FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         CRM
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 3, 1996                          (202) 514-2008
                                               TDD (202) 514-1888


              First Time Japanese War Crime Suspects
                     Have Been Placed on List

     The Justice Department announced today that 16 Japanese
citizens have been placed on the U.S. Government's "watchlist" of
aliens who are ineligible to enter the United States.  Those
placed on the watchlist either were members of Japanese Imperial
Army units that conducted inhumane and frequently fatal
experiments on humans or were involved in the operation of the
so-called "comfort woman stations," where hundreds of thousands
of women were forced to have sexual relations with Imperial Army
officers and enlisted men.

     Eli M. Rosenbaum, the Director of the Office of Special
Investigations, said that the men whose names have been added to
the watchlist are now prohibited from entering the United States
by 8 U.S.C. Section 1182(a)(3)(E), known as the "Holtzman
Amendment."  That law bars individuals who, in association with
or under the direction of Nazi Germany or any government that was
an ally of Nazi Germany, participated in acts of persecution
during World War II.

     Some of the men being barred from entering the United States
were members of "Unit 731," an infamous Japanese Army detachment
in Manchuria that conducted inhumane and frequently lethal
pseudo-medical experiments -- including vivisection -- on
thousands of non-volunteer prisoners of war and civilians.  These
acts have been documented and described in U.S. and Japanese

     The other men ineligible to enter the United States are
suspected of involvement in the Imperial Army's establishment,
maintenance and utilization of forced sex centers.  Women and
girls were taken principally from Korea, China, Taiwan, the
Philippines, Malaysia, Burma and what is now Indonesia.  They
were held captive in the "comfort stations" and, as noted in the
1994 report, Comfort Women, issued by the Geneva-based
International Commission of Jurists, "were beaten and tortured in
addition to being repeatedly raped day after day by officers and

     Only a few of the perpetrators were tried, all by the Dutch
government, for victimizing Dutch women in Indonesia.  In
response to demands made by international women's and human
rights groups, the Japanese Government undertook an
investigation, and in 1992 released numerous documents that
confirm the official involvement of the Japanese Army in the
operation of the Comfort Women stations.

     This is the first time that individuals not involved in
European atrocities were placed on the watchlist under a 1979 law
barring individuals implicated in acts of persecution committed
under the auspices of Nazi Germany or its wartime allies from
travel to the United States.  Mr. Rosenbaum, whose office
enforces the law, said it was expected that additional former
members of the Japanese armed forces would be added to the
watchlist as the investigation continues.

     More than one hundred suspected participants in Nazi-
sponsored persecution in wartime Europe have been prevented from
entering the United States since 1989, when the Office of Special
Investigations began compiling statistics on this aspect of its
work.  More than 60,000 individuals associated with Nazi
persecution have been placed on the watchlist since OSI's 1979

     Today's action became possible as increased documentation
and witness testimony about Japanese war crimes became available
to researchers in recent years.  The Office of Special
Investigations hired a Japanese-speaking staff member to work on
these cases.

     Said Director Rosenbaum, "A veritable explosion in interest
in these crimes on the part of scholars and the international
human rights community made it possible to conclusively identify
suspects."  Rosenbaum expressed gratitude for the "outstanding
assistance" his office received from contacts in the academic
world and human rights organizations in the United States, Japan
and elsewhere.

     "By barring from the United States those suspected of acts
of persecution in Unit 731 or in the forced sex centers, the U.S.
Government is demonstrating that it remember the victims and
their suffering, and that it wants to deter others from
committing such heinous acts," said Rosenbaum.
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