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June 4, 2016

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China’s action call over Fukushima

CHINA is extremely concerned about the consequences of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident, a foreign ministry spokeswoman said yesterday, and has urged the Japanese government to carry out timely follow-up measures.

“We hope Japan will take effective measures to provide timely, comprehensive and accurate information to the international community and protect the ocean environment,” Hua Chunying told a daily news briefing.

On Monday, the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co, admitted for the first time that its insistence on referring to the incident as “nuclear reactor damage” over the past five years had “hidden the truth.”

According to Ken Buesseler, a marine radiochemist with the US Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the consequences of the Fukushima accident were “unprecedented,” since over 80 percent of the leaked radioactive substances had flowed into the sea.

“We hope Japan will maintain a high sense of responsibility to its own people, the people in neighboring countries and the international community,” Hua said. China is willing to communicate with relevant parties, including South Korea, she added.

China has also asked the International Atomic Energy Agency to enhance monitoring and evaluation of the radioactive water that had resulted from the accident, Hua said.

After the quake and tsunami in 2011, the ministry had advised people to be prudent when planning trips to the area. Hua said the advice still stood.

Also at the press briefing, Hua urged the United States to respect China’s fight against militants in the far western region of Xinjiang, after Washington expressed concern about the “lack of transparency” in its anti-terror campaign.

Hundreds have died in recent years in Xinjiang in unrest staged by militants and separatists. China has said the East Turkestan Islamic Movement is behind the unrest.

The US State Department, in its annual report on terrorism around the world, said there was a lack of information from China about incidents Beijing called terrorism, and said counter-terrorism cooperation was limited.

Hua said China was “dissatisfied” with inaccurate remarks about China, and regretted the “unobjective evaluation” of counter-terrorism cooperation.

“We cannot accept the United States issuing reports like this making thoughtless remarks about counter-terrorism policy in China and other countries,” she said.

China and the US both agreed to list ETIM as a terrorist group at the United Nations, Hua said. “Cracking down on ETIM as a representative of East Turkestan terrorist forces is a core concern of China on the issue of counter-terrorism. We hope the relevant country can earnestly respect this.”


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