JAKARTA - Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Wednesday called on Chinese Premier Li Qiang to abolish Beijing's import ban on Japanese seafood, Japan's government said, as tensions persist between the two countries over the release of treated radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea.

Amid growing tensions, the leaders held a brief conversation in Jakarta, where they are attending meetings related to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations for three days from Tuesday.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (R, front) and Chinese Premier Li Qiang (L, front) walk to a so-called ASEAN Plus Three meeting in Jakarta on Sept. 6, 2023. (Kyodo)

Kishida also told Li that Japan and China need to build "constructive and stable" relations while explaining Japan's position on the water release that began late last month, according to the Japanese Foreign Ministry.

China is staunchly opposed to it and has banned all seafood imports from Japan since, calling the water "nuclear-contaminated."

Following the conversation, they attended the ASEAN Plus Three summit, also involving South Korea.

Li told the meeting that Japan should handle the issue responsibly, calling on it to fulfill its international obligations and fully consult with its neighbors and related stakeholders, according to China's official Xinhua News Agency.

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