As its own citizens engaged in a salt buying and hoarding spree over fears about radiation, China called on Japan for greater transparency about its potential nuclear crisis.

"The world is paying a great deal of attention to the nuclear leak in Japan, and Japan is taking emergency measures to deal with it," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said Thursday, according to Reuters. "We hope that Japan reports details to the world in a timely and accurate manner."

Online commenters noted some irony, given that China itself has not exactly been known for transparency in its own past emergencies, with the most notable example being its handling of the 2003 SARS health crisis. In that, officials covered up the extent and deadliness of the new virus before doctors finally blew the whistle and the true scope was revealed.

The New York Times reported on Wednesday that U.S. health officials believe Japan's nuclear situation is more dangerous than it has been portrayed.

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