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War-era Japanese bomb found in China city
Updated: 2004-03-15 13:15

An unexploded, 300-kilo (660-pound) Japanese bomb dropped on China during World War II nearly made its way into a scrap metal furnace and could have detonated, the government said Monday.

The rusty bomb was found by scrap metal workers in Yantai, a port city in eastern Shandong province, the Xinhua News Agency said.

``It is fortunate that the bomb has been discovered at the harbor, or it would have exploded in a furnace if it had been melted down as scrap,'' the report said.

The bomb, 1.2 meters (4 feet) in length, had markings that indicated it was dropped by a Japanese plane during World War II, Xinhua said. It did not say when the bomb was found or provide any other details.

Japanese officials say about 700,000 chemical weapons remain in China, and unexploded conventional weapons are believed to number in the millions.

Last September, workers in Heze, another town in Shandong province, unearthed 80 Japanese bombs at a construction site.

In August, one person died and 42 were injured after barrels of abandoned Japanese mustard gas were accidentally dug up at a construction site in Qiqihar and began leaking.

The incident stirred Chinese resentment over Japanese atrocities in China during its 1937-45 invasion.

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