Many parts of the country are still haunted by the ghosts of a war that ended 61 years ago.
The threat posed by these weapons, particularly chemical ones, which were left by Japanese invaders, remains real and imminent.
This large amount of munitions has turned China into the world's largest stockpile of abandoned chemical weapons.
Official statistics show that Japan dumped at least 2 million tons of chemical weapons in about 40 sites in 15 provinces across the country, with a large proportion in the northeast.
On Wednesday, experts from the two countries started a four-day job to dig and collect abandoned chemical weapons. Thirty-one Japanese bombs, with seven confirmed to be chemical weapons, were recovered on Wednesday in Ning'an, northeast China's Heilongjiang Province.
In the past nine years, China and Japan have worked together on more than 60 occasions to investigate, evacuate, retrieve and pack dumped chemical weapons. As a result, 37,499 chemical weapons and 200 tons of contaminated objects have been collected. However, not a single item in these collections has been destroyed.
The unearthed weapons and the ones that remain buried somewhere in our land pose a big potential danger to our people and environment.
A total of 2,000 Chinese people have fallen victim to Japanese chemical weapons over the past decades.
The governments of the two countries signed a memorandum in 1999, in which Japan agreed to provide all necessary funds, equipment and personnel for the retrieval and destruction of all abandoned Japanese chemical weapons in China by 2007.
The deadline is short and difficult to meet.
Japan has so far been slow in clearing up the weapons buried or discarded by its troops after their defeat in 1945.
The abandoned Japanese weapons contained chemical agents, mostly mustard gas, as well as hydrogen cyanide, phosgene, arsenic and a blistering agent called lewisite. All of these are poisonous agents.
It is Japan's responsibility to speed up the job of removing all the chemical weapons left in China so that our people and soil will be free from danger.
These abandoned weapons are a tangible reminder of Japanese aggression during World War II.
Clearing them up as soon as possible is Japan's responsibility and part of its soul-searching for the war against China.
The onus is on Japan to provide China adequate information on the weapons it dumped in our country.
A lack of information from Tokyo about where Japanese troops abandoned or buried their weapons has made it difficult to account for them.
If Japan does not want to be haunted by this ghost of history, it should completely destroy all these weapons as soon as possible.
Japan needs to match its promises with action.
(China Daily July 7, 2006)