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Business

Japanese Firm Made Phosgene Illegally

June 9, 2008 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 86, ISSUE 23

Japanese police raided the offices of Osaka-based Ishihara Sangyo Kaisha on June 2 after the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade & Industry accused the firm of illegally producing phosgene. On May 14, the company had issued a statement admitting it produced a total of 170 metric tons of phosgene during 2005 and 2006, violating the Japanese law that controls chemical weapons production. The law prohibits making more than 30 metric tons of phosgene without obtaining permission from the ministry. Ishihara, which manufactures titanium dioxide, specialty chemicals, agrochemicals, and pharmaceuticals, says that it used the phosgene as an intermediate to make its own products.

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