Shunji Satō (佐藤 俊二, Satō Shinji, September 12, 1896 – January 2, 1977) was a Japanese physician during the first half of the 20th century, a major general in the Imperial Japanese Army, and a war criminal.

Shunji Satō
佐藤 俊二
Born(1896-09-12)September 12, 1896
DiedJanuary 2, 1977(1977-01-02) (aged 80)
Criminal statusDeceased
Conviction(s)War crimes
TrialKhabarovsk war crimes trials
Criminal penalty20 years imprisonment with hard labor
Military career
Allegiance Empire of Japan
Service/branch Imperial Japanese Army
Rank帝國陸軍の階級―襟章―少将.svg Major General
Battles/warsWorld War I


Satō was a native of the city of Toyohashi in Aichi Prefecture.

From January 1941 he was a department head within the Epidemic Prevention and Water Purification Department under the Japanese Central China Area Army. While the public mission of this department was to prevent the spread of disease and monitor water supply, it was also assigned the mission of manufacturing and testing biological weapons. In August, he was promoted to colonel and from November 1941 commanded Unit 8604 of the Japanese Southern China Area Army, a biological warfare unit that operated in southern China. From March 1944, he was reassigned as Chief of Medical Service of the IJA 5th Army based in Manchukuo. He was promoted to major general in June 1945.

Captured by the Red Army during the Soviet invasion of Manchuria, he was accused of war crimes and sentenced to 20 years' incarceration in the Khabarovsk War Crime Trials. However, in 1956, with the restoration of diplomatic relations between Japan and the Soviet Union, he was repatriated to Japan. He died in 1977.


  • Fukagawa, Hideki (1981). (陸海軍将官人事総覧 (陸軍篇)) Army and Navy General Personnel Directory (Army). Tokyo: Fuyo Shobo. ISBN 4829500026.
  • Hata, Ikuhiko (2005). (日本陸海軍総合事典) Japanese Army and Navy General Encyclopedia. Tokyo: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 4130301357.

External linksEdit

  • Materials on the Trial of Former Servicemen of the Japanese Army Charged with Manufacturing and Employing Bacteriological Weapons / Documents relatifs au procès des anciens Militaires de l'Armée Japonaise accusés d'avoir préparé et employé l'Arme Bactériologique / 細菌戦用兵器ノ準備及ビ使用ノ廉デ起訴サレタ元日本軍軍人ノ事件ニ関スル公判書類 / 前日本陸軍軍人因準備和使用細菌武器被控案審判材料, Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1950, p. 524, OCLC 24964936
  • Ammenthorp, Steen. "Sato, Shunji". The Generals of World War II.