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Japan sending chemists to analyze bombs
By Wu Gang (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-06-10 22:30

Japan has agreed to send experts to Qiqihar next week to dispose of chemical weapons abandoned by Japanese invading troops during World War II, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

Japanese experts have confirmed the 50-plus artillery shells found earlier in Northeastern China are chemical weapons left by the Japanese troops, according to the China National Radio website.

The ammunition was discovered by a villager on his property in the Angangxi District of Qiqihar on May 23. No injuries were reported after the site was quickly sealed off, with the residents evacuated.

The Japanese experts will excavate the shells on June 16 at the site and send them to a temporary storehouse in Qiqihar after a sealing procedure, according to a Foreign Ministry press release.

Used as a wartime Japanese chemical weapons base site, the city has been overshadowed by numerous poisoning incidents in past decades, including the one on August 4 last year. That incident killed one resident and injured 43.

In another development, six bombs believed to be left behind by wartime Japanese air forces were found in southern Beijing on Tuesday.

The iron-coated bombs, about 1.3 metres and 50 kilograms, were spotted by construction workers at a residential real property development site in Daxing County.

Police cordoned off the site and evacuated the workers soon after they received the report.

Explosive experts were sent to dig out the six bombs, which were found containing no explosives or fuses.

No signs or characters were found on the seriously rusted munitions. But experts believe they were abandoned Japanese ammunition.

The site where the bombs were found was several kilometres away from Nanyuan Airport, which had been occupied and used for military purposes by Japanese troops after Japan took Beijing in 1937.

Japan was defeated in 1945.

It is rare to find so many air bombs at once in Beijing. But spotting of other weapons like mortar shells or grenades occurs now and then, a police officer told China Daily.

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