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Japanese companies helped AQ Khan

world Updated: Feb 17, 2009 00:21 IST

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In what could come as a major embarrassment to Japan’s strident anti-nuclear stance, Japanese companies have been found to have played a key role in supplying at least 6,000 ring magnets and other materials to rogue Pakistani scientist A Q Khan.

This supply “knowingly or unknowingly” helped Islamabad to acquire nuclear capability and were incorporated in its supply framework, Kyodo News reported, quoting the outcome of its investigations in Islamabad and Tokyo.

Comments by Khan and former employees of the companies reveal in detail for the first time how Japanese manufacturers helped Pakistan acquire nuclear capability.

Investigations revealed that both Khan and the head of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission visited Japan at least once in the 1980s to shop for their respective programmes.

Khan told Kyodo in a written interview that Khan Research Laboratories acquired a wide range of machines, laboratory equipment and metal products from Japan. A mid-sized Tokyo-based trading company, Western Trading, which went bankrupt in 2004, acted as the point of contact. PTI