TOKYO (Reuters) -U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy called China’s position on the release of treated radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant “unfair” and “false” during a visit to Tokyo on Thursday.
Japan started its discharges from the wrecked plant last month, provoking strong criticism from China. In retaliation for the release into the ocean, China has placed a blanket ban on all aquatic imports from Japan.
“I just view it as another way of the Communist Party of China putting falsities out there, trying to divide,” McCarthy told reporters.
“And it’s just an unfair position that they have and a false position that they have from the rest of the world’s stance,” McCarthy said, adding that he had no concern whatsoever about eating produce from Fukushima.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said he explained Japan’s position on the matter to Chinese Premier Li Qiang during a brief talk on the sidelines of a regional meeting in Indonesia on Thursday. He declined to say how Li had responded.
The talk marked the first time the two had met in person, and was also the first high-level talk between the two countries since the release of the water.
The water from the Fukushima nuclear plant is treated to remove most radioactive elements except for tritium, a radionuclide difficult to separate from water, and then diluted to internationally accepted levels before being released into the ocean.
(Reporting by Yukiko Toyoda and Sakura Murakami; Editing by Clarence Fernandez & Simon Cameron-Moore)
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