BEIJING, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- A Japanese commission began trying to remove abandoned chemical weapons Saturday in the Harbaling area of China's Jilin Province. The weapons had been buried there since World War II.
The number of weapons and length of excavation was not made public.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said, commencement of the work marks real progress by Japan to destroy weapons which still pose threats to peoples' lives, property and the local environment.
The Chinese authority will supervise the work and provide necessary assistance in the proceedings, according to the Ministry.
The commission was sent by the Japanese government in accordance with the Convention on the Banning of Chemical Weapons and the memorandum on the destruction of abandoned chemical weapons which was signed by China and Japan in 1999.
According to Chinese statistics, Japan abandoned at least two million tons of chemical weapons at about 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.