World / Asia-Pacific

China urges Japan to speed up chemical weapons destruction

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-05-14 20:15

BEIJING -- China on Thursday urged Japan to speed up the destruction of abandoned chemical weapons (ACWs) in China as a precondition for ensuring personnel and environmental safety.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying made the remarks when asked to comment on the delays in the disposal of Japanese ACWs in China at a routine press briefing.

Hua said the JACWs are one of the grave crimes committed by the Japanese militarists during Japan's war of aggression against China.

The JACWs are still threatening and jeopardizing the safety of Chinese people's life, property and the ecological environment, even though the war ended 70 years ago, said Hua.

The Chinese government has been pressing Japan to destroy the JACWs as soon as possible in accordance with the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention(CWC) and the Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) between China and Japan on the Destruction of ACWs in China.

Some progress has been made in the disposal of the JACWs through joint efforts of the two countries, she said.

With assistance from China, Japan has already excavated and recovered about 50,000 ACWs in China and destroyed 37,825 of them in Nanjing, Shijiazhuang and Harbaling area of China's Jilin Province, said Hua.

However, the destruction process is far lagging behind the time limit set by the two sides, she said, adding China has repeatedly voiced concern and discontent over the delays.

Hua reaffirmed that according to the provisions of the CWC and the MoU on the destruction of ACWs signed by China and Japan in 1999, Japan should offer all necessary funds, technology, expertise, facilities and China will provide assistance.

She urged Japan to fulfill its obligations and allocate more manpower and resources to the destruction work, so as to eliminate the threats and hazards to both the safety of local people and the ecological environment.

Japan abandoned at least 2 million tonnes of chemical weapons at 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.

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