Asia

China says 2,500 wartime Japanese chemical weapons destroyed

  • FILE - In this Wednesday, July 5, 2006, file photo, Chinese and Japanese chemical weapons experts in protective clothing dig up abandoned poison gas bombs in a pit in Ning'an, northeastern China's Heilongjiang province. China’s military said Tuesday that more than 2,500 abandoned Japanese wartime chemical weapons collected from northern China, including Beijing and the port city of Tianjin, have been destroyed in a four-year disposal process. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)

    FILE - In this Wednesday, July 5, 2006, file photo, Chinese and Japanese chemical weapons experts in protective clothing dig up abandoned poison gas bombs in a pit in Ning'an, northeastern China's Heilongjiang province. China’s military said Tuesday that more than 2,500 abandoned Japanese wartime chemical weapons collected from northern China, including Beijing and the port city of Tianjin, have been destroyed in a four-year disposal process. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Wednesday, July 5, 2006, file photo, a Chinese chemical weapons expert aligns poison gas bombs dug from a pit in Ning'an, northeastern China's Heilongjiang province. China’s military said Tuesday that more than 2,500 abandoned Japanese wartime chemical weapons collected from northern China, including Beijing and the port city of Tianjin, have been destroyed in a four-year disposal process. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)

    FILE - In this Wednesday, July 5, 2006, file photo, a Chinese chemical weapons expert aligns poison gas bombs dug from a pit in Ning'an, northeastern China's Heilongjiang province. China’s military said Tuesday that more than 2,500 abandoned Japanese wartime chemical weapons collected from northern China, including Beijing and the port city of Tianjin, have been destroyed in a four-year disposal process. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)  (The Associated Press)

China's military says more than 2,500 abandoned Japanese chemical weapons collected from northern China, including Beijing and Tianjin, have been destroyed at a facility in Shijiazhuang in a four-year disposal process.

Japanese occupation troops left behind hundreds of thousands of chemical weapons at the end of World War II, and Tokyo is responsible for their cleanup under a 1997 treaty. China says thousands of Chinese have been killed or hurt since the end of the war in 1945 from accidents related to the buried weapons.

China's ministry of defense said Tuesday that because they were widely scattered, the remaining pieces of Japanese chemical weapons were difficult to find and destroy. The ministry urged Japan to "increase manpower and resources" to finish the job under the conditions of the international convention.