China condemns release of Fukushima water into the Pacific Ocean

The tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is seen from Namie Town, Fukushima prefecture, Japan

BEIJING (Reuters) -China again voiced strong opposition and condemned Japan's decision to start releasing treated radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Thursday.

China said the disposal of contaminated water is a major nuclear safety issue with cross-border implications, and is by no means a private matter for Japan alone, according to a statement.

Japan on Thursday started releasing treated radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant wrecked by a 2011 tsunami.

China has said it would take necessary measures to protect marine environment, food safety and public health. China's vice foreign minister also summoned Japan's ambassador to China to lodge serious representations on the move.

"The decision will surely be condemned by the international community for a long time," the Chinese foreign ministry said.

The ministry said "there has been no precedent for man-made discharge of water polluted by nuclear accidents into the ocean, and there is no accepted disposal standard."

"The government of Japan has not proved the legitimacy of the decision to discharge the water into the sea," adding that Japan has also not proved the long-term reliability of the clean-up for the contaminated water.

China also said Japan has not proved the true accuracy of the data on the contaminated water or the completeness and effectiveness of the monitoring programme.

(Reporting by Beijing newsroom; Writing by Bernard Orr; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Lincoln Feast)