Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between Japan and China on the Destruction of Abandoned Chemical Weapons in China

July 30, 1999

  1. In accordance with the understanding reached between the Government of Japan and the Government of the People's Republic of China on the basic framework of the destruction of abandoned chemical weapons (ACWs) in China, based on the Chemical Weapons Convention(CWC), the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on the Destruction of ACWs in China took place in Beijing on July 30 (Fri) between Mr. Sakutaro Tanino, Japanese Ambassador to the People's Republic of China, and Mr. Wang Yi, Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China.

  2. Japan has been conducting on-site investigations since 1991 to grasp the actual conditions of the ACWs in China which were owned by the former Japanese Army. Since April 1997, just before the entry into force of the CWC, Japan-China Joint Working Group meetings have also been held, in which Japan has continued consultations with the Chinese side on various matters including the basic ideas and plans for destruction of ACWs.
    While both the Japanese and Chinese sides shared the common view that they would address the issue of destruction of ACWs pursuant to the CWC, close consultations have been held between Japan and China following the Chinese intention to confirm the shared recognition of the two countries on the framework of the future destruction, taking into account the content of previous consultations. The Governments of Japan and China, having now reached a common understanding on the content of the cooperation between the two countries required for the destruction of ACWs based on the CWC, have decided to sign the Memorandum of Understanding.

  3. The main points of the Memorandum are as follows:

    (1) The Government of Japan and the Government of the People's Republic of China, through successive joint on-site investigations, have confirmed that huge amount of ACWs which were owned by the former Japanese Army exist in the People's Republic of China.

    (2) The Government of Japan, in accordance with the CWC, will sincerely fulfill the obligation of Abandoning State Party for the destruction of the ACWs which are already confirmed as having belonged to the former Japanese Army as well as those which will be confirmed in future.

    (3) The Government of Japan, in accordance with the provisions of the CWC, will provide all necessary financial, technical, expert, facility as well as other resources for the purpose of destroying the ACWs. The Government of the People's Republic of China will provide appropriate cooperation for the destruction.

    (4) The Government of Japan, in conducting the above-mentioned destruction operation, confirms that it will abide by the laws of the People's Republic of China and that utmost priority will be given to preventing the ecological environment of the People's Republic of China from being contaminated and to securing the safety of the personnel at work. Upon this, the Government of the People's Republic of China will consent to the destruction operations to be carried out inside its territory.

    (5) The issues including the location of the destruction facilities and their construction will be settled through consultation between the two governments. The two governments will adopt in principle the Chinese standards with regard to the environmental standards to be kept during the destruction operation, and have decided to conduct environmental-impact assessment and monitoring.

    (6) The two governments will discuss and decide on the objectives, rules and time-limit of the destruction based on the CWC.

    (7) The two governments will select mature destruction technology which is fully reliable in terms of destruction efficiency, safety and environment. Concrete types of destruction technology will be finally decided upon after being discussed and thoroughly examined by the experts on both sides at the Japan-China Joint Working Group meeting, by methods of assured transparency and impartiality.

    (8) The two governments will hold consultations immediately if by any chance an accident occurs during the destruction operation. Based on these consultations, the Japanese side will take satisfactory measures for both sides in order to provide necessary compensation, and the Chinese side will provide appropriate cooperation for such Japanese measures.

(END)


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