More talks needed on S. Korea joining seawater monitoring: Amano

Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said Wednesday that talks are to be continued on whether South Korea will jointly monitor seawater contamination with the agency and Japan following reported leaks of radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

"We shared the view that further talks are to be held," Amano told reporters after talks with South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung Se.

His remarks are interpreted to mean that a final decision has yet to be made as to whether South Korea will join the maritime monitoring as it so wishes.

Amano is currently visiting South Korea to attend an international energy congress.

South Korea recently banned imports of fisheries products from radiation-affected Fukushima and seven neighboring prefectures, impacting the region's fishing industry.

At a meeting with Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority chief Shunichi Tanaka last week, Amano made the offer to conduct joint seawater monitoring.

Tanaka accepted the offer on the grounds that working in cooperation with the U.N. nuclear watchdog would help alleviate concerns in Japan and neighboring countries.