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Chemical Weapons Victims to Sue Japanese Government

Thirty five victims of a Japanese chemical weapons leak in Qiqihar City in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province authorized an attorney on Sunday to file a lawsuit against the Japanese government on their behalf.

The leak on Aug. 4 last year in the province killed one and injured another 43 Chinese people.

The other victims living outside of the province will arrive Monday for the legal procedures for the lawsuit.

Following the incident, Chen Rongxi, one of the victims, contacted lawyer Su Xiangxiang. "We want a say from the Japanese government," said Chen.

"Though we got some money after the incident, the Japanese government didn't say what the money stands for, nor did we receive any apology from the Japanese government," said Ding Shuwen, 26, a garbage collector in the city and also one of the victims.

"We want an apology from the Japanese government," Ding said. "We also urged the Japanese government to destroy all chemical weapons abandoned in China as soon as possible. Don't let other Chinese be injured anymore. It's too painful."

Lawyer Su said he hopes the lawsuit will help promote resolving the chemical weapons issue.

(Xinhua News Agency February 1, 2004)

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