Japan to seek more intl. support, understanding about treated water release

Japan's government is stepping up efforts to gain more international support and understanding about the release of treated and diluted water from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the sea.

The move comes as China has reacted sharply to the release and suspended all imports of Japanese seafood.

The Japanese government plans to take opportunities at all levels, including through meetings with foreign dignitaries and international conferences, to provide information and explanations about the water release.

The Foreign Ministry told senior officials of other Group of Seven nations during a video conference on Thursday that Japan has been continuing to publicize monitoring data in a timely manner after the discharge started on August 24.

On Friday, Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa met his Peruvian counterpart, Ana Gervasi, and explained Japan's position, referring to the International Atomic Energy Agency's report that examined the plan to release the water. The IAEA said Japan's approach and activities regarding the water discharge are consistent with relevant international safety standards.

The Foreign Ministry also issued a statement on Friday rebutting comments by the Chinese embassy in Tokyo about the water release. The ministry said they were not based on scientific evidence.

Prime Minister Kishida Fumio plans to explain Japan's position on the water discharge when he attends summit meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the Group of 20 economies later this month.

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant suffered a triple meltdown in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Water used to cool molten fuel at the plant has been mixing with rain and groundwater.

The accumulated water is treated to remove most radioactive substances, but still contains tritium. Before releasing the treated water into the sea, the plant's operator dilutes it to reduce tritium levels to about one-seventh of the World Health Organization's guidelines for drinking water.