Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s video address to the participants of the International Research and Practice Forum, The Khabarovsk War Crime Trials: Historic Significance and Contemporary Challenges, September 6, 2021
I am delighted to welcome the organisers, participants and guests of the International Research and Practice Forum, The Khabarovsk War Crime Trials: Historic Significance and Contemporary Challenges.
World War II, which claimed tens of millions of lives, became the greatest tragedy in the history of humanity. It is our sacred duty to preserve the memory of that period of time. Exploring new documents and sources contributes to the preservation of historical truth.
Your forum is dedicated to the tribunal, held in Khabarovsk in December 1949, involving a group of Japanese military members guilty of creating chemical and bacteriological weapons, as well as testing them on living people. The archival material presented at the exhibition clearly shows the role of the Foreign Ministry in organising the Khabarovsk trial. Our diplomats convincingly explained to the Allied powers the reasons why the trial was necessary. The main reason was that the crimes of Manshu Detachment 731 and other Japanese units that performed inhuman experiments on prisoners of war were not sufficiently reflected in the cases considered by the 1946-1948 Tokyo Trial.
In this respect, the Khabarovsk trial was an important extension to the Tokyo trial, as it acknowledged the horrors of the use of biological warfare for the first time and told the world about this ugly side of militarist Japan. The verdict passed by the court provided an objective assessment of the crimes committed. It is important that both current and future generations remember the atrocities committed by the Japanese militarists who left behind a bloody trail in the history of humanity. We have no moral right to forget about it.
The next, 76th session of the UN General Assembly will open in New York soon. In this regard, it would be right to recall that the generally recognised World War II results enshrined in the UN Charter are unshakable. Russian diplomacy will continue to thwart any attempts to revise them no matter who makes them.
The research and expert community as well as the public are responsible for contributing to this work, including through such events as your forum.
I would like to wish you fruitful discussions and all the very best.