Chinese FM summons Japanese Ambassador to China over Fukushima wastewater dumping
Published: Apr 15, 2021 09:38 PM

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

A senior Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs official on Thursday summoned Japanese Ambassador to China Hideo Tarumi, and made solemn representations on the Japanese government's decision to dump wastewater from the Fukushima nuclear power plant to the ocean.

Such rare move reflected that the Chinese government attached the highest level of attention to this matter, unleashing a direct message to the Japanese government for properly handling the matter, Chinese expert said. 

Wu Jianghao, assistant minister of foreign affairs, pointed out that Japanese government's decision disregards the global marine environment, international public health and safety, and the vital safety and interests of the people of neighboring countries, and is suspected of violating international laws and rules, which is not the work of a modern civilized country. China expressed its strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to this.

Japan's neighbors China and South Korea, as well as Russia and the Philippines, expressed their firm oppositions to Tokyo's decisions on the wastewater dumping, and the decision has sparked widely shared outrage on Chinese social media platforms in recent days. 

The Chinese government urged the Japan to recognize its responsibilities and uphold its scientific attitude in fulfilling its international obligations, to review the wastewater issue and withdraw the decision of dumping it into the sea. Also, under the structure of international organization, the Japanese government should establish a joint working technical group including Chinese experts to ensure the disposal of the wastewater being evaluated, scrutinized and supervised by the international community. 

The Chinese government urged Japan not to initiate wastewater dumping into the ocean before it fully consults international organizations, and China will work with the international community to keep  a watchful eye on the matter, reserving the right of taking further actions. 

"China attaches importance to the China-Japan relationship and values its relations with other countries, but summoning Japanese ambassador shows that the Chinese government attaches the highest level of attention to the matter," Lü  Xiaoqing, deputy director of the society of Sino-Japanese relations history, told the Global Times on Thursday. 

The expert noted that Chinese government and the Chinese public take this matter very seriously, as the contaminated ocean concerns China the most. If the Japanese government decides to dump the wastewater into the ocean, it is not its internal affairs anymore but a severe international issue. 

The Japanese government should release all the documents about the Fukushima nuclear plan since 2011 for scientists, environmental protection experts and government officials to set up a joint committee to discuss about possible solutions, Lü said.

Besides staging a solemn opposition, the Chinese FM summoning the ambassador signified that if the Japanese government would not handle the issue properly, it may have an impact on China-Japan relations, Chen Yang, a media professional and a Beijing-based Japan watcher, told the Global Times on Thursday.