Abandoned Chemical Weapons Office

Haerbaling facilities

ACW projects

Abandoned Chemical Weapons (ACW) projects in China

Detonation chamber

Japan, as the Japanese Government, is making efforts to destroy abandoned chemical weapons in China in accordance with the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction (entered into force on 29 April 1997; hereinafter referred to as the Convention).
For that purpose, the Cabinet adopted a decision on efforts to tackle the ACW issue on 19 March 1999. Based on this decision, the Abandoned Chemical Weapons Office was established in the Prime Minister's Office (now the Cabinet Office) on 1 April 1999.

Japanese and Chinese ACW officials, monitoring detonation process

As stipulated in the Order for the Organization of the Cabinet Office, the ACW Office carries out “activities related to destroying abandoned chemical weapons (the ones that exists on the territory of the Territorial State Party's area and are considered to require urgent destruction by Japan as the Abandoning State Party),” in order to discharge properly Japan's obligation under the Convention as well as contribute to promoting relations between Japan and China.

Related articles in the Chemical Weapons Conventions

  1. Definition
    • Article II 6.
      “Abandoned Chemical Weapons” means: Chemical weapons, including old chemical weapons, abandoned by a State after 1 January 1925 on the territory of another State without the consent of the latter.
  2. Obligations
    1. Article I 3.
      Each State Party undertakes to destroy all chemical weapons it abandoned on the territory of another State Party, in accordance with the provisions of this Convention.
    2. Article III 1.
      Each State Party shall submit to the Organization, not later than 30 days after this Convention enters into force for it, the following declarations, in which it shall: (iii) Declare whether it has abandoned chemical weapons on the territory of other States and provide all available information in accordance with Part IV (B), paragraph 10, of the Verification Annex;
    3. Verification Annex Part IV (B)15.
      For the purpose of destroying abandoned chemical weapons, the Abandoning State Party shall provide all necessary financial, technical, expert, facility as well as other resources. The Territorial State Party shall provide appropriate cooperation.
  3. Destruction
    1. Verification Annex Part IV (A) 12.
      “Destruction of chemical weapons” means a process by which chemicals are converted in an essentially irreversible way to a form unsuitable for production of chemical weapons, and which in an irreversible manner renders munitions and other devices unusable as such.
    2. Verification Annex Part IV (A) 13.
      Each State Party shall determine how it shall destroy chemical weapons, except that the following processes may not be used: dumping in any body of water, land burial or open pit burning. It shall destroy chemical weapons only at specifically designated and appropriately designed and equipped facilities.
    3. Article IV 10.
      Each State Party, during transportation, sampling, storage and destruction of chemical weapons, shall assign the highest priority to ensuring the safety of people and to protecting the environment. Each State Party shall transport, sample, store and destroy chemical weapons in accordance with its national standards for safety and emissions.
  4. Deadline
    1. Article IV 6.
      Each State Party shall destroy all chemical weapons specified in paragraph 1 pursuant to the Verification Annex and in accordance with the agreed rate and sequence of destruction (hereinafter referred to as “order of destruction”). Such destruction shall begin not later than two years after this Convention enters into force for it and shall finish not later than 10 years after entry into force of this Convention. A State Party is not precluded from destroying such chemical weapons at a faster rate.
    2. Verification Annex Part IV (A) 26. (excerpt)
      Any extension shall be the minimum necessary, but in no case shall the deadline for a State Party to complete its destruction of all chemical weapons be extended beyond 15 years after the entry into force of this Convention.