China's top general is calling on Japan to speed up work on the disposal of chemical weapons left in China at the end of World War II.

Gen. Fan Changlong was visiting a major disposal site Thursday on the eve of President Barack Obama's visit to a Japanese city destroyed by a U.S. nuclear bomb at the end of the war.

Defense Ministry spokesman Col. Yang Yujun said the Chinese general's visit was planned long in advance and was unrelated to Obama's visit to Hiroshima. Yang said Fan's inspection visit was intended to emphasize the importance of the work at the Haerbaling site.

China has been at pains to counter attempts by some in Japan use Obama's visit to portray their country as a war victim.