Japan, China diplomats discuss seafood imports, other bilateral issues

Senior diplomats of Japan and China met on Wednesday to discuss bilateral issues, including China's suspension of Japanese seafood imports.

The Japanese foreign ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau Director-General Namazu Hiroyuki and the Chinese foreign ministry's Director-General of the Department of Asian Affairs Liu Jinsong met in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou.

Namazu explained Japan's position on the discharge of treated and diluted water from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. He urged China again to immediately lift its suspension of seafood imports from Japan.

The nuclear power plant suffered a triple meltdown during 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 being treated to remove most radioactive substances, but still contains tritium.

Before releasing the treated water into the ocean, the plant's operator dilutes it to reduce tritium levels to about one-seventh of the World Health Organization's guidance level for drinking water.

China banned marine imports from Japan after the discharge began.

Namazu also repeated Japan's call for the release of Japanese nationals detained in China for spying and other allegations and the removal of buoys placed by China in waters in Japan's exclusive economic zone.

It is not known how China responded, but the two sides agreed to maintain close communication.

Namazu and Liu previously held talks last month in Japan's southwestern city of Fukuoka.

The Japanese government is apparently hoping that through continued dialogue, it can find a way to address outstanding issues.