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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson's remarks on Japan's announcement of schedule on releasing the Fukushima nuclear-contaminated water into the ocean
2023-08-23 09:55

Bloomberg: Japan announced today that it would begin releasing Fukushima waste water from as early as August 24. What is China’s response and will it take any further action on Japan or Japanese goods in the aftermath of the decision?

Wang Wenbin: In disregard of the strong concerns and firm opposition from the international community, the Japanese government announced the decision to start releasing the Fukushima nuclear-contaminated water into the ocean from August 24. This is extremely selfish and irresponsible, as the discharge will spread the risks of nuclear contamination to the rest of the world, and by doing so, Japan is putting its selfish interests above the long-term wellbeing of the entire humanity. China is gravely concerned and strongly opposed to this. We have made serious démarches to Japan.

For the past two years and more, the legitimacy, legality and safety of Japan’s ocean discharge plan has been questioned over and over again by the international community. Japan has yet to address major international concerns such as the long-term reliability of the purification facility, the authenticity and accuracy of the nuclear-contaminated water data, and the effectiveness of the monitoring arrangement. China and other stakeholders have pointed out on multiple occasions that if the Fukushima nuclear-contaminated water is truly safe, Japan wouldn’t have to dump it into the sea—and certainly shouldn’t if it’s not. It is unjustified, unreasonable and unnecessary for Japan to push through the ocean discharge plan.

Regrettably, Japan has given scarce response to international concerns. It has been trying to create an impression that the ocean discharge is safe and harmless. It has even made unfounded accusations against neighboring countries who have expressed legitimate concerns. All of this has caused outrage among people in neighboring countries and in Japan.

The ocean sustains humanity. It is not a sewer for Japan’s nuclear-contaminated water. China strongly urges Japan to stop its wrongdoing, cancel the ocean discharge plan, communicate with neighboring countries with sincerity and good will, dispose of the nuclear-contaminated water in a responsible manner and accept rigorous international oversight. China will take all steps necessary to protect the marine environment, ensure food safety and safeguard people’s life and health.

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