Japan Makes Case for Fukushima Water Release to ASEAN+3

Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi speaks at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations foreign ministers’ meeting in Jakarta on Thursday.

JAKARTA — Japan explained the validity of its plan to release treated water from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant into the ocean to foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations along with China and South Korea during their ASEAN Plus Three meeting in Jakarta on Thursday, countering criticism from China.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issued a report acknowledging the validity of the plan, but China claims that the report does not legitimate the plan.

Beijing has put pressure on Tokyo by suggesting it may impose greater restrictions on imports of Japanese food products. At the Thursday meeting, Chinese Communist Party Politburo member Wang Yi reiterated his previous assertion about the discharge.

Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi responded to Wang’s scientifically unsubstantiated claims about the oceanic release by saying that Japan would carry out the plan in accordance with international standards and practices, based on the IAEA’s conclusions.

He also emphasized that Japan would take safety into consideration.