542 Japanese chemical bombs retrieved
Experts from China and Japan have recalled a total of 542 chemical bombs that were abandoned by Japanese intruders during World War II, as the work of clearing ended on Thursday in Qiqihar, northeast China's Heilongjiang province.
Most of the bombs were found at a site, two meters long, two meters wide and 0.6 meters deep, in Touzhan village, Yushutun town. Only 21 of them were collected from the neighboring area of the village, according to the Chinese expert team.
The clearing process went on smoothly without any incident of leakage reported during the process, said Chinese experts.
A joint team, comprising Chinese and Japanese experts, arrived at the scene on June 16 after the chemical weapons were found by a local farmer named Dong Liyan on May 23 near his house in the city 's Ang'angxi district, where a Japanese airport was located and a deployment regiment stationed during World War II.
The 30-member Japanese team takes charge of the chemical weapons' recall process, and personnel from the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Defense Ministry and the Shenyang Military Area Command of the People's Liberation Army assist the Japanese team in the recall process.
Dozens of villagers and their livestock at the Douzhan village have been moved from areas within a radius of 60 meters around the site since the chemical weapons were found.
Bu Ping, vice-president of the Heilongjiang Academy of Social Sciences and a researcher on chemical weapons left over by the Japanese troops in China, estimated that the Japanese troops had left over 2 million chemical weapons in a dozen of Chinese cities and provinces at the end of World War II.
So far, some 2,000 Chinese have been reportedly victimized by the abandoned chemical weapons in the post-war period, noted previous reports.
In the city of Qiqihar alone, which also used to be a major logistics base of the Japanese troops during the war, eight incidents involving Chinese have incurred by Japanese chemical weapons since founding of new China in 1949.
According to a treaty signed by the two countries, all the chemical weapons so far have been found in China would have been destroyed by 2007.