Book claims Japan tested secret germ agent in WWII

A recently released book claims that Japanese troops secretly tested a germ agent in Busan, Korea, that was developed during World War II.

Titled “The Truth about Noborito Institute,” the book tells the story of the Japanese Research Center and a biological weapon it created to kill U.S. cattle during the war, the Chosun Ilbo reports. The book claims that the virus was secretly tested on 10 cows at a river delta in Busan in 1944 when Japan occupied the Korean Peninsula.

Although no outbreaks were recorded in Korean cattle following the tests, critics list this as just another example of Japanese atrocities during its 35 year colonial rule in Korea.

The Noborito Institute was located in Japan, just across the southwestern border of Tokyo on the Tama River.

In 1925, the Japanese added a department for chemical warfare in an effort to keep up with the West, who had made extensive use of chemical weapons in Europe during World War I.

Capt. Shinoda Ryo directed work on applications for covert warfare in a laboratory of the chemical sciences department, the Chosun Ilbo reports. By late 1939, his laboratory had grown into a branch institute at Noborito.

In 1942, the Army Science Research Institute was reorganized and Shinoda's laboratory became the 9th Army Technical Research Institute. By the end of World War II, Lt. Gen. Shinoda directed nearly a thousand employees.

Of the Army's ten numbered institutes, only the 9th Army Technical Research Institute came under the covert operations section of the Army General Staff's Second Bureau.

Noborito's main customers were covert operatives trained at the Nakano School and the counterintelligence officers of the Kempeitai. Noborito personnel researched and developed special weapons, including balloon bombs, counterfeit bills, and chemical and biological weapons.