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Japan to Discuss Compensation for Chinese Gas Leak Victims

A Japanese diplomat said in Beijing Thursday that Japan will hold talks with the Chinese government on compensation for people who have been made ill by chemical weapons abandoned by Japanese troops in World War II.

Japanese Ambassador to China Koreshige Anami said in Beijing that Japan was deeply sympathetic to the victims of chemical weapons stocks that were unearthed last week at a construction site in northern China.

His government would allocate medical aid for the victims soon, he said.

On August 4, five metallic barrels were dug up at a construction site in Qiqihar city, northeast Heilongjiang Province.

One of the barrels was accidentally broken, causing an oil-like substance to leak into the soil. The substance was later confirmed to be mustard gas.

By Wednesday, 37 people had been hospitalized following exposure to the chemicals.

The Japanese government admitted Tuesday that the chemical weapons were left by Japanese troops during World War II, saying it felt "extremely regretful".

(Xinhua News Agency August 14, 2003)

China Lodges Solemn Representations to Japan
Japanese Chemicals Poison 29 People
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