Japan says ‘deeply concerned’ over China’s ‘harassment’ after Fukushima water release

Tokyo, Aug 28 (EFE).- Japan said Monday it was “deeply concerned” over the “harassment” of some of its citizens by China after the start of the release of treated wastewater from the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant.

“Japanese nationals in China and also the foreign establishments need to be secured and accurate information needs to be communicated” about the discharge of the treated water, top government spokesperson Hirokazu Matsuno said at a press conference Monday.

He added that the foreign ministry had issued a notice to those staying in or planning to visit China to take care and be on alert.

“Since the August 24 release of the treated water started, a boycott movement against Japanese products and also the cancellation of tours to China have happened,” said the government spokesperson, who refrained from commenting on the impact of these actions on the Japanese economy.

“We urge the Chinese authorities to call on their people to stay calm and spread accurate and correct information,” he added.

Meanwhile, Vice Foreign Minister Masataka Okano summoned Chinese ambassador to Japan, Wu Jianghao, on Monday.

“After the release of ALPS-treated water into the ocean on August 24, there have been many harassing phone calls in Japan that are believed to have originated from China regarding the release of water into the ocean…Also, in China, many similar incidents continue to occur against related facilities in Japan. This is extremely regrettable and worrying,” he said, according to a statement posted on the Japanese foreign ministry.

“In order to prevent the situation from becoming more serious, the Chinese government will promptly take appropriate measures, such as calling on the people to act calmly, and will take all possible measures to ensure the safety of Japanese residents in China and Japanese diplomatic establishments,” he added.

Natsuo Yamaguchi, leader of Japan’s Komeito party, which is part of the ruling coalition, also announced over the weekend that he would postpone his planned visit to the Asian giant.

This situation comes after Japan began last week to release treated water from the Fukushima power plant into the Pacific Ocean, amid opposition from China.

Beijing responded by announcing the suspension of all aquatic product imports from Japan to “prevent the risk of radioactive contamination.”

Okano said that the discharge of the water was being done “in accordance with international standards and practices” taking “all possible safety measures” and that monitoring data has been released “promptly and transparently.”

“Under such circumstances, the recent expansion and tightening of import restrictions by the Chinese government on Japanese marine products cannot be said to be based on scientific grounds, and is extremely regrettable. We once again strongly demand the immediate lifting of import restrictions on Japanese food products,” he said. EFE


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