China took a veiled swipe at Japan when it demanded that the Japanese government provide “accurate” information on how it is tackling the surging fallout from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.
During the UN General Assembly, Chinese deputy UN ambassador Wang Min expressed his country’s concern about radioactive water leaks from the embattled facility and urged Japan to rein in the crisis.
“China follows closely the countermeasures to be adopted by Japan,” Wang explained during a debate of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
“We urge the Japanese side to spare no effort in minimizing the subsequent impact of the accident and provide timely, comprehensive and accurate information to the international community.”
Wang added the Fukushima meltdowns triggered by the tsunami and earthquake in 2011 had “sounded the alarm bell for nuclear safety.”
The remarks came amid international pressure on the Japanese government to shore up efforts to mop up tons of irradiated water that has spilled from the damaged reactors and decontaminate affected areas.
Japanese diplomats said the comments made by China were intended to fire up the issue, in spite of the country’s efforts to clean up the mess.
South Korea also said it was worried about the radioactive leaks but backed Japan’s efforts.
The Fukushima crisis “continues to be a source of serious concern, especially to adjacent countries, because of the spillage of contaminated water into the sea,” said Sul Kyung-Hoon, South Korea’s deputy UN ambassador.
Sul added that South Korea “appreciates the Japanese government’s efforts to share relevant information with the international community” and called on the IAEA to strengthen assistance to Japan.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had admitted needing international help to address the spills from the plant and agreed to cooperate with the UN nuclear watchdog.
By Maesie Bertumen
Image: IAEA Imagebank/Flickr