Japan confirms experts met in China to ease concerns over radioactive water release

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TOKYO (AP) – Japan said Sunday its experts had held talks with their Chinese counterparts to try to allay Beijing’s concerns over the release of radioactive waste water from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant into the sea.

The release has been criticized by fishing groups and neighboring countries in particular China, which banned all imports of Japanese seafood. China’s move has had a major impact on Japanese scallop farmers and exporters to China.

During talks held on Saturday in the northeastern Chinese city of Dalian, Japanese officials explained the “scientific basis” of how the evacuation had gone as planned, according to Japan’s Foreign Ministry.

The 2011 earthquake and tsunami destroyed the Fukushima plant’ s power and reactor cooling operations, causing the meltdown of three reactors and causing a large amount of radioactive waste water to accumulate. After more than ten years of storage in tanks that take up a lot of space in the complex, the plant began to produce water after one treatment and diluted with sea water on Aug. 24, starting a process that is expected to take years.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Chinese President Xi Jinping At their meeting in November they agreed to conduct scientific and professional discussions, and the countries have held several formal meetings. Sunday’s statement from Japan’s Foreign Ministry was the first public acknowledgment of the talks.

The experts exchanged views on “technical issues” related to the release, the ministry official said on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. While stressing the need for transparency, the official declined to comment, including what the Chinese side said and whether their differences have narrowed.

The meeting is coming soon The visit of the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency Rafael Mariano Rafael to the plant in mid-March to confirm that the ongoing production has gone as planned.

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