Members of US Congress sample Fukushima seafood and sake

Members of the US Congress have been invited to taste seafood from the Japanese prefectures of Fukushima and Hokkaido, which have been hit hard by China's blanket suspension of imports.

The Japanese Embassy staged the event at the US Capitol on Monday night, with support from the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party.

China halted all imports of seafood from Japan in late August, in response to the release of treated and diluted water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Sake from Fukushima was served at the event, along with sushi topped with sea bass, flounder and scallops caught off Fukushima and Hokkaido, further north.

More than 40 Democratic and Republican lawmakers sampled the food and drink. One of them, Select Committee Chair Mike Gallagher, criticized China's move.

Gallagher said it has been scientifically verified that the release of the treated water has no impact on the safety of Japanese seafood. He said claims made by the Chinese Communist Party are completely false.

The Japanese Embassy's Minister of Congressional Affairs, Ishigaki Tomoaki, said Japanese food and sake are very popular in the United States.

Ishigaki said Japan should not remain complacent, but must take further measures to promote the quality and safety of Japanese seafood to as many people as possible.
The treated water at the Fukushima plant is released into the sea after diluting it to reduce tritium levels.
The final level is about one-seventh of the World Health Organization's guidelines for drinking water.

The International Atomic Energy Agency has confirmed that the discharge plan is consistent with international safety standards.