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Japan must address world concerns on nuclear material: China
March 23, 2016, 5:07 am

People shout slogans and hold placards to protest against Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), owner and operator of the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, in front of the Prime Minister's official residence in Tokyo, Japan, March 11, 2015 [Xinhua]

People shout slogans and hold placards to protest against Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), owner and operator of the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, in front of the Prime Minister’s official residence in Tokyo, Japan, March 11, 2015 [Xinhua]

After a ship loaded with weapons-grade plutonium left Japan for the US on Tuesday, China has asked Japan to take measures to respond to international concerns about its excessive stockpile of nuclear materials.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying was replying to questions from journalists on the Japanese shipment of 331 kilograms of plutonium, enough to make about 50 nuclear weapons.

A ship believed to be carrying plutonium and other nuclear materials left a port in Tokaimura, northeast of Tokyo, on Tuesday, Japan’s Kyodo reported. The shipment accounts for a tiny portion of the nearly 50 tonnes of plutonium Japan holds.

“Japan should deliver its commitment at an early date, as it promised to return the sensitive nuclear materials at the Nuclear Security Summit in 2014,” Hua said at a regular news briefing.

Environmental group Greenpeace said this is the largest such shipment of the highly dangerous material since 1992.

Two British ships arrived in eastern Japan on Monday to transport the plutonium.

Japan has a massive stockpile of separated plutonium and highly-enriched uranium (HEU), which has drawn international concerns, Chinese spokesperson Hua said, calling for “necessary steps” from Japan to address such concerns.

Hua criticized Yusuke Yokobatake, director-general of Japanese Cabinet Legislation Bureau, who allegedly said last Friday that Japan’ s Constitution does not necessarily ban the use of nuclear weapons.

“Pro-nuclear weapon remarks from a cabinet official will further deepen world skepticism. We demand the Japanese government explain its stance,” Hua said.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga flatly denied the possibility of Japan using a nuclear weapon at a press conference last Friday.

“The government does not think of such a thing at all,” Suga has asserted.

Japan has 47.8 tonnes of highly sensitive separated plutonium and 1.2 tonnes of highly-enriched uranium (HEU) for research reactors, according to a joint study released in 2015 by China Arms Control and Disarmament Association and the China Institute of Nuclear Information and Economics.

Japan pledged in a parliamentary resolution adopted in 1971, the Three Non-Nuclear Principles, that the country shall not produce, possess or allow the entry into its territory of nuclear weapons.

On Tuesday, the 331 kg (730 lb) of plutonium was taken from a nuclear research center in the port town of Tokaimura, and left on a British ship, the Pacific Egret, for transport to the US Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site in South Carolina, Greenpeace said.

 

TBP and Agencies

3 Responses to Japan must address world concerns on nuclear material: China

  1. Pete Reply

    March 23, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    The Chinese perfectly understand that the threat from Japan is solely due to the US military presence in the region.

  2. mike Reply

    March 23, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    China foreign department and government must STOP with:
    “Indonesia must do this and Japan must do this”,

    It is very a communist style almost stalinistic style bullhorn communication, and it has and will hurt the interst and image of China all over the world.

    Silent diplomacy is better and more adquate, learn from the Americans and europenas!

    Do Not behave as a bully, u only will get enemies and more countries siding by the USA> Is this what China wants??
    Please behave as a responsible major power!

  3. mike Reply

    March 23, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    Do not bully Asian countries for example Indonesia;

    There are living 7 million people of Chinese descent in Indonesia,

    China has big economic interests in Indonesia, and

    Do U want US bombers stationed in the future in Indonesia?

    (of course not, so be objective and behave as a responsible major power, stop the communist bullhorn style policy, start a sophisticated silent diplomay !)

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