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Japanese chemical weapons in China to be destroyed

( Xinhua )

CHANGCHUN - China and Japan will begin to destroy the chemical weapons abandoned by Japan in northeast China at the end of World War II on Monday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced on Sunday.

Trial destruction will take place Monday in the Harbaling area of China's Jilin Province, where the largest amount of the weapons are buried, an estimated 330,000 pieces, according to the Ministry.

This marks a new stage in disposal of the weapons, which will be decisive for the destruction of all of them, the Ministry said.

Japan abandoned at least two million tonnes of chemical weapons at about 40 sites in 15 Chinese provinces at the end of World War II, most of them in the three northeast provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning.Abandoning these weapons was one of many crimes during Japan's invasion of China. Though the war has been over for decades, the weapons still pose huge threats to Chinese people, property and the environment.

In accordance with the Convention on the Banning of Chemical Weapons and the memorandum on the destruction of abandoned chemical weapons signed by China and Japan in 1999, Japan will offer all necessary funds, technology, expertise, facilities and China will provide assistance.

"China will continue to urge Japan to speed up the destruction process on the precondition of ensuring personnel and environmental safety," the Ministry said.