Question: Will you describe the methods and the special equipment employed by Detachment 731 for the large-scale breeding of fleas?
Answer: The 2nd Division had four special premises for the mass breeding of fleas, in which a fixed temperature of +30°C was maintained. Metal jars, 30 cm high and 50 cm wide, were used for the breeding of fleas. Rice husks were poured into the jars to keep the fleas in. After these preparations, a few fleas were put in each jar, and also a white rat for them to feed on. The rat was fastened in such a way as not to hurt the fleas. A constant temperature of +30°C was maintained in the jars.
Question: What quantity of fleas could be obtained from each cultivator in one production cycle?
Answer: I don't remember exactly, but I should think from 10 to 15 grams.
Question: How long did a production cycle last?
Answer: Two or three months.
Question: How many cultivators were there in the special section which bred the parasites?
Answer: I don't recall the exact figure, but I should say from 4,000 to 4,500.
Question: Consequently, with its available equipment, the detachment could produce 45 kilograms [99 pounds] of fleas in one production cycle?
Answer: Yes, that's true.
Question: What was intended to be done with these fleas in the event of bacteriological warfare?
Answer: They were to be infected with plague.
Question: And employed as a bacteriological weapon?
Answer: Yes, that is so.
— Testimony of Major General Kawashima Kiyoshi, Chief of the Medical Service of the First Front Headquarters of the Japanese Kwantung Army, to the Khabarovsk War Crimes Tribunal in December 1949
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