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Japan urged to address world concerns on excessive nuclear materials

BEIJING, March 3 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese spokesman urged Japan to take steps to defuse concerns over its excessive stockpile of nuclear materials on Thursday.

"The international community has always been concerned about Japan's excessive stockpile of sensitive nuclear materials and the risks related to nuclear security and nuclear proliferation," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a daily news briefing.

Hong made the remarks after James Acton, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, delivered a speech in Japan on the risks. Acton warned that other countries in the region could follow suit and stock more nuclear material.

The physicist said a country's plutonium production should not exceed demand of its nuclear power stations. Japan has an estimated stock of 48 tons of plutonium, which can be used to make nuclear weapons.

At the news briefing, Hong said relevant documents from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Nuclear Security Summits have called on all countries to keep a balance of supply and demand for nuclear material.

"We hope the Japanese side will be responsible and take concrete actions to address the concerns of the international community," Hong said.

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