U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel will visit Fukushima Prefecture next Thursday, where he plans to eat fish from the area to show support for Tokyo's decision to release treated radioactive water from a crippled nuclear plant there into the sea, an embassy official said on Wednesday.

In a phone interview with Kyodo News, Emanuel said he will meet with local fishermen, residents and officials during the visit, which is intended to "physically show support and then to express confidence in the process that Japan has methodically pursued."

The envoy's plan to visit the coastal city of Soma comes after the government has decided to start the water discharge on Thursday amid strong opposition from China.