UNITED NATIONS, United States (AFP) - China on Tuesday demanded that Japan provide "accurate" information on how it is handling new fallout from the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
China told the United Nations (UN) General Assembly it was worried about radioactive water leaks from the Japanese plant that went into meltdown after being hit by a tsunami in March 2011.
"China follows closely the countermeasures to be adopted by Japan," China's deputy UN ambassador Wang Min told a debate on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN nuclear watchdog.
"We urge the Japanese side to spare no effort in minimising the subsequent impact of the accident and provide timely, comprehensive and accurate information to the international community," Mr Wang added.
China and Japan have a series of bilateral disputes, and the new comments are certain to annoy the Japanese government, which is already under major domestic pressure over Fukushima, diplomats said.
Mr Wang said the 2011 disaster had "sounded the alarm bell for nuclear safety" even though China "firmly" supports the use of nuclear power.
South Korea also said it was worried about the radioactive leaks but gave more support to Japan.
Fukushima "continues to be a source of serious concern, especially to adjacent countries, because of the spillage of contaminated water into the sea," said South Korea's deputy UN ambassador Sul Kyung Hoon.
South Korea "appreciates the Japanese government's efforts to share relevant information with the international community," Mr Sul added, while calling on the IAEA to strengthen assistance to Japan.
IAEA director general Yukiya Amano said the UN atomic watchdog "has recommended that Japan establish an effective plan and mechanisms for the long-term management of contaminated water.
"The announcement by the Japanese government of a basic policy for addressing this issue was an important step forward." Mr Amano added, saying that an IAEA team will visit Japan this year.