A poisonous gas accident in Guangzhou city prompted the Chinese government on June 28, 2005, to call for Japan's urgent action to destroy the chemical weapons its army left behind in China during World War ii. While the Japanese side admitted that these weapons had caused the accident, a Japanese foreign ministry official charged China with being slow in dealing with the matter.
Denying the allegation, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Liu Jianchao said: "China has lodged representations to the Japanese side and asked for clarification." He urged Tokyo to follow the Convention on the Banning of Chemical Weapons and the memorandum on the destruction of chemical weapons agreed upon by the two nations. "It is the Japanese side that should take more measures...," Liu held. While Japan says it left behind 700,000 chemical weapons in China, the host claims the number is two million.
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