Residents of this northeast China city Friday vociferously condemned Japanese war crimes and expressed their anger after a local man, Li Guizhen, died after being infected by World War II-era mustard gas left by retreating Japanese troops.
After Li was rushed to the No. 203 hospital of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, it was found that he had mustard gas burns over 95 percent of his body.
Doctors at the hospital warned that Li was on the verge of death several days ago.
At 20:55 on Aug. 21, Li passed away, after medical personnel in the hospital had exerted their utmost to save him, using the best treatment available.
Chang Zhongmin, a patient in the same hospital, was astonished at the news.
"The death of Li is heart-breaking. I hate the toxic weapons abandoned by the Japanese troops. The victims are all ordinary laborers. How can they make a living in the future? The Japanese government should compensate for them both spiritually and materially," Chang said.
Wang, a taxi driver, said, "It is another crime committed by the Japanese invaders, and the Japanese government should take the issue seriously and give the victims and their families satisfactory compensation."
It's another "ugly crime" against China committed by the Japanese militarists, said Song Jiamei, who graduated from Qiqihar University in July. He insisted that Japan should make due compensation.
Though the chemical weapons were left by the previous Japanese government, its successor should be brave enough to shoulder the responsibility, dispose of the abandoned weapons and take care of the aftermath of the accident, the graduate said.
Local sources said that Li Guoxiong, the victim's father, has made a claim for compensation against the Japanese government, through the Qiqihar government.
(Xinhua News Agency August 23, 2003)