I just ran across this news story on the latest scandal related to the Japanese removal of Abandoned Chemical Weapons (ACW) from China.
Time Magazine also ran a story on the Japanese ACW just days before the Second Review Conference.
During the RevCon the Japanese delegation hosted a lunch event to showcase their efforts on destroying ACW in China. It was pretty interesting, videos were shown of 3 different excavation sites, one in a riverbed, one in a forest and one in between the buildings of a chemical plant. Each site had unique challenges, for example to remove ACWs from the riverbed, the river needed to be dammed and a pier removed to allow workers to excavate. Metal detectors used to locate the ACWs also located garbage and other foreign metal objects that were buried in the river. The take-home message that the Japaense delaegation was hoping to impress upon us was that they are working on it, but ACW recovery has not been an easy process.
Next challenge: actual destruction of the weapons.
Recovery difficulties coupled with an additional corruption scandal… It’s not unreasonable to wonder if they will have trouble meeting the destruction 2012 deadline.
Speaking of countries that will have trouble meeting the 2012 deadline – The Pueblo Chieftain reported this week that some of the construction of the Pueblo chemical weapon neutralizing facility will be delayed until 2009. Yikes!