Visiting Palau President Surangel Whipps Jr on Wednesday showed understanding for the planned release into the sea of treated water from the crippled Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant in northeastern Japan.

At a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo, the president said he understood Japan’s efforts to ensure the safety of the water release, based on his visit a day earlier to the Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. plant in Fukushima Prefecture.

Kishida stressed that Japan will never release the treated water in a way that affects human health and the marine environment.

Meanwhile, the two leaders agreed to strengthen cooperation to realise a free and open Indo-Pacific region in the face of China’s growing influence in the South Pacific.

Palau maintains diplomatic relations with Taiwan.