China at U.N. demands ‘accurate’ nuclear account from Japan

AFP-JIJI

China is demanding that Japan provide “accurate” information on how it is handling new fallout from the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

China told the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday that it is worried about radioactive water leaks from the Fukushima No. 1 plant.

“China follows closely the countermeasures to be adopted by Japan,” Deputy U.N. Ambassador Wang Min told a debate on the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog.

“We urge the Japanese side to spare no effort in minimizing the subsequent impact of the accident and provide timely, comprehensive and accurate information to the international community,” Wang said.

Amid the ongoing bilateral tension, and the new comments are certain to annoy the Abe government, which is already under major domestic pressure over Fukushima, diplomats said.

Wang said the 2011 disaster has “sounded the alarm bell for nuclear safety” even though China “firmly” supports the use of nuclear power.

South Korea also said it is worried about the radioactive leaks but gave more support to Japan.

Fukushima “continues to be a source of serious concern, especially to adjacent countries, because of the spillage of contaminated water into the sea,” said South Korea’s deputy U.N. ambassador, Sul Kyung-hoon.

South Korea “appreciates the Japanese government’s efforts to share relevant information with the international community,” Sul added, while calling on the IAEA to strengthen assistance for Japan.

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said the U.N. watchdog “has recommended that Japan establish an effective plan and mechanisms for the long-term management of contaminated water.”

“The announcement by the Japanese government of a basic policy for addressing this issue was an important step forward.” Amano said, saying that another IAEA team will visit Japan this year.