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Japan Urged to Compensate Chemical Weapons Victims

Five citizens' groups on Wednesday urged Japanese government to apologize and provide living and medical support for Chinese victims suffering from exposure to chemical weapons left by Japanese troops during World War II.  

The Japan citizens' groups held a rally in Tokyo and presented a protest letter, voicing support on the victims and asking the government to make efficient efforts to properly handle the issue.


A group of Chinese chemical weapons victims from Qiqihar and some Japanese victims suffering from chemical leak accident in Ibaraki Prefecture criticized the chemical weapons incidents and called for support from more Japanese citizens.


The Chinese victims, along with their lawyers, arrived in Tokyo for an 11-day trip to carry out a series of negotiations with Japanese government for proper treatment on the issue.


"If the issue can be properly handled in a view of humanitarianism, the cooling relations between China and Japan will get improved," the protest letter says.


The chemical weapons were discovered in August 2003 at a construction site in Qiqihar, northeast China's Heilongjiang Province. One of them was broken, causing an oil-like substance to leak out into the soil. The accident has killed one people and injured 43 others.


After rounds of negotiations between Chinese and Japanese governments, the Japan side agreed to pay for 300 million yen (about US$2.68 million) to deal with the abandoned chemical weapons issue.


(Xinhua News Agency August 4, 2005)

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