A former medical officer in the Japanese navy during World War II has come forward with details of atrocities committed by Japan on Filipinos.

Akira Makino told Japanese media that he assisted in surgical experiments on live Filipino prisoners. He said the subjects of the surgery were then strangled to death and buried.

Makino said about 30 prisoners, including children, were subject to procedures such as amputations and abdominal surgery between December of 1944 and February of 1945.

Makino is now 84 years old. He told the Kyodo news service that he came forward out of a sense of guilt.

Kyodo says this is the first time such confessions have come to light with regard to the Japanese navy in the Philippines during the war.

However, similar experiments were conducted by a Japanese army unit in northern China during the war. Thousands of people are estimated to have died from those procedures.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.