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China demands extensive soil testing and pretreated water in Fukushima; Japan rejects the demand based on international standards


Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
A view of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant

China has demanded Japan expand the scope of its environmental review around its No. 1 Fukushima nuclear power plant, it has been learned. The demand was made during meetings of an advisory group of experts set up by the two governments. Japan has rejected the demand on the grounds that it has conducted the necessary research based on International Atomic Energy Agency standards.

The bilateral expert body was established to discuss issues related to the discharge of treated water from the nuclear power plant of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc., after Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed in San Francisco in November to “ find ways to solve problems through consultation and dialogue.”

The advisory expert group met twice, in January and March, with the Japanese side explaining that they monitor seawater and fish in accordance with IAEA standards, and that an IAEA research team, including a Chinese expert, regularly surveys the area . at.

In response, the Chinese side demanded that Japan examine the soil around the power plant and the quality of the contaminated water before treating it, including in areas outside those where the IAEA has adhered to international standards.

The Japanese and Chinese governments earlier this month sought a meeting between Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, a member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China, for preliminary discussions ahead of a meeting between Kishida and Chinese Premier Li Qiang in China. Seoul. However, the meeting never took place because the two governments failed to reach an agreement on the treated water issue.

“We sense no will on the Chinese side to make progress on treated water,” a government official said.

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