The Japanese government held a cabinet meeting on the morning of the 13th and formally decided to discharge the nuclear wastewater stored in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant of the Tokyo Electric Power Company into the sea.
Fukushima fishing industry: Strong opposition Fear of fishing may be hit
Fisheries practitioners in Fukushima Prefecture strongly opposed the Japanese government’s decision, saying that they might hit the local fisheries hard.
After the nuclear leakage accident at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in Japan in 2011, the Fukushima Prefectural Fisheries has been conducting experimental fishing, fishing in small quantities of fish along the coast and under strict testing before it can be put on the market for sale. In 2020, the offshore fishing volume of Fukushima Prefecture was about 4,532 tons, which is less than 20% of the average annual fishing volume before the Fukushima nuclear spill accident. Although the Fukushima Prefectural Fisheries Federation fully resumed fishing operations in April 2021, the Japanese government’s decision to discharge nuclear wastewater into the sea worried local fishery practitioners.
Takayuki Yanachi, director of the fish market of Xiaomingyuki, Fukushima Prefecture: Not only the fishery practitioners in Fukushima Prefecture, but also the national fishery practitioners oppose (discharging nuclear wastewater into the sea). And not only the fishery practitioners, but also the practitioners related to the aquaculture industry, oppose it. If nuclear wastewater is discharged into the sea, it will trigger a negative evaluation of (for the seafood of Fukushima Prefecture), so we all oppose it.
He Xinlei: Eyefish Dried is a local specialty in Fukushima Prefecture. A box sells for 800 yen, which is about 50 yuan. It is not cheap in Japan, but can this box of eyefish dry sell for another 800 yen in the future? How many more people are willing to buy it? These problems have become new concerns for local aquaculture market shopkeepers in Fukushima Prefecture.
Many people in Fukushima Prefecture believe that Tokyo Electric Power Company did not take strong measures after the nuclear leakage accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, and has since been exposed to a series of problems in handling the nuclear leakage accident, which makes people feel more difficult to trust. Regarding the plan to discharge nuclear wastewater from the Fukushima nuclear power plant operated by Tokyo Electric Power Company into the sea, the Japanese government’s inadequate explanation also aroused public doubts.
Omanyu Market in Fukushima Prefecture: There are other better treatments. I strongly oppose the discharge of nuclear wastewater into the sea, but I think the government has decided to do so from the beginning.
Preacher of Omanyu Market in Fukushima Prefecture: Tokyo Electric Power Company did not handle the leak accident at the nuclear power plant well, and everyone did not have a sense of trust in it, so I would also think there would be a big problem (exhaust nuclear wastewater into the sea).
Fukushima Environmental Protection Organization: We don’t want to be affected by pollution
Environmentalists in Fukushima Prefecture also questioned and strongly opposed the Japanese government’s decision.
Chiyo Oda, a member of the Fukushima civil environmental protection organization: I think this decision is very hasty. So far, we have been expressing our opposition, and now it seems that we still need to constantly express our voices against the discharge of nuclear wastewater into the sea. We also hope that more people in China will support us and let the Japanese government see that there are still many people who do not want nuclear wastewater to be discharged into the sea.
After the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Chiyo Oda and local environmentalists have been calling on all sectors of society to pay attention to the nuclear wastewater of the Fukushima nuclear power plant. The Japanese government planned to make a final decision on the treatment of nuclear wastewater in October 2020, and planned to gradually discharge it into the sea. As soon as the news came out, it was protested and condemned by the Japanese people and even the international community, which forced the plan to be put on hold.
Member of Fukushima Prefecture’s non-governmental environmental protection organization, Yamanori: The Japanese government wants to discharge nuclear wastewater into the sea, and hopes to deal with nuclear wastewater and nuclear accident follow-up problems in a low-cost way, which is ultimately considering economic interests. But we people do not want radioactive substances into the sea, and we don’t want to be affected by pollution, so we want to make an objection.
In Japan, there are many voices like this against the discharge of nuclear wastewater into the sea. According to a poll, 50% of Japanese citizens do not agree with the plan of “discharge of nuclear wastewater into the sea” and hope that the Japanese government can be responsible to its own people and the international public interest.
South Korean people are deeply worried that they will suffer a double blow.
Luliangjin Seafood Market in Seoul, South Korea, is the largest wholesale aquatic product market in South Korea. Most restaurants in Seoul buy seafood ingredients from here. In the face of Japan’s decision to discharge Fukushima nuclear wastewater into the sea, many South Korean consumers and businesses are very worried.
Entering Luliangjin Seafood Market, a variety of fresh aquatic products are placed on the booth for customers to choose from. According to South Korean regulations, all products must be marked as origin when sold. The blue label represents the mainland of South Korea, and the yellow label represents imported seafood.
The reporter saw in the market that in addition to products from China, Russia and Canada, some of the imported seafood also came from Japan, mainly shellfish. However, due to South Korea’s total ban on the import of aquatic products from eight prefectures near Fukushima, Japan, the number of Japanese seafood sold on the market is not large.
Businessmen are generally worried about the discharge of Japanese nuclear wastewater into the sea, and many people believe that this will seriously affect the South Korean people’s confidence in the consumption of seafood products.
South Korean seafood stall Li Haiyu: If Japan discharges nuclear wastewater into the sea, these seafood will be very dangerous. Japan’s decision hit us very hard. It was originally because of the COVID-19 epidemic that our business had bottomed out. It was not easy to stick to it, let alone suffer such a double blow. .
South Korean seafood consumers: If nuclear wastewater is discharged into the sea, not only Japan’s seafood will be affected, but also our country will be affected. I am disgusted with this result. I think the government should strongly protest to Japan.
South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on the 12th that it would be unacceptable if Japan discharged nuclear wastewater without full consultation. The South Korean government said that it would significantly expand nuclear pollution monitoring in the future, pay close attention to Japan’s relevant developments, and strengthen cooperation with the international community, including the International Atomic Energy Agency, to deal with it.
International Atomic Energy Agency: The harm of nuclear wastewater discharge should be avoided.
On the 12th, Grossi, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said in a meeting with Wang Qun, Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations in Vienna, that the Agency has taken note of the concerns of all parties about this matter, understands that the matter is receiving global attention, and is willing to actively promote the Agency’s assessment and supervision in a fair, objective and scientific manner. In the process, the agency is willing to strengthen communication with various stakeholders. At present, efforts should be made to avoid further harm to the marine environment, food safety and human health.
China said that a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has expressed concern about this. China supports the important role of the International Atomic Energy Agency in evaluation and supervision. At the same time, as a neighboring country, China and all other interested countries should participate in institutional evaluation and supervision.