Japan ministers to discuss relief measures for fisheries industry on Monday

Japan's State Minister for Foreign Affairs Takei Shunsuke says relevant ministers will meet on Monday to discuss emergency relief measures for businesses hit by China's suspension of Japanese seafood imports.

China's move came after Japan started releasing treated and diluted water from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the ocean.

Takei said on an NHK program on Sunday that China's comments and actions are not based on scientific evidence and are very regrettable.

He also said Japan's government will make the utmost efforts to minimize the damage to businesses. He cited assistance with processing, so that seafood items such as scallops can be exported directly from Japan.

On possible responses to China's move, Takei said the government will consider effective steps in various arenas, including the World Trade Organization.

He noted that it is important to keep holding talks at WTO committees.

Takei also referred to the bilateral ties between Japan and China. He called on people to remain calm, saying it is not good for the people of two countries to confront each other.

The Fukushima Daiichi 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.