Cabinet Office, Government of Japan

English Home  >  Policies >  Abandoned Chemical Weapons Office  >  Development of the ACW projects

Development of the ACW projects

Some facts about ACW programs

  1. Outline of the Abandoned Chemical Weapons Project
    1. The abandoned chemical weapons issue concerns resolving chemical weapons left over in China by the former Japanese military forces at the end of World War II. This originated from the request by the Chinese Government to the Japanese Government in 1990 to address the issue.
    2. Japan and China ratified the Convention on 15 September 1995 and 25 April 1997 respectively. When the Convention became effective on 29 April 1997, Japan assumed the obligation as the Abandoning State Party to destroy ACWs in China while China, as the Territorial State Party, undertakes to provide appropriate cooperation.
    3. On 30 July 1999, the Japanese and Chinese Governments signed the Memorandum of Understanding on the Destruction of Japanese ACWs in China.
    4. Since the first excavation and recovery operation in September 2000 in Beian City, Heilongjiang Province, a total of 47,000 chemical munitions so far have been excavated, recovered and stored. On the other hand, it is estimated that 300 ~ 400,000 munitions are still buried in Haerba-ling, Jilin Province as well as in other regions.
    5. In October 2010, a mobile destruction facilitiy (MDF) started operation to destroy ACWs in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province
  2. Characteristics of the Abandoned Chemical Weapons Project
    • Many of the munitions have corroded after being buried for more than half century. Some of them have been deformed and others have chemical leaks. There exists a risk of explosion from explosives as well as a risk from toxic chemicals. Even in European countries, there is little experience and accumulated technology as to the measures for short-time destruction of chemical weapons buried for a long period in the ground.
  3. Way forward
    1. As to the destruction project in Haerba-ling, Jilin Province, where most of the ACWs are estimated to be buried, various preparation works are ongoing for the implementation of excavation and recovery as well as the introduction of test destruction facilities.
    2. The abandoned chemical weapons excavated and recovered in various regions in China have been temporarily stored in storehouses in China. The introduction of MDF was decided on to speed up the destruction process and preparatory work for destruction of ACWs by the MDF is currently going on in Shijiazhuang.
Cabinet Office, Government of Japan1-6-1 Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8914, Japan.
Tel: +81-3-5253-2111