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Experts to Destroy Japan's Chemical Weapons

A special group of Chinese and Japanese experts are in  northeast Chinese city of Qiqihar to destroy a stockpile of abandoned chemical weapons. The weapons were left behind by Japanese troops at the end of World War II. They include barrels of mustard gas that leaked and killed a Chinese man in the city three months ago.


The group arrived in Qiqihar Thursday morning. The experts have set up special tents where chemical weapons collected from around the region await destruction. UN officials are also there to monitor the disposal.


Among the weapons are five barrels of mustard gas dug up at a construction site in August. A fatal gas leak at the time killed a migrant worker from central China's Henan Province and injured 42 others. Three months after the incident, some of them are still in hospital.


The team says it will take them more than 20 days to destroy these chemical weapons. And it is only the start of a long and dangerous mission. It is estimated that as many as two million Japanese chemical weapons remain unearthed across China.


(CCTV.com November 9, 2003)

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