Japan's Prime Minister Kishida Commits to Pressuring China on Seafood Import Restrictions

Japan's Prime Minister Kishida Commits to Pressuring China on Seafood Import Restrictions

San Francisco - On Friday, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida stated that Japan will persist in urging China to lift its ban on importing Japanese seafood, a measure implemented in response to the discharge of treated radioactive water from a nuclear power plant into the ocean.

Kishida emphasized the need for a "calm and rational" assessment based on scientific principles, as reported by Kyodo News. Speaking at a press conference concluding his visit to San Francisco, he acknowledged the uncertainty regarding the timeline for the removal of the import restrictions.

"We have mutually agreed to address this matter through constructive consultations and dialogue. I urge (China) to approach this issue with a calm and constructive mindset, grounded in scientific analysis and factual information," Kishida expressed. He affirmed his commitment to consistently advocate for the removal of the import ban, mentioning his participation in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum summit held in the U.S. city, according to Kyodo News.

The import ban is one of several issues impacting relations between Japan and China. Kishida mentioned that both countries have concurred to conduct expert consultations from a scientific perspective regarding the water discharged from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power complex, which suffered damage in the aftermath of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

When questioned about Chinese President Xi's use of the term "nuclear-contaminated water," Kishida chose not to comment. Reports from China's state-run media indicated that Xi urged Kishida to manage the water discharge "appropriately" to address concerns domestically and internationally. The discharged water undergoes dilution to reduce tritium levels to less than one-40th of Japan's national safety standards. The International Atomic Energy Agency has concluded that the release will have a "negligible" impact on both people and the environment.

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