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Japanese Medical Team Arrives in Qiqihar

A Japanese medical team arrived in Qiqihar Saturday to assist Chinese victims suffering from a recent accidental leak of mustard gas from chemical weapons abandoned by Japanese troops in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province.

The medical team led by Kawakami Fumihiro, an official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, visited the No. 203 Hospital of the People's Liberation Army Saturday afternoon and exchanged views with Chinese experts on the Chinese victims.

Kawakami Fumihiro said the Japanese government has admitted that the accident on August 4 was caused by the chemical weapons abandoned by the Japanese army during World War II.

He offered an apology and showed sympathy for the Chinese victims on behalf of the Japanese government.

Japan is ready to make joint efforts with China to deal with the accident, he said, stressing that treating the victims is the most important task at present.

Japan sent the best Japanese medical experts to China, hoping to assist the Chinese side, he added.

The Japanese medical team consists of seven members, including three medical doctors, two officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, one researcher and one interpreter, sources said.

(Xinhua News Agency August 17, 2003)


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