Japan's unilateral decision to discharge waste water from Fukushima nuclear complex into the ocean is extremely irresponsible: FM
Published: Apr 13, 2021 10:41 AM


Japan's unilateral decision to discharge waste water from the Fukushima nuclear complex into the ocean is extremely irresponsible and will seriously damage international public health and the vital interests of the people of neighboring countries, China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Tuesday.

As a close neighbor of Japan and a stake holder, China expresses grave concern over this decision, the spokesperson said.

China strongly urges Japan to re-examine the disposal of the nuclear waste water and refrain from starting the discharge before reaching agreements with all relevant countries and the IAEA via full consultation, the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson stressed that the ocean is the common property of mankind, and the disposal of nuclear waste from the nuclear complex in Fukushima Prefecture is not a domestic issue in Japan. China urges Japan to adopt a scientific attitude, fulfill its international obligations, and respond to the serious concerns of the international community, neighboring countries and its own people.

China will continue to closely follow the development of the situation together with the international community and reserves the right to make a further response, the spokesperson said.

The comments were made after Japan announced its decision on Tuesday. The plan was approved during a cabinet meeting of ministers early Tuesday, which will allow Japan to release the radioactive water in two years. Japan depicted its decision as the best option despite strong objections from the international community, and especially neighboring countries.

The Fukushima nuclear leak was one of the most serious nuclear accidents in the world, resulting in the leakage of a large amount of radioactive materials, and has had a profound impact on the marine environment, food safety and human health, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.

According to the assessment of the IAEA, discharging the tritium-containing waste water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean will have an impact on the marine environment and public health of the surrounding countries. The existing treated waste water still contains other radionuclides and needs further purification.

A report by the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Energy also believes that the impact of the nuclear waste water from Fukushima on the ecological environment in the ocean needs to be continuously tracked and observed. 

A German oceanic research institute had earlier pointed out that contaminated waste water will pollute more than half of the Pacific Ocean in 57 days from the date of discharge, and will spread to the global waters 10 years later, as the Fukushima coast has one of the strongest ocean currents in the world.