Japan’s Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) recently commenced the second round of ocean discharge of Fukushima nuclear-contaminated water, sparking concerns and reactions from the international community.
Japan’s ocean discharge plan
On Thursday, TEPCO announced its decision to release 7,800 tonnes of Fukushima nuclear-contaminated water into the ocean over a span of 17 days. This move is part of the ongoing effort to manage and dispose of the vast amount of contaminated water that has accumulated at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant since the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami in 2011. The water has been treated to remove most radioactive materials, but tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen, remains.
China’s opposition to Japan’s action
In response to Japan’s announcement, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson expressed China’s consistent and clear opposition to the ocean discharge. The spokesperson stated, “We firmly oppose this unilateral move by Japan,” emphasizing China’s stance on the issue.
The spokesperson reiterated the belief that the ocean belongs to all of humanity and urged the Japanese government to address the concerns of the international community. The spokesperson further called for Japan to engage in full and sincere communication with neighboring countries and to dispose of the nuclear-contaminated water in a responsible manner.
International cooperation and monitoring
The Chinese spokesperson also emphasized the importance of international cooperation and monitoring in addressing this issue. They called upon the international community to work towards establishing an international monitoring arrangement that would be effective in the long term. Such an arrangement, according to the spokesperson, should allow neighboring countries and other stakeholders to participate substantially in the monitoring process.