China's customs authorities have announced that the country has suspended all imports of seafood from Japan with immediate effect. The announcement came after Tokyo Electric Power Company started releasing treated and diluted water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean shortly after noon on Thursday. 

The authorities said the suspension is aimed at eliminating the risk of food contaminated

by the release of radioactive water and protecting food safety and Chinese consumers' health. The authorities also said they will continue to assess the potential risks of radioactive contamination of food imports from Japan through stepped-up monitoring.

The ban is expected to have a major impact on Japan's fishing industry, and could further dampen bilateral relations.

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