Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has condemned Beijing over what he called stone throwing at the Japanese embassy and schools in China following the release of wastewater from the Fukushima nuclear plant.
Japanese authorities on Thursday began releasing from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean, a move that triggered China’s strong reaction by banning all aquatic product imports from its neighbor.
Beijing’s reaction came despite the fact that both Tokyo and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have already said the operation is safe. Moreover, Japan’s environment ministry also said on Sunday tests of seawater near the plant have not detected any radioactivity.
Japan has urged its citizens in China to keep a low profile and boost security around schools and diplomatic missions. Businesses in Japan are said to have been swamped with nuisance calls from alleged Chinese numbers.
“There have been numerous harassment calls believed to originate from China and instances of stones being thrown at the Japanese embassy and Japanese schools. It must be said these are regrettable,” Kishida said at a press conference on Monday.
“We summoned the Chinese ambassador to Japan today and strongly urged him to call on Chinese people to act in a calm and responsible manner,” the Japanese prime minister further told reporters.
According to a statement by Japan’s Foreign Ministry, Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister Masataka Okano told Chinese Ambassador Wu Jianghao that China should properly inform the public “rather than unnecessarily raising people's concerns by providing information that is not based on scientific evidence.”
Separately on Monday, Beijing responded, calling on Tokyo to halt the release of wastewater from the nuclear plant.
“We strongly urge the Japanese side to face up to the legitimate concerns of all parties, immediately stop the discharge of nuclear-contaminated water into the sea, fully consult with its neighbors and other stakeholders, and earnestly dispose of nuclear-contaminated water in a responsible manner,” said China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin at a regular briefing.
According to a statement by plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings (TEPCO), all radioactive elements have been filtered out except for tritium, levels of which are within safe limits and below that released by nuclear power stations in their normal operations – including in China.
Japan’s Environment Minister Akihiro Nishimura has pledged that monitoring would be carried out “with a high level of objectivity, transparency, and reliability” to prevent adverse impacts on Japan's reputation.
He said the ministry would publish test results on a weekly basis for the next three months at least.
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