Numarul 2 / 30 august 2004 /
saptamanal de politica internationala / publicatie personala / Realizator: Nicu Ilie
|Japonia plateste Chinei despagubiri de razboi ENG
Japan puts up 2.8 bln dlrs for WWII arms disposal facility in China
TOKYO (AFP) - Japan is to put up 2.8 billion dollars to build a facility in China to destroy chemical weapons left behind by retreating soldiers at the end of World War II. The full cost of construction is estimated at 300 billion yen (2.8 billion dollars), the Mainichi Shimbun said, while adding it may be difficult to meet a 2007 deadline to dispose of all abandoned weapons.
Japan and China agreed in April to start building the facility within a year to meet the deadline.
Tokyo has set aside 17.1 billion yen in the state budget for the fiscal year ending in March 2005 to help finance the project in Haerbaling in north China's Jilin province.
Most of 700,000 chemical bombs and grenades Tokyo estimates were abandoned in China are believed to be in Haerbaling. Chinese experts put the figure at up to two million -- the world's largest stockpile of abandoned chemical weapons.
Weapons left behind by the retreating Japanese army still pose a serious threat to the Chinese.
A year ago, mustard gas leaked from a cache of such weapons unearthed in the northeastern city of Qiqihar, killing one man and injuring more than 40 people.
Tokyo expressed "sympathy" this month after two Chinese schoolboys were injured after picking up chemical weapons dumped by Japanese in Jilin province.
According to a plan cited by the Mainichi daily, Japan will build a facility shielded from the outer environment to dig up buried weapons using remote-controlled robots.
Unearthed weapons would be then moved to a temporary storage place, it said. Tokyo also plans to build two incinerators about four kilometres (2.5 miles) from the dig-up facility for final disposal, it said. But the Mainichi said it was yet to be decided when construction work would begin as it was taking time to come to an accord with China, which is worried about chemicals being released in the air during the disposal process.
Japan aims to complete the construction of the facility by the end of March 2007 and incinerators by Mach 2008, the paper said.
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