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Japan: ‘Extremely regrettable and alarming’ – Tokyo urges Beijing to take measures over stone-throwing at diplomatic missions in China

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Chief Cabinet Secretary of Japan Hirokazu Matsuno urged Beijing to take measures on Monday for what he called ‘extremely regrettable’ and ‘alarming’ stone-throwing incidents that occurred at diplomatic missions and schools in China in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear power plant wastewater spill.

« We have strongly urged the Chinese side to take appropriate measures, such as asking its citizens to act calmly, take all possible measures to ensure the safety of Japanese residents in China, our people and diplomatic missions, and disseminate accurate information about the treated water, » said Chief Cabinet Secretary of Japan Hirokazu Matsuno.

During the press conference, the spokesperson said that China-bassed Japanese citizens, unrelated to the water spill, have been harassed by telephone in recent days.

« The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also issued spot information to those who are planning to stay or are staying in China, urging them to be very careful of such protests and harassment, » he added.

Tensions between Japan and its largest trading partner have been growing over the issue threatening economic ties. Recently, Chinese authorities prohibited the import of Japanese seafood, which is a significant hit to Japan’s fishing industry as China typically purchases about half of Japan’s seafood exports.

Japanese authorities activated pumps and valves for the first spill of treated water Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant into the Pacific Ocean. This operation is expected to last around 17 days.

The plant produces some 100,000 litres of contaminated water every day. An estimated 1.33 million tonnes needed to cool the cores of nuclear reactors that went into meltdown in 2011 is stored on-site, which is expected to reach maximum capacity imminently.

An inquiry by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) found that the proposal to release the water was ‘consistent’ with international safety standards and would have a ‘negligible’ impact on people and the environment.

The plan has faced strong opposition from the fishing community and neighbouring countries including China.

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