Tokyo has called on China to urge its citizens to halt acts of ‘extremely regrettable’ harassment after Japan started to release treated water from its Fukushima nuclear power plant
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has asked China on Monday to urge its citizens to halt acts of harassment, including crank calls and stone-throwing at Japanese diplomatic facilities and schools.
The harassment comes after Japan started to release treated radioactive wastewater from its damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant.
He said Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Masataka Okano summoned China’s ambassador, Wu Jianghao, to ask that Chinese people act calmly and responsibly.
And Japan's Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said the harassment was "extremely regrettable and worrying".
The release of the treated wastewater into the Pacific ocean, which began on Thursday and is expected to continue for decades, has been strongly opposed by fishing groups and neighbouring countries.
China immediately banned all imports of Japanese seafood in response to the release. In South Korea, thousands of people joined rallies over the weekend to condemn the discharge.
Acts of harassment including crank phone calls and stone-throwing have targeted Japan’s embassy and consulates and Japanese schools in China.
Japanese public broadcaster NHK said thousands of crank calls from China have targeted Fukushima government offices and the nuclear plant’s operator. It said many of the callers shouted in Chinese, and some yelled “stupid” and other swear words.
China’s government has not responded to requests from Japan for a joint scientific discussion of the release by experts, Kishida said. He said the Japanese plan is seen by many countries as scientific and transparent.
China’s government has not responded to requests from Japan for a joint scientific discussion of the release by experts, Kishida said. He added the Japanese plan is seen by many countries as scientific and transparent.
Japan’s government and the plant operator say treated radioactive wastewater is stored in about 1,000 tanks, which Tokyo says is taking up much of the plant area and must be removed to free up space to build facilities for the plant’s clean-up and decommissioning.
Kishida also pledged on Monday to do his utmost to protect Japan’s fishing industry from the impact of China’s import ban and said he will announce support measures later this week.
Japan’s Foreign Ministry issued a travel advisory on Sunday urging Japanese citizens to use extra caution in China, citing an escalation of harassment and violent protests, and not talk loudly in Japanese to avoid attention.