Japan on Friday assured agriculture ministers from ASEAN members plus China and South Korea that the release of treated radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant into the sea is "being done safely."

Ichiro Miyashita, Japan's minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, made the remarks when he met his counterparts from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, China and South Korea in the Malaysian capital.

Ichiro Miyashita (R, front row), Japan's minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, attends a meeting with his counterparts from ASEAN members, China and South Korea in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Oct. 6, 2023. (Photo courtesy of the Malaysian Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security)(Kyodo)

He said there was no reaction from China, which imposed a blanket ban on Japanese seafood imports after the first water discharge began in August. The second batch of water started being released on Thursday.

Miyashita welcomed China's silence on the issue during the ASEAN-plus-three talks as a "positive" move.

China was represented by Deng Xiaogang, the vice minister of agriculture and rural affairs.

China had repeatedly urged Japan not to go ahead with the discharge, expressing its opposition in the ASEAN-plus-three foreign ministerial meeting in July and in summit talks under that framework in September.

Miyashita said he will continue to brief the international community based on scientific evidence and with a high level of transparency, and added that he gained the understanding of many countries.

Malaysian Agriculture and Food Security Minister Mohamad Sabu, who chaired the meeting, reiterated that his country's health authorities have inspected Japan's seafood imports and thus far see the products as being "100 percent safe."

Malaysia has decided to tighten inspections of seafood imports from Japan.

ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

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