Beijing is urging Tokyo to fulfil its promise to destroy chemical weapons
abandoned by the Japanese troops in China in the 1930s and '40s.
Japan should destroy them as early as possible, the Foreign Ministry said
During a four-day visit that started on Saturday, Endo Otohiko, head of the
Japan-China New Century Association, led five Diet (Japanese parliament) members
of the association and toured some burial sites of the abandoned chemical
weapons in Northeast China's Jilin Province and South China's Guangdong
Takamatsu Akila, in charge of the Abandoned Chemical Weapons Office of the
Cabinet Office, was also in the group.
Chinese officials who accompanied the Japanese visitors briefed them on the
harm and menace the abandoned chemical weapons brought to the Chinese people and
They asked the Diet members to urge their government to fulfil the promise it
made in the Convention on the Banning of Chemical Weapons and the memorandum of
the two countries on this issue.
China and Japan signed a memorandum in 1999 in which Japan agreed to provide
all the necessary funds, equipment and personnel for the retrieval and
destruction of all abandoned chemical weapons in China by the end of 2007.
Official statistics show that Japan abandoned at least 2 million tons of
chemical weapons in about 40 sites in 15 provinces in China at the end of World
War II, many of them in the northeast.
More than 2,000 Chinese have fallen victim to the chemical weapons in the
A toxic leak in August 2003 that killed one and injured 43 others in Qiqihar
of Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province was the most serious tragedy in
In another development, most Japanese believe that their country's efforts to
make amends for its wartime aggression are insufficient, a newspaper survey
About 51 per cent of respondents to Asahi Shimbun's poll said Japan has yet
to fully apologize or compensate for its aggression and colonial rule in Asia
before and during World War II.
Thirty-six per cent, according to the poll of about 3,000 people, carried out
on April 15 and 16, said Japan had already done enough.
But 69 per cent said Japan had also not done enough to fully examine what or
who made the country go to war, and 18 per cent said it had.
Japan's ties with China and South Korea have deteriorated significantly since
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi began visits to the Yasukuni Shrine, which
honours war criminals convicted and executed by the Allies.
The poll also showed that 53 per cent of respondents knew about the
International Military Tribunal for the Far East, the trial of Japanese war
leaders by Allied nations, but did not know what was discussed.
Seventeen per cent said they did not even know that the tribunal existed, and
only 4 per cent said they knew about the details.
Today, Japan marks the 60th anniversary of the beginning of the Tokyo trial,
which sentenced seven war criminals to death by hanging, including General
Hideki Tojo, who was Japanese prime minister during World War II.
Xinhua - Agencies
(China Daily 05/03/2006 page1)