China challenges IAEA’s oversight of Japan’s wastewater Release

China on Tuesday contested the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Secretariat’s monitoring of Japan’s wastewater release into the sea.

“The IAEA Secretariat’s so-called monitoring is neither mandated by the body’s Board of Governors nor fully discussed by member states. It’s merely the Secretariat’s technical consulting and support for Japan and is neither international nor independent,”  Mao Ning, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, said at a news conference.

Amid criticism of Japan’s releasing of nuclear waste from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea, Rafael Grossi, the IAEA’s director general, late last month said that the agency is conducting independent sample collection and will keep monitoring the situation.

“@IAEAorg’s recent sampling at #Fukushima Daiichi verified tritium levels in water being released are far below operational limits. We’ll continue independent sampling and monitoring until completion,” Grossi said.

Mao said: “A total of 7,800 tons of nuclear-contaminated water has been dumped into the ocean, and yet the international community still hasn’t been informed of the IAEA Secretariat’s specific monitoring arrangements.”

Tokyo began releasing nuclear waste from the crippled Fukushima plant last month, triggering a severe reaction from China which imposed a blanket ban on imports of seafood from Japan.

Meanwhile, Chinese military leaders have postponed their visit to Japan, likely due to the recent dispute over Fukushima’s treated radioactive water release, the Tokyo-based Kyodo News Agency reported.

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