China concerned with report that Japan is holding weapons-grade plutonium
BEIJING (REUTERS) - China said on Monday it was"extremely concerned" by a report that Japan has resisted returning to the United States more than 300kg of mostly weapons-grade plutonium, the latest dispute between the two Asian neighbours.
Japan's Kyodo news agency said that Washington had pressed Japan to give back the nuclear material which could be used to make up to 50 nuclear bombs. Japan had resisted, but finally given in to US demands, it added.
The material was bought for research purposes during the 1960s and the two governments will likely reach an official agreement on its return at the Nuclear Security Summit at The Hague in March, an official at Japan's Education Ministry said.
China is involved in a bitter territorial dispute with Japan and has warned Japan is trying to re-arm.