The discard of the chemical weapons in China was one of the serious crimes the Japanese militarists committed during the War of Aggression against China. This problem needs to be resolved promptly. In the wartime, the Japanese army violated openly the international conventions by using chemical weapons, which caused severe casualties among Chinese soldiers and civilians. When Japan was defeated, large amount of chemical weapons were buried and discarded at the local areas in purpose of covering up the evidence of their crimes. The Japanese discarded chemical weapons have so far been found in more than 30 places of over 10 cities and provinces in China. Eroded by wind and rain of over half a century, some of those chemical weapons are corroding by rust, and some others are leaking, which are greatly endangering the safety of the Chinese people and the ecological environment as well.
From 1989 to the present, in order to solve the problem, the two sides held 4 rounds of negotiations at governmental-level and 4 expert-level consultations. In 1997, the two sides established a Joint Working Group. 4 meetings of the Joint Working Group were held thereafter. Encouraged by the Chinese side, the Japanese side conducted 15 field inspections on its leftover chemical weapons. Through a number of negotiations and joint investigations, Japan recognized the fact that it discarded a large amount of chemical weapons and was fully aware of seriousness and urgency of the issue. Japan keenly regretted for the damages which the Chinese people have so far suffered. On July 30, 1999, the two governments signed the Memorandum on the Destruction of Japanese Discarded Chemical Weapons in China between the Governments of the People's Republic of China and Japan. The Japanese side is committed to solving the issue in accordance with the principles and spirit of Sino-Japanese Joint Statement and the Treaty of Peace and Friendship, the relative provisions of the CWC and MOU. A special office was set up by the Chinese Foreign Ministry as the competent department to handle the question of chemical weapons discarded by Japan in China.