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China Urges Full Disclosure on Japan Radiation Leaks

Customers line up outside a store in Hong Kong March 17, 2011, as shoppers in the Chinese territory rush to buy salt, which they believe could help to protect them from radiation.

The Chinese government on Thursday urged its crisis-hit neighbor Japan to issue prompt and accurate information about radiation leaks from a nuclear power plant ravaged by an earthquake and tsunami.

Concerned by rumors circulating in China about nuclear fallout and radiation exposure, China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu called on Tokyo to issue prompt and accurate details about stricken nuclear power plant ravaged by last week’s earthquake and tsunami.

She also issued a call to worried Chinese who are panic buying salt in a false belief it can guard against radiation sickness. Japan should release detailed and accurate information about the about radiation leaks as soon as it’s known, said Jiang. And she urged the public to stay calm, saying it was not necessary to panic.

The country's largest salt maker, China National Salt Industry Corporation, Thursday issued a statement warning panic-buying and hoarding is unnecessary.

The Ministry of Health is also telling the public that regular salt cannot prevent radiation.

But panic buying continues and price spikes are occurring.

Jiang also confirmed China will send 20,000 tons of gasoline and diesel fuel to Japan to aid it earthquake recovery.

Despite often prickly relations between China and Japan, the Japanese disasters have sparked an outpouring of sympathy in China.

Beijing earlier pledged $4.5 million worth of blankets, tents, emergency lighting and other humanitarian assistance, and has sent 15 rescuers to help search for survivors.