaders retreated, they issued certificate to clerks of the “Maintenance Society”, the certificate could enable one to be injected one syringe of white liquid medicine (plague prevention), street pedestrians were injected one syringe of black liquid medicine. Dai ethnic minority author Wang Maocai was a Dai language clerk for the chieftain, he was also a clerk of the “Maintenance Society”, because he was upright and straightforward in character, generally he was unwilling to curry favor with the Japanese Army, he was injected black liquid medicine, later Wang Maocai’s whole family totaling 6 person all contracted plague and died. Yingjiang was an area which was most heavily hit by plague, Dao Anlu’s article said: In the whole Yingjiang county about five to six thousand people died of plague, in Mangzhang and Shapo villages, it was even difficult to summon enough men to carry the dead bodies, so the rule was broken to allow women to carry and bury dead bodies.

  According to Issue 12, Volume 1 of “Epidemic Disease News Bulletin” published by the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration: According to the report of this Province’s Health Section: “Beginning from April and May 1944, two villages of Mangdong and Xiaohongpo south of Tengchong County near L0—Pu—shin——chuen first discovered plague, in July human plague cases were discovered among local residents. Among 48 villages surrounding L0—Pu—Shin—chuen town river valley, 9 villages had plague cases; 9 cases in Lamen all died; Xiaohongpo had 24 cases, of which 14 cases died, Lisuo had 28 cases, of which 24 cases died; Xiaomang had 9 cases, all of them died; Hudong had 5 cases, all of them died; Qimao had 6 cases, 4 cases died; Jinmen had 2 cases, all of them died; Mangdong had 50 cases, 35 cases die; Mangcao had 3 cases, all of them died. In summary, during July and August 1944, total number of plague cases was 136, 105 people died. In this epidemic, the entire area from Ganya under the jurisdiction of Tengyue Department and Lasa Town on the border of Yunnan and Burma was all involved.” (Page 10, “Dehong Epidemic Theses Collection” plague special collection).

  This article by the United Nations corroborated two points about this plague: Firstly the timing, the plague among rats broke out in April and May 1944, and human plague broke out in July and August, the timing matched the situation when the China Expeditionary Force had begun counter attack, the invading Japanese Army stationed at West Yunnan was at its end of its destiny, with no more resources to save itself, which prompted them to employ the vicious strategy; Secondly, the venue, plague was first discovered in Lianghe County, spreading to Yingjiang and other regions, instead of being transmitted from Burma.


  The Japanese Invasion Army cultivated, bred and released plague bacteria in West Yunnan, resulting in plague transmission in the west bank of Nujiang River for a number of years, innocent civilians of all ethnic groups died of plague massively, which created numerous horrible scenes, and brought profound disaster to people of all ethnic groups, it is another towering crime committed by the Japanese Invasion Army in West Yunnan.

  The Japanese Invasion Army occupied the west bank of Nujiang River in West Yunnan, and implemented “Burn All, Kill All, Loot All” brutal policy, which brought tremendous damage to people of all ethnic groups in terms of mental distress and property loss, the heart was still bleeding, and the wound was still pestering, the land was laid waste, many people were forced to go into mountains to look for barks, grass roots, coconut and dived into rivers to find frogs or gecko in order to stave off hunger, they spent the days in difficulty. Before their defeat, the inhuman and perverse Japanese Army again released plague bacteria, creating scenes of killing with bacteria, which was extremely heart-rending, and created deep-rooted hatred.

  In the summer of 1944, because the Japanese Army cultivated, bred, and released plague bacteria, the plague gradually expanded and spread around, in Dehong alone four counties had 30 spots contracting plague, totaling 544 cases, 324 persons died (Yingjiang’s number was missing). In 1945, 5 counties had 59 plague spots, totaling 3746 cases, of which 1759 persons died. In 1946, in the three counties of Luxi, Lianghe, and Yingjiang people continued to discover 78 plague spots, totaling 2102 cases, 1071 persons died. In the second half of 1945, after West Yunnan was recovered, the provincial government promptly organized plague prevention experts to lead plague prevention team to go to West Yunnan, vigorously carried out rat capture, flea removal and plague prevention work, since 1946 the plague spreading began to diminish, several years later it was kept under effective control.

  During the period when the Japanese Army released plague bacteria to spread the plague, there were many miserable scenes, which at that time was too horrible to look at, hearing them today one will still feel frightened, and lingering fear persisted. The following are several examples:

  (1) Manglong Mountain in Luxi, the weak Deang ethnic minority group was located in remote mountainous area, back then there were over 240 people in 45 households, in early 1945, they returned from Weizhuao and went home only when the Japanese Army was defeated, since there was no food, they went to the mountains to look for wild vegetables, barks and grassroots, wild fruits, and dived into water to find frogs and gecko to stave off hunger, suddenly they developed plague, fever, scabies, skin ulcer, and died within two to three days, each day someone would die; the one who carried dead bodies today might die tomorrow and be carried away by others, when the situation was at its worst moment, one day as many as 40 persons died, coffin was nowhere to be found, at first dead bodies were carried up to the mountain for burial, later as more people died there was no labor to bury them, so they were carried out and placed on the mountain, out-of-town villagers dared not enter the village. A total of 215 persons died in the whole village, 35 households were annihilated, finally only 13 persons in 10 households survived.

  (2) Mengjia Sanjiaoyan Village is located in the mountainous area, back then it had 101 persons in 34 households, who returned home only after the Japanese Army was defeated in 1945, yet they suddenly contracted plague, developed high fever, scabies, family members and neighbors died one after another, each day dead bodies were carried out, later there was even no men who could carry the dead bodies, so the rule was broken to allow women to carry and bury dead bodies, Yin Yukui lost wife and mother due to plague, several days later Yin Yukui himself also died, leaving behind a 6 year old daughter. The whole village lost 74 persons, of which 13 households were annihilated totaling 24 persons.

  (3) In First Village of Mengjia, Zhang Naiyu’s family with seven people in three generations suddenly contracted plague. Zhang said: “Grandmother, father and mother died one after another, when the carrier (for carrying the dead body) just came to my home and sat down, my elder sister also died, several days later my younger sister also died, luckily 9 year old myself and my 5 year old younger brother survived, among relatives who came to help with the funeral, my Second Uncle, Eldest sister-in-law, and Eldest brother-in-law returned home and they contracted plague one after another and died suddenly, two of the neighbors who returned home also died of plague. ”

  (4) Lianghe County, according to the “Yunnan Annals Continued”: “In the winter of the 33rd year of the Republic of China (1944), plague was most rampant in Western Yunnan area.” “When plague broke out in Bangdu Village, dead rats filled the ditch. Within about 10 days, over 40 people in the whole village died, 5 people in Dai ethnic minority Jing Zhengxing’s family all died.”

  (5) Zhang Shaoxiang’s family from Xiao Hongpo had 21 persons, within a matter of 8 days 13 people died of plague, neighbors all fled, and Zhang’s family had to employ out-of-town slave labors to carry and bury the body, as it turned out 2 carriers died of infection; the Taoist monk who came to chant sutras scriptures to say prayers for the dead, later also died of plague after holding the ceremony and returning home.

  According to “Yingjiang County Annals”: “Between 1944 and 1955, the whole county had 5563 plague cases, of which 3018 cases died, the mortality rate was 55.2%,” “The plague was extraordinary disastrous.”

  (6) Nongzhang Bingwu had 120 households, 80 households contracted plague and died in 1945.

  7) In Mangguang Village of Gangmeng Town, 1 household with 4 persons died of plague, with the whole family gone, no one buried the dead bodies.

  (8) Nongzhang Nanyong Village originally had 140 persons in 27 households, in 1945 over 50 died of plague.

  (9) Hebeng Village originally had over 300 persons, later only 40 plus persons survived, 8 eminent monks of Mandan Temple all died of plague.

  (10) In many villages, because too many people died, there was no one left to carry and bury the dead bodies, in 1945 alone over 200 households in Yingjiang were annihilated, 7 villages disappeared altogether. Till today, some villages still had leftover signs of broken walls, but no one go there to build houses and settle down.

  Lei Chongxi of Yunnan Province Epidemic Prevention & Treatment Research Institute, recollected the scenes in November 1944 when arriving at Nongzhang, Yingjiang: “The plague at Nongzhang Street was really horrifying, that hair-raising scenes, after over 40 years, the memory is still freshly vivid, on the first day of arrival, people who came to seek medical assistance came in an endless stream, within a matter of a little over two hours, the number of confirmed plague patients reached 48 people. Back then on Nongzhang Street, near Upper and Lower Bingwu, almost each day someone would die. Out-of-town people dared not enter, some local residents were busy moving, the miserable scenes was too horrible to see.” Mr. Li Genyuan knew plague was prevalent in West Yunnan, and compiled a poem: “Plague wrecked havoc in the south, already many people have died, the epidemic was most rampant in Lianghe and Yingjiang, and the place hit most heavily was Jiubao. ”

  Before defeat in West Yunnan, the Japanese Invasion Army killed innocent civilians by cultivating , breeding and releasing plague bacteria at multiple spots, an extremely cruel act beyond belief, which brought extremely severe disaster to people of all ethnic groups, triggered righteous indignation among people of all ethnic groups, they bitterly hated the towering crime of Japanese invaders, Mengjia Zhang Naiyu said: “What’s more inhuman is that the Japanese invaders released plague bacteria, which killed 5 persons of three generations in my home, especially friends and relatives who came to help with the funeral, after returning home 5 persons died of plague, which made us feel sadder and more resentful.” Wen Bixian of Lianghe County said: “When thinking of the brutality of killing people with plague bacteria released by the Japanese invaders, our heart would break at the words, tears would flow upon hearing the episode, plague kills people, gnash teeth in hatred, settle the crime, the Japanese invaders is the root problem. Dao Anlu of Yingjiang County said: “National humiliation and civilian hatred will never be forgotten.”

  We angrily denounce the towering crimes of the Japanese Invasion Army in releasing plague bacteria to kill innocent civilians in West Yunnan, the aim is to thoroughly reveal its inhuman criminal purpose, disclose its vicious methods of cultivating breeding and releasing plague bacteria and the crime of killing large number of innocent civilians, which resulted in disastrous calamity, so that it becomes known by everyone in the world, investigate the compensation responsibility of the Japanese government. Let our Chinese people and our offspring never forget it, and make sure to love the nation, rejuvenate China.

  Appendix: Photos of partial testifiers and evidences.

China • Yunnan Dehong Prefecture Civilian Japanese Claim Preparation Team
July 22, 1999

Photos of partial testifiers and evidences


Tong Zeng, Beijing

Summary table of Civilian Victim Accusation Delegation from Yunnan Province Dehong Prefecture
May 1999


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Bio-Chemical Warfare(BC), Others(OT)
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