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China, Japan Destroy Wartime Chemical Weapons in Qiqihar

A special group of Chinese and Japanese experts arrived Thursday morning in Qiqihar city in China's northernmost Heilongjiang Province to destroy chemical weapons stored in the city.  

When they surrendered and returned home at the end of the World War Two, Japanese intruding troops left countless chemical weapons they had developed during the war in northeast China.


Some of the abandoned chemical weapons were found recently in the city and other places in northeast China and caused injuries, or even death.


A fatal toxic gas leakage from abandoned Japanese chemical weapons killed one person and injured 42 others after barrels of mustard gas were dug up at a construction site in Qiqihar in early August.


Nearly 100 Chinese and Japanese experts will participate, and Japanese chemical weapons and medical experts will arrive in several groups, according to Guo Haizhou, an official of the Qiqihar municipal government.


They will work with Chinese diplomats, experts and engineers to dispose of deadly chemical weapons that were collected and stored in a local warehouse, Guo said.


Despite the weapons being sealed off in the warehouse, they face danger of leakage because of eroded containers.


UN officials will join the Chinese and Japanese experts to monitor the destruction at the scene, according to the official.


(Xinhua News Agency November 7, 2003)

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