Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has explained the release of treated water from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea to the G20 leaders who gathered in New Delhi for a two-day summit on Saturday, according to an official with Japan’s foreign ministry.

Japan commenced the release of treated radioactive water from the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean last month, sparking strong criticism, particularly from China, which immediately banned all seafood imports from Japan.

Japan maintains that the water release is safe, citing the findings of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which concluded that its impact on people and the environment was “negligible.”

During a G20 session on Saturday, Prime Minister Kishida addressed leaders of the Group of 20, including U.S. President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, French President Emmanuel Macron, and Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman. The discussions encompassed topics ranging from the global economy to food security and the water release.

Hikariko Ono, the press secretary at Japan’s foreign ministry, told reporters, “Prime Minister Kishida explained that the data monitored since last month’s water discharge has been made public promptly and in a highly transparent manner, and that no problems have arisen from a scientific standpoint.”

In response to China’s ban on Japanese seafood imports, Japan has brought the matter to the World Trade Organization, pledging to elucidate the safety of the released water at diplomatic forums.

Ono stated, “Unfortunately, some countries have taken uncommon actions, such as suspending all imports of Japanese marine food products in response to the recent water discharge into the sea,” without naming any specific countries.

This week, Prime Minister Kishida also conveyed Japan’s stance on the release of treated radioactive water to Chinese Premier Li Qiang on the sidelines of a regional meeting in Indonesia.

“Japan will continue to collaborate closely with the IAEA and provide explanations to the international community based on scientific evidence in good faith and in a highly transparent manner,” Ono emphasized, referring to Kishida’s remarks at the G20.

Additionally, the Fukushima water release was a topic of discussion during Kishida’s meetings with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the G20 summit, according to statements from Japan’s foreign ministry.

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